YOUR BEST TIME TO EXERCISE
It turns out that there’s a big difference between working out in the morning, noon, or night. Follow these tips to decide on the routine that works best for you
According to research, there’s an optimal time of day to break a sweat, depending on what you want to get out of your workout. Whether it’s at the crack of dawn, right smack in the middle of your work day, or after a long day at the office, you’ll be better off picking a routine that aligns with your long-term fitness goals. Make sure it’s something that you enjoy as that will keep you motivated and increase the chances of you successfully sticking with it.
Here’re the benefits of working out at different times of the day:
If you haven’t already heard, morning workouts are great for kick-starting your metabolism early. As your body would have fasted overnight, you’re also more likely to burn fat. Research shows that exercising after a fast burns more fat stores (instead of the carbohydrates obtained from food).
In addition, exercising in the morning also has an effect on your appetite. A US study found that women are more likely to eat less for breakfast and make healthier food choices after a 45-minute morning workout. So aim for 45 minutes of moderate exercise like yoga and Pilates, or vigorous exercise such as jogging every morning, for that extra energy boost to last you through the rest of the day!
Trying to perform at your best? Try working out in the afternoon. Your body’s temperature is highest at this time, which may boost the quality of your exercise, shows a study.
You’re also 20 per cent more flexible than you are in the morning, as your muscles will have warmed up by then from you being up and about. Between 2pm and 6pm, your muscle strength is at its peak, and your risk of injury is at its lowest.
Exercising in the evening is best for is you want to sleep more soundly at night. The magic hour for exercise is around 7pm. And studies show that slow stretching, resistance exercise, and strength training are best for improving your sleep quality. Stay away from late night aerobic exercises though, as those can make it harder to fall asleep.
After a long, intense day at the office, moderate exercise can have a big effect on de-stressing and help you to unwind. If you’re looking for yoga or Pilates classes to help your body wind down at the end of a long day, check out The Yoga School’s evening classes. Unlike most commercial yoga studios where classes are sometimes packed with up to 40 students, classes here are deliberately kept small and cosy, allowing teachers to focus better on individuals and monitor their postural alignment. Try Kundalini Yoga and Meditation, which incorporates breathing exercises, or Restorative Yoga, a nurturing practice that’s supported by props, allowing you to completely relax and rest.