Doing a short exercise routine every day can have a range of benefits. It gets your heart rate going, lifts your mood and gets you ready to face the rest of the day. In reference to what some mental health experts say, there many different types of counseling (even if it’s free) that recommend physical activity, many of which are linked to reducing depression, stress, and illness.
In the end, the question isn’t whether or not exercise is good for you. It’s what time is it best for you to do it?
Is There A ‘Best Time’ To Work Out?
To consider the ‘best’ time to work out it’s important to see when physical activity reaps the most benefits.
Time can be subjective, as suggested by Russell Pate, a professor of ‘exercise science’ at the University of Carolina. He believes that the best time is when you will be most consistent with your exercise.
Accordingly, you may decide to consider your schedule and pick a time when you are free every day. This would mean breaking up your physical activity into 30-minute sessions every day. This is based on the recommendations made by the American Heart Association which suggested that a person needs between 75 to 150 minutes of exercise a week. The length of time in this recommendation is dependent on the type of exercise you do.
Aldana, the author of ‘the Stop and Go’ guide, believes that you should change your exercise routine, depending on the time of day. This is very important advice that you should consider carefully. What exercise are you doing, and what effects will it have on your body?
Considering Your Body
Everyone has a ‘body clock’. This is where the distinction between an ‘early bird’ and a ‘night owl’ comes in.
When considering your inner clock, or circadian rhythm, it’s important to see when you are most active and plan your exercise schedule accordingly. This is important because your body’s rhythm affects your blood pressure, heart rate, hormone levels, and body temperature, all of which affect your ability to exercise.
But does this mean that there is no evidence behind exercising at a specific time?
Morning Exercise: To Do Or Not To Do?
Morning is the best time to exercise if you have trouble being consistent. According to Cedric Bryant, a chief ‘American Council on Exercise’ science officer, people who exercise in the morning will have developed a regular routine. This is because they can get their physical activity out of the way before the pressures of life take over.
When Insomnia Comes To Play, Exercise In The Evening
Insomnia is a monster that can ruin daily routines. As ironic as it may sound, a regular bedtime can help to beat it. This means tiring yourself out before you hit the sack.
However, as shown by Sally A. White, the dean and professor at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, you need to make sure your body is in a ‘rest zone’, or else it will not be ready to sleep. This means that exercising too late can actually work against you.
If you decide to exercise in the evening, it’s important to try a few yoga moves right after your workout, rather than a full-on cardio workout hours before you sleep. The key is to help your body relax, giving it enough time to regulate its temperature and heart rate before bedtime.
A Midday Break
Try exercising in the afternoon, if you have trouble getting out of bed in the morning. It will allow you to get your adrenaline pumping, without having to fight your body at 5 a.m.
If you have a lunch break, why not take 10 minutes and do a few exercises in the corner of a meeting room? It’ll be easier to do, especially if your colleagues get involved and make the habit consistent. Just don’t eat first. There’s no need to make yourself sick!
In the end, developing a habit is the most important thing!