Some people swear by early morning jogs, as it gives them a kick to start the day.
Some love to sweat out at the end of the day to let out all frustrations and worries from their minds and bodies.
The best time to workout should be based on your goal and the time when your body performs the best. But more than the performance, it’s a matter of consistency. Performance can be developed over a period, but for that, you need to be true to your routine for a long enough period.
Different times of the day have different benefits. Though, to realize any of these benefits, you need to stick to any routine for a certain duration.
But first, we will need to understand how our body clock works.
Understanding your body clock
How your body reacts to the natural light determines when you will have the highest physical and mental awareness. This phenomenon is referred to as our circadian rhythm. This body rhythm is based on your sleep and waking cycle.
PS: The effects of different circadian cycles are only relevant for individuals who follow a definite sleep routine.
The body rhythm governs core body functions such as body temperature, blood pressure, and hormone levels, all of which play a role in your body’s readiness for exercise.
Based on circadian rhythm, there can be 2 types of people – Larks and Owls. While Larks wake up early morning feeling energetic, Owls find it difficult to start the day before noon.
Influence of Circadian rhythm on your body
There are certain physical trends that the body of people with normal circadian rhythm follows. For this we need to understand how our body functions or feels at different times of the day.
Morning : Sugar levels are low in the morning, which stimulates fat loss. High Testosterone in the morning helps to rebuild muscles and damaged fibers after weight training. More than anything, mornings are the best for being consistent. Working out the first thing in the day eliminates the chances of missing it due to work pressure or higher stress during the day.
Afternoon : Because of high pain tolerance of the body during afternoons, you can experiment with different workout techniques. The energy levels might be low but the body temperature is higher than morning and starts rising during the late afternoon. Though, getting into a routine during this time of the day is the most difficult, as you will need to interrupt your daily chores (office, work, college) to get to the gym.
Evening : Body temperature and strength are at its peak in the evening. Body is more flexible to take different challenges and this helps you push harder. Evenings are a great time, except for late evenings, say post 9 PM. At that time, the body starts to prepare itself for sleep, and that reduces the body function performance.
What’s the best time for you to workout
How your body behaves at different times of the day, is unique to you. You may feel energetic in the evening but your schedule doesn’t let you be consistent, then you should try morning. If you have facilities around your workplace, you can step out for a workout during lunch. It may give you a little break from the first half of the day and re-energizes you for the remaining day.
I have slipped out from my desk for an hour to workout at my office gym. I have also tried 9-6 timing at work, to be able to hit the gym at around 7 PM. But the timing I have stuck to the most, is the morning slot. Here is why –
- I barely skip my workouts, since that’s the first thing I do.
- I don’t have to make a choice between my workouts and dinner outings when such an unplanned event comes up.
- I stay energetic and my mood remains upbeat through the day. This also improves my interaction with my co-workers.
- I get amazing sleep, and I wake up totally-fresh-ready-to-workout in the morning.
Now, when you have basic understanding, it’s time to start examining your body clock. Once you get used to a certain rhythm, stick to it at any cost.
Working out is a routine that takes time to develop. The most important aspect of workouts is, that you DO IT CONSISTENTLY.
When you are just starting, you will have to push yourself every day, but once you form a habit, your body will prepare itself.
Practice a routine enough, until you get into the rhythm and it will start coming to you naturally.