Continuing from Part 1…
WHEN TO DO IT THEN?
Now, if you read the first part, you’d be wondering , well, you pointed out the problem, but where’s the solution? Well, read on.
If you’ve read my past posts, you know that I’m not a fan of “one size fits all” approach. I don’t like to generalize and my one and only answer to any non-specific i.e. a generalized question is “It depends”.
So, in this case, I’m gonna write the “It depends” part in a longer way.
WORKING OUT IN THE MORNING.
Firstly, you have to keep in mind that living organism have a tendency to adapt to the environment and circumstances they’re subjected to. Our body is no different and it will adapt to the lifestyle you will put it through. The only thing, that adaptation might not be a good one and your body might deteriorate over time due to it.
So, to begin, what you need to understand is working out in the morning or evening isn’t better than one another. They just have different benefits. What does matter is what I discussed in the first half. Consistency.
There have been many studies on why it’s beneficial to workout in the morning. These studies have stated that working out in the morning can help with your metabolism. Since exercising activates your sympathetic nervous system and as a result makes your body utilize more of your stored up resources, working out in the morning, especially cardio helps better with losing weight due to calorie burning being at its all time high in the morning, reaching its peak in the afternoon and declining throughout the rest of the day.
Another thing is, due to the fact that our stress levels are higher after we’ve worked out, our body won’t be able to relax and get proper sleep after an evening workout session as compared to a morning one. Our sleep is likely to be affected by working out in the evening when our body is trying to slow down (according to our natural circadian rhythm), and it’ll have to speed up instead in order for it to be able to sustain the exertion.
Another added benefit of morning workout is that if you get the exercising out of the way in the morning, you won’t have to worry about missing a session because you’re tired from work in the evening.
NOT EVENING, FINE. BUT WHAT ABOUT THE AFTERNOON?
Yes, afternoon. It’s not quite evening or morning, it’s right in the middle. Our body’s ability to be at optimal performance reaches its peak at around 1-2pm according to some studies. (Note that there isn’t much strong evidence of this research, but I’ll post links down there for you to know the context of it all).
But what this study suggests that your temperature at this point reaches its max and your muscles at this point have become quite ‘fluid’, as in movement-wise. Which would give you quite the advantage in any calisthenic or weight training workouts. Now, remember, since it ‘peaks’ at around two, it would mean that you’d start at around 1 pm, if you were to aim for that time frame for an hour long session.
Cognitively speaking, our reaction time is said to be at its highest in the afternoon. Apparently, it has something to do with our evolutionary roots. Basically, it was helpful to be quick and fast and fully functioning at this time in order to be able to catch and kill food. So, if we are to follow that train of thought, it’d make sense to do any kind of workout that requires endurance, quick, fluid and rapid movements like Martial Arts Training or HIIT, around that time.
Now, contrary to the point about sleeping made above, while there were people who didn’t get a good night’s sleep after working out in the evening, there were some cases, where people actually slept better at night after a solid workout session. So, nothing’s ever truly written in stone.
SO WHAT’S THE CONCLUSION THEN?
Conclusion is quite simple really, both have their benefits and less benefits, based on what your goals are, you can choose whichever time best fits you, based on the type of person you are and based on how your body reacts to such activities at a particular time of day.
There is something that is of absolute importance though. It is to stick to your workout routine and be consistent in it. Because your body will adapt to the lifestyle you choose and adaptation takes time. If you keep bouncing around, your body will never have time to adapt to anything and you will find it extremely difficult to get your desired results.
Same goes for eating, sleeping and everything else. Just remember, our brain and our bodies, are really good at adapting to new situations and environments, given enough time and if we let them.
Basically, as always and with everything, you know best (as long as you know yourself). So, you will have to test out the best time for you, morning, afternoon, whatever, based on your lifestyle, then either adapt your lifestyle to your workout sessions or the other way around and let your body adjust and adapt to it, but that won’t be enough, as you will then have to keep at it in order to see visible results. If you don’t, well, let’s just say, I’m experiencing the results of stopping my workouts for over a month right now. And it does not feel good. No one wants that.
Sorry for the anti-climactic ending, but that’s life. No perfect answer exists in a vacuum. Virtually everything is open-ended and subjective. My mission with this blog is to provide raw information, things as they are, it’s up to you, whoever reads this, to use it as you please and share or throw it away.
That’s it. If you made it this far. Thanks for reading. Like, comment, share, tell me what you thought about the post.