Question: “What time of day should I workout for best results?”
The answer isn’t as easy as you may think. No two of us are exactly alike, so we should note a number of factors when deciding what works best for us. Let’s weigh the pros and cons of three common workouts….
Training first thing in the day offers many pluses. It fires up your metabolism, and will burn more calories at rest all through the day! It also gets it over with! There is less chance of you making an excuse to bail on the workout if it’s first thing in the morning. You can experience increased mental clarity, energy and productivity due to increased blood flow and oxygen to the brain and muscles!
Sounds great, right? It is – unless you’re someone who finds it tough to get your motor going first thing in the day. This is common, and there’s nothing wrong with you if this is the case. It’s just the way your physiology is and you’ll be more productive later in the day. Workout intensity can suffer if you’re trying to force it when the mojo isn’t there! Time is also an issue, and if you have a long commute and would only be able to get a 15 minute workout in, AM training may not be for you.
Lunch workouts are quite common. Busy multitaskers hit the gyms that are on almost every major city block – or even in office buildings! Squeezing in a 45 minute mid-day workout is great – your energy may be at its highest, and a lunchtime workout can also help you to avoid the 3pm slump. Also, you can have a lot of fun partnering up with a buddy at work! Best of all, training this time of day doesn’t cut in to your sleep or after work fun. Unfortunately, you can’t have the sweet without the sour.
Here are a few things that ruin the fun of lunchtime training:
You may not have time for a meal afterward, and post workout nutrition is extremely important. It may be difficult to squeeze in a proper workout. since you’ll need to shower, change, and get back to your desk. Plus, some people feel a little heavy post workout and need time to cool down and relax.
There are many pros to training in the evening, like having the entire day to psych yourself up for the workout. Knowing your day at the office is done, you can focus and give the workout the attention it deserves! Another reason to train in the evening – my personal fave – is the post-workout nutrition. Post workout is the best time to consume carbs like brown rice, sweet potato, or whole wheat pasta. This can make it easy to go from work, to gym, to dinner with friends or a date!
With all those good things to motivate you to an evening workout, it’s hard to believe there are negatives. Reality bites though, and here’s what it’s eating:
You may find it hard to sacrifice extra time after work, or It might affect your sleep if you train too close to bed. Plus, the gym might be too busy during these peak hours.
Remember, at the end of the day this is about you and what works best for you. Listen to your body, pay attention to what it’s trying to tell you, but most importantly, don’t skip the workout! Excuses don’t get you results – staying accountable does! Happy training!