Losing weight by getting fit is one of the most common New Year’s resolutions, but it is tricky to maintain. While exercising at any time of the day is beneficial, if you’re looking to achieve optimum results in terms of weight loss, the timing of your workout is crucial.
If you’re struggling to make it to that 6am HIIT class, or you are tempted to skip gym after work, it may be because you are not exercising at the right time for your body. When it comes to exercise, people can be divided into two groups — early birds and night owls — and not trying to fight that could help you stay motivated.
Ben Bulach, the training specialist from fitness app Freeletics, said, “Although there is no right or wrong time to exercise, there is a time of day when your body and mind are in full working order and you can get the most out of your workout.” According to Bulach, morning training is likely to be better for you. “Some people experience problems with sleep after they’ve trained too close to going to bed, because their adrenalin level is high, their brain is active and it’s difficult to wind down. If your schedule allows, try a morning session and compare your sleep to when you train in the morning. Morning workouts are said to kick start your metabolism, so you may even burn more calories during the day.”
If you only have time to exercise in the evening, he suggests being careful about what kind of workout you do: “People notice differences between cardio and weightlifting. After cardio, they sleep like a rock, whereas after weightlifting they are too energised to sleep.” He explained there are two reasons why morning exercise tackles this issue. “Firstly, our willpower is said to be strongest in the morning, and secondly, it stops other things getting in the way of a training workout. By getting your workout done first thing in the morning, you can enjoy all your social events without having to use them as an excuse,” he said.
There’s another bonus to getting your gym routine done by lunch. “If you hate queuing for weights at the gym and this puts you off going, the gym will normally will be less crowded in the earlier hours,” he revealed. He further added, “This means you can complete your workout without interruptions or fight for weights or machines.”
But, morning exercise might not be for you if your body doesn’t respond well to fasted workouts. “Many experience dizziness during an early morning session and it usually occurs because they have not fuelled their body enough before training,” warned Bulach.