Generally, the best time to exercise is anytime you can drag yourself to the gym. Life can be hectic, and most of us have to coordinate and manage schedules that include family, work, school, and other responsibilities and obligations.
However, depending on your training goal(s), there may be some logic to scheduling your workout based on the benefits you wish to achieve:
- If you have a stressful event scheduled, like a test or meeting, exercising just before it can lessen your body’s physiological reaction to stress by helping your brain turn off its stress response.
- If you have trouble sleeping, try exercising before bed. Although some believe exercising before bed makes it harder to fall asleep, new research shows that people who exercise at any time of day or night sleep better than those who don’t (yoga seems to work best).
- For injury prevention, exercise in the early evening. If you’re prone to strained muscles and soreness, your “cold” muscles may not be ready to jump out of bed and workout. Try exercising between 4 PM and 8 PM, when your core temperature is generally at its highest level.
- If you want to lose weight, get your workout in before breakfast. People who exercised before breakfast burned about 20 percent more fat compared with a group who ate breakfast first, according to a recent study published in the British Journal of Nutrition.
- If you want to improve your muscle tone, try exercising after dinner. The increase in core body temperature later in the day can translate to an improvement in exercise performance. Muscle strength increases slightly, coordination is better, and your VO2 max (the amount of oxygen delivered to muscles) rises. It’s a small improvement, but these factors my enable you to work a bit longer and harder.
Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!