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Some people are the type that wake up at the crack of dawn to hit the gym. I’ve always been envious of those folks. How great it must feel to have your workout already done before 8:00 a.m! But not me. I am a 6 p.m. exerciser. For most of my life I headed to the gym right after work, battling traffic and lining up for a parking space. For those of us evening exercisers, it also means fighting the masses for floor space in a group exercise class, or access to the weight equipment. Then there are those souls that actually exercise in the middle of the day….on their lunch breaks! While having to take the time to shower, reapply makeup and rush back to work doesn’t sound like much fun to me, but if it works for them, then hats off!
But, is there really a BEST time of day to exercise? Would I have more energy and better circulation if I were to switch to the a.m.? Would a.m. exercisers avoid injury or work out harder if they swapped their morning workout for an evening session?
As you might have suspected, morning, noon and evening workouts each have their benefits. Let’s look at some of the benefits of working out at each of these times.
1) Studies show that morning exercisers are more likely to stick with their exercise habits. This is because everyday disruptions don’t have a chance to get in the way of your workout the way they sometimes do in the evening. As long as you’re able to drag yourself out of bed, you’ll get your exercise in.
2) Morning workouts give your metabolism a boost early in the day. This will help you burn more calories in the morning and will leave you feeling energized.
3) Physical activity early in the morning increases blood flow to the brain and can improve mental acuity, making you more productive at work.
4) Morning may be the best time to exercise to avoid sleep disruptions that can sometimes be caused by exercising too late in the day.
TIP: If you do exercise in the morning, be sure to do a good warm up to avoid injury. Eight hours of sleeping in the same position leaves muscles and joints stiff, so start off easy with a short walk and some light stretching. Avoid deep, intense stretches before working out.
PROS OF LUNCH TIME WORKOUTS
1) For folks that work a day job and find it very difficult to schedule a time to work out, lunch break workouts may be the best. Many people walk with co-workers on their 30 minute or 1 hour long lunch breaks. While some might hit the gym for sweatier lunch time workouts, this might be prohibitive for others who don’t have the time to work out, shower and get dressed again before heading back to their desks.
2) Midday workouts often offer the benefit of having colleagues or co-workers as workout buddies. Coming together in healthy pursuits at work makes us more likely to succeed at our health goals. After all, we spend MOST of our time at work and with our co-workers, so they’re the ideal partners in health.
3) Noon workouts can help moderate your appetite, both for lunch itself as well as afternoon snacks. They also give you an afternoon energy boost, helping you to avoid trips to the vending machine or that late afternoon frappe.
TIP: If you work out on the lunch hour, eat AFTER you exercise. This keeps you feeling light and energized during your workout and helps avoid stomach cramps.
THE BENEFITS OF LATE AFTERNOON AND EVENING WORKOUTS
1) Muscles are already warm and flexible by late afternoon, so there is less risk of exercise induced injury. While a warm up is still important, just a few minutes might be enough.
2) Body temperature and hormone levels are at their highest in the after work hours, so this is the best time to work out for both endurance and muscle building. Lung function is also at its best.
3) Exercising at this hour can help moderate your appetite for dinner, helping you to avoid late night snacking and unhealthy choices.
4) Evening exercise is great for stress relief after a tough day at work.
TIP: If you’re an evening exerciser, don’t exercise too late in the day. Night time exercise raises your body’s temperature and heart rate, interfering with your desire and ability to go to sleep.
Whatever time of day you work out, it’s important to make the most of your precious time. With Athlean-XX for Women, you won’t need those 2 hour gym sessions anymore! That’s right…just 30 minutes of your time is enough to produce the results you want to see: weight loss and a toned athletic body. Our workouts are based on circuit strength training, which allows you to get both strength and heart-pumping cardio in one shot! The best part is that they can be done either at home or at the gym – whatever works best for you. Our nutrition plan is equally flexible, providing 90 days of meal plans that you can follow, or allowing you to simply create your own meals from our lists of healthy foods. We actually encourage you to eat more frequently – 5 to 6 times per day, and no calorie counting! Eat more, work out less and get lean and toned with Athlean-XX for Women!
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