When Should You Work out?
This is something that people have debated about for years. Everyone wants to optimize their returns when it comes to working out, therefore, everyone is always looking for that upper hand. One of those areas tends to be the timing of your workout. Is it better in the morning, afternoon, or evening? What will get you the best results? What is the most effective?
The thing is, they all work about the same. What really matters is preference. Is it going to work around your schedule or cause an issue? What availability do you have in the day to make it to the gym? If it will make getting to the gym more consistent for you, then that is the time you should go.
Most people find compliance to a workout plan difficult, when the time is tough to make. That’s why they make 24-hour gyms now!
No time is perfect, but there are some reasons for choosing one over the other in some cases.
A Great Start to the Day
A ton of people take advantage of the morning workout time because they find it to be a great start for their day. It really gets the momentum going and that carries them into the rest of their day.
This has actually become quite popular in recent years. High performers and CEO’s are lining up outside the gym in the AM hours to get their morning routine started. This is something that most successful/busy people do. There is even a group of people who follow this as a form of discipline, and if it helps you stay on track, then by all means do it!
It can provide some cognitive benefits throughout your day when you get up this early. Often times we want to slowly move into the day. With an early morning workout, the brain starts working ASAP. It gets that rush of blood and truly starts to operate on a higher level. So, if you need that extra brain power in your day, this may be a good option for you.
Most people don’t like the morning because they haven’t had time to eat, and they enjoy sleeping in a little longer.
It should be advised that if you are someone who stay up late, then you may want to avoid early morning workouts. Sleep is crucial for your recovery and you don’t want to sacrifice that for a workout. “Don’t step over quarters to pick up pennies.”
Around the early afternoon can be peak time for performance. This is due to the fact that your body is warm. By this point in your day, you have moved some, had some food, and blood is flowing. This primes the body to be able to move the best and maybe even perform better.
Thus, why a lot of people prefer their workouts to be in the afternoon.
It is important. A higher body temperature helps to keeps the joints warm, which can even lead to a lower level of injury. This is why you may see some people wearing hoodies or warmer clothes during a workout. They aren’t hiding anything; they’re just keeping their body warm.
It is also beneficial for some to have eaten a meal. Most will get up, eat breakfast, and then find their way to the gym. Having that fuel in your body does help to fuel a workout, especially if it’s something that is intense. Most would call that a pre-workout meal.
Afternoon is a hard time for some people to make. By this time, most 9-5’ers are at work. They may be able to slip in on a lunch break, but other than that there isn’t much room for an afternoon workout.
It’s a prime time, but it doesn’t work for most people’s schedule.
Rounding Out the Day
If you’ve ever gone to the gym at 5pm or later, you know exactly what to expect. It is packed! This is one of the most popular gym times. This is due to the fact that everyone is finally off work. While it may not be fun to drag into the gym after a long day of work, this is the time that works best.
It’s common to see people coming in with work clothes on to trade out for the gym shoes. Again, whatever helps you to get your workout in is best!
You may feel a little stronger at this point in your day because you’ve eaten a couple meals at this point. So, some people prefer to keep this time regardless.
There may be a wait time for equipment, however. With the place being packed it may get a little tough to be time efficient.
In addition to this popular time, some will even come later at night around 8PM. This way it isn’t so crowded, and they can have a little more freedom to choose what can be used.
Rounding the day out with a workout is great! Just avoid having pre-workout or stimulants that late in the day if you want quality sleep.
It Really Doesn’t Matter
Regardless of what you choose, so long as there is something happening, you should be good. Getting in the gym and doing something is a lot better than doing nothing. Time is going to be an excuse for most people. That’s why it’s important to find a gym that works around your schedule. Don’t make things harder than they have to be.