Everyone has a routine. Some of us get up at the crack of dawn, don our workout gear, and head out for a quick run before work. Others might wait until after dinner to head to the gym, or try to squeeze in a quick session during lunch. And every person seems to think that the time they workout is the best. But each time has its advantages and disadvantages.
Exercising in the morning can be very rewarding – if you can wake up. For some, it’s a lot easier to get up in the morning and stick to a routine than if you exercise in the evening after long day at work.
Exercising in the morning can also help your sleep patterns. Studies have shown that exercising after 8 p.m. can have negative effects on sleep by raising your heart rate and increasing body temperature. Also, knowing you have to get up early to hit the gym may make you get to bed earlier, giving you extra energy throughout the day.
If you’re going to exercise in the morning, though, don’t forget to get some energy before heading out. Many individuals think that doing a quick bout of cardio on an empty stomach helps burn fat, which is true in the short term, but in the long term, no positive effects have been found. The only thing you’ll do if you exercise on an empty stomach is make yourself more hungry after. Before you exercise, try a banana, peanut butter, and toast for a quick, healthy energy boost.
Afternoon and Evening Exercise
With an afternoon exercise, you don’t have to worry about feeling tired or groggy while going through your workout. Since you’ve been fueling up throughout the day, you’re likely to have more energy (and can therefore burn more by working out longer).
Also, exercising after work can help relieve the stress you’ve built up throughout the day. Exercise is great a bringing down cortisol levels. Also known as the ‘stress hormone,’ cortisol is caused by excessive stress, and it has been linked to increased fat production and junk food consumption. By bringing down cortisol levels, you can help make your body healthier in more ways than one.
Since the usual after-work routine involves eating dinner before a workout, it’s important to remember to wait at least half an hour before you go to exercise. If you exercise too soon after eating, your body is fighting itself for resources, and blood flow to your muscles and digestive tract can be interrupted. Plus, the food you’ve just eaten needs time to become energy. Wait anywhere from half an hour to 90 minutes, depending on how big your meal is.
Fit in Fitness
When exercising, there are plenty of things that affect how efficient you work. Perhaps one of the most important is consistency. If you choose to exercise in the afternoon, continue working out in the afternoon. The same goes for the morning. Your body – and your hormones – becomes accustomed to the cycles you create, naturally giving you energy at the times that you most need it. By keeping your routine consistent, you’ll have more energy, keep yourself accountable, and be more likely to succeed.
So when’s really the best time to exercise? Whenever you can. Anything is better than being completely sedentary. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Park a little farther away from the entrance when you drive to work or the grocery store. Make time to fit in fitness and your body will thank you.
One of the big dangers of breaking consistency in your workout routine are injuries. As we said earlier, your body becomes accustomed to certain routines and will naturally give you more energy at specific times if you need it. But, if you break out of that routine, you’re putting yourself at risk for injury because your body won’t be ready for the stresses brought on by exercise.
If you do experience injury during exercise, come to Airrosti. We take the time to find the root cause of your pain and fix it fast so you can get back to doing what you love. At the first sign of pain, visit your nearest Airrosti location and see how we treat your pain differently.