When is the best time for you to workout?
Is it the morning, the evening or in the middle of the afternoon?
In the video I talk through a number of different scenarios and I look at how you should be thinking when it comes to going to the gym and working out.
As the exercise director at the leading personal training company in Lancashire I get asked this question quite a lot. Why? Because it’s as important as many other aspects of your health and fitness. The best answer will depend on you as an individual.
Training Time is Individual
If we were to talk about the best time for either of us training then it’s important to think that the best time for me or your friend isn’t necessarily the best time for you and your body. They will be two completely different answers and will depend on a multitude of different things.
For some people they can only workout at certain times of the day (before work or after) due to work, family commitments and other things that are happening.
If this is you then don’t worry too much about when is optimal. You have a busy life and the most important thing here is that you make time to train when it’s convenient. If it’s a choice between training at a convenient time to train and not working out because the “optimal” time you’re told to workout you’re always busy then choose to workout.
Heading to the gym and you actually doing your fitness session is more important than not doing it: that is one factor that will help boost your fitness and motivational levels, and get you healthy.
It’s ALWAYS better to do something rather than nothing.
If You’ve Got Options
Let’s take the example where you have a few different options of when you can actually exercise then you have a few choices:
- first thing in the morning before work
- after you’ve finished work
- late on in the evening
When is going to be optimal for you?
Well, it depends.
It depends on when your energy is going to be the highest. When you will get the most from that fitness workout.
It’s the time when your brain and your body is the most fired up and you’ve got the most energy.
For me, my optimal training time is going to be around 2pm in the afternoon. That’s linked to how I’ve conditioned my body and trained over the years, but it’s also to do with that’s the time when I have the most energy (because I’ve had plenty to eat and I’m fully fueled) and want to really hit my workouts hard.
There are times though when I’ve got a lot of energy in the morning so I will slip a workout in then because it just feels right. Then, at other times I might train in the evening because I haven’t had time during the day (life gets in the way for everyone now and again).
If your body is well balanced and you’re waking up feeling refreshed and vitalised, when would be the best and the most optimal time for you to workout?
It’s going to be first thing in the morning when your cortisol levels are higher and your body wants to exercise. On a health basis exercising in the morning is better because your stress hormones (cortisol: a training stress release hormone) should be higher and we want these cortisol levels to be relatively high when we exercise.
This is where you work with your body’s natural rhythm with producing hormones in its natural way.
If you exercise early in your day then you encourage your cortisol levels to natural go down during the day and then encourage the production of melatonin (sleep hormone) and that increases to help you get to sleep at night.
Optimal Isn’t Always How Life Works
The above is optimal for the human body, but it isn’t necessarily going to be best for you (your optimal time to workout)
- You might be on a shift pattern that’s different
- You might need to sort the kids out first
- You start work early
The most important thing is that you get your workouts in and you take your body in the direction where you want it to go. Then, as you get more control over your body’s rhythms, you can get a few morning workouts in.
But, if you can’t workout in the morning then don’t stress about it because it’s one of those things that you can’t control.