Working out is incredibly important for our health, our wellbeing and in attaining that ‘beach bod.’ But when is prime workout time? I know for a fact that when I post my Insta at 9:30, it’ll get the most likes, but when it comes to knowing when my workout will be the most effective? I’ve got absolutely no idea.
After extensive research, it’s evident that there is no specific ‘prime workout time.’ However, there might be a time that works best for you — and there are several factors that go into this.
Research does show that people who work out in the morning tend to have the most reliable schedule because “they get their exercise in before other time pressures interfere,” but this doesn’t work for everyone. Essentially, the time of day that you work out hardly matters — what matters is that you make it into a clear cut pattern and put a place for it in your schedule.
There are benefits to working out both in the early morning and in the afternoon. Working out in the am typically helps us lower our blood pressure and helps us sleep better at night. Studies on afternoon workouts show that as our body temperature increases in late afternoon, enzyme activity and muscular function increase, too — so there could potentially be a peak between 2pm and 6pm.
Essentially, picking the best time for your workout is up to you. If you’re not a morning person, then the afternoon is probably more effective. If you’re able to jump out of bed at 8am before your 10am class, then knock that workout out of the way. You won’t have to think about it for the rest of the day.
More importantly than the time of day that you’re working out is knowing whether to eat, how much to eat and what to eat before you hit the gym or head out for a run.
First off, we must once and for all completely abandon the idea that avoiding food before a workout will help us burn more calories. Food is essential to our bodies, especially during a workout. Here’s why.
Your body needs sugar to exercise. Without it, your body starts eating away at your muscles – which is the complete opposite of what you’re trying to do when you’re working out. Just like your car needs gas to run (sorry), your body needs food and energy to perform at its best.
Have a healthy snack about 45 minutes before beginning your workout. This will give you more energy to work harder and train better – burning more calories and improving muscle tone. The best snacks are stuffed with carbs and protein – apple with almond butter, yogurt with berries.
So ladies n’ gents: get enough sleep, eat heartily and get your workouts in – at whatever time of the day you’d like. Working out isn’t like Instagram. There’s no time that’ll bring better results – so you do you.