Many people prefer waking up at the crack of dawn to exercise. But does the early bird always get the worm? Well, not really. When it comes to exercising, research shows that working out in the evening has its own set of advantages. Take a look below to see how the timing of your workout can benefit you:
Improves Sleep Quality: A 2011 study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that people who worked out in the morning, experienced a reduction in blood pressure at night, slept longer, and went through deeper sleep cycles as compared to people who exercised at other times of the day.
Boosts Energy Throughout The Day: Working out boosts mood-elevating substances such as endorphins, which can help boost your mood as you take on the day. As a result, morning workouts result in better energy levels throughout the day and increase your level of alertness.
Aids Weight Loss: A 2010 study published in the Journal of Physiology found that a pre-breakfast workout session helped dieters achieve better weight loss results because the body burns a greater percentage of fat for energy during exercise rather than depending on carbs from food. Working out in the morning also revs up metabolism and in many cases helps dieters be more conscious of their food intake throughout the day.
Helps Maintain Consistency: Working out first thing in the morning helps maintain a consistent habit of being physically active. A person is less likely to skip a workout due to scheduling issues, appointments, procrastination and other distractions, if he or she dedicates some time in the morning to exercise.
Improves Efficiency at Work: If you are experiencing an afternoon slump, a workout session can boost your energy and efficiency. According to experts, the body temperature is higher in the afternoon, which means muscles and joints are more ready for exercise. This not only enhances your workout, it also lowers the risk of injury.
Builds Muscle Strength and Muscle Size: A 1998 study published in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports Exercise observed how time of day affected muscular performance. It was found that muscle strength tends to be at its lowest in the morning and peaks in the evening. Hence the full potential of the workout session can be unlocked.
A 2009 study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research also found there are greater gains in muscle size when trainers work out during the evening hours.
Aids Weight Loss: A 2010 study published in The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness found that evening strolls were more beneficial for post-menopausal women in terms of weight loss than morning strolls. Evening workouts were also found to change women’s dietary habits. They were more likely to eat breakfast – a habit that can reduce risk of obesity, diabetes etc.
So, what time should you hit the gym (rr the dance studio, or the tennis court …)? The simple answer is that it depends on your fitness goals. Are you trying to lose weight? Maybe you are trying to gain muscle mass? Or perhaps your goal is to sleep better? Use the above information to determine a suitable workout timing for yourself. However, always remember: consistency is key – that means it’s best to work out whenever you’re able to stick with it on a daily basis!
Speaking of workouts, come join us at tomorrow night's (Aug 16) workout session on Sanfine's rooftop before cooling off with a movie screening on the big screen at the opening of the new Skylight Cinema! Check out the poster below for the schedule:
This article is sponsored by Sanfine Hospital.
Photos courtesy of Sanfine Hospital
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