How Time of Day Impacts Your Fitness
Are you an avid gym goer in the morning or an after work? Do you prefer one or the other, switch it up frequently, or even a two a day person? There are some things you should know about exercise timing and how you can benefit by knowing what to do and when.
Morning exercise is a great way to start the day. In fact, many studies prove that exercising in the morning is more likely to help with weight loss. Research suggests that morning exercise while on an empty stomach can increase fat burning by 20 percent. You do not have to spend the day thinking about having to exercise later or if you will actually get the time. Science proves that morning exercise has a greater impact on reducing cortisol levels in the body, thus lowering the amount of stress you feel throughout the day. Last but not least you will likely sleep much better since your heart rate, body temperature, and blood pressure will not be elevated prior to resting.
Morning exercise is usually performed without sufficient energy stores for strength and muscle development. Unless you are waking up early enough to consume a full breakfast and allowing enough time for proper digestion, you are likely lacking sufficient energy to build muscle. Additionally, your body temperature is typically lower in the morning, causing a higher risk of injury unless a proper warm up is performed.
Those afternoon workouts are productive when trying to build muscle or strength. As they can be harder to get in later in the day juggling other responsibilities it is certainly beneficial. The body is known to produce more testosterone from afternoon workouts vice morning workouts. Blood pressure, body temperature, and muscles are more primed for activity in the afternoon than morning, thus reducing the likelihood of injury
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Your body has the ability to adapt to the time of day that you exercise. As long as it is consistent your body will adapt to the demands placed on it. However in my opinion cardio and weight loss is better for the mornings while strength and muscle building are better in the afternoon. For the past two months, I have been, for the most part, weightlifting in the afternoon/evening time. I notice more energy and strength while exercising in the afternoon/evening. Seem to be able to use heavier weights and workout longer with more energy than in the morning. Both times offer great benefits but if you are striving for muscle mass or strength you may want to exercise in the afternoon. The flip side, if you are interested in losing weight and trimming up, the morning time is probably your best bet.