Can time of day make a difference to your workout and the results you get from training? For some of us, jumping out of bed and heading out for a run or directly to the gym is the only way to start the day and for others the though of breaking a sweat any time before noon is anathema. Our body’s circadian rhythm determines whether we’re night owls or early birds, and there’s not a lot we can do to change this. Using your body clock as a guide for when to exercise makes good sense, but there are so many other issues to factor in: work and family schedule, commute, gym hours and if you are a walker or runner daylight may be a factor as well.
One of the most important factors to consider when determining your best time of day for exercise, is to ensure that it easily fits into your routine. Our best advice would be to trial different times of day. Spend a few weeks getting out of bed early and getting your workout out of the way. Then try midday and evenings. You’ll quickly realise which suits your body rhythms and daily schedule.
Here are a few tips we can share about exercise patterns, timing and how best to choose what’s right for you:
Mornings For Consistency
If you have a tendency to accept an invitation for lunch or post-work drinks when you would normally go to the gym, schedule your exercise for first thing in the morning.
Midday For Improved Sleep Patterns
Late night exercise and post training meals will raise your heart rate and body temperature which can disrupt your regular sleep patterns. Early morning exercise for a person with irregular sleep patters can cause additional problems given that you may go to bed anxious about your early wake-up time.
Evenings for Stress Relief
If you find that exercise is relieves tension and stress, helps you think more clearly after a long day, then by all means have a good workout in the evenings but make sure you have a chance to eat afterwards with enough time to wind down before hitting the pillow!
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