🏋️‍♂️Learn, “Why the timing of a workout can boost your wellness program”

 In Corporate Wellness, fitness, health, high intensity intervals, high intensity training, weight loss, Wellness Programs

It can be difficult to find time in your busy daily schedule to exercise. There are numerous benefits to exercise including increased energy, prevention of diseases, and improvement in sleep quality. When we do exercise, we tend to find squeeze it in when we can. When you exercise, you want to make this the most efficient use of your time and get the most benefit from it.

So, does it matter whether you work out first thing in the morning, in the afternoon, or in the evening? Does the timing of your exercise have any impact on fat loss, performance, or sleep? Let us look at what science has to stay about this topic.

The Argument for Morning Exercise

When you exercise in the morning, this is often done in a fasted state, meaning that you have not eaten anything since the night before. There is evidence to support, that working out in the morning, in a fasted state, is the best way to burn stored fat, supporting and expediting weight loss. When you exercise in the morning, the body’s hormonal composition predisposes you to better metabolise fat. In the morning, people naturally have elevated levels of cortisol and growth hormone, both of which are involved in metabolism. These increased levels of cortisol and growth hormone assist in drawing more energy form your fat reserves. Also, your body is deprived of glucose since you have not eaten anything. The research supports that when training in a glucose-deprived state, it induces adaptations, which improves fuel efficiency and utilization during exercise.

Other research suggests that morning exercise may lead to a decreased appetite throughout the day, resulting in fewer calories being consumed and allowing your body to maintain a caloric deficit. Exercise modestly counteracts the effect of excessive energy intake by increasing energy expenditure and may help prevent weight gain and obesity. Research has shown that 45 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous exercise in the morning can reduce a person’s motivation for food[1].

In addition to your body better-utilizing fat stores, exercising in the morning can shift your circadian rhythm or your body’s internal clock. The circadian rhythms impact virtually all physiological functions in human beings by defining the body’s internal environment, which changes predictably over a day and exercising in the morning may result in you feeling more alert throughout the day, increasing productivity while decreasing stress levels. This shift in your circadian rhythm may also lead to you getting more tired in the evening and improving overall sleep quality. There is evidence that suggests that there is a difference between morning and evening exercise and how it affects nocturnal body temperature and cardiac activity during sleep. Morning exercise improves the quality of nocturnal sleep whereas high-intensity exercise in the evening should be avoided[2].

The Argument for Afternoon/Evening Exercise

While there is evidence to support that morning workouts are better for burning fat and losing weight, there is evidence to support that workouts in the afternoon or evening can boost performance. The time of day affects exercise and sports performance, with performance generally peaking in the evening. Later in the day, you have likely consumed food, increasing blood sugar and glycogen levels, providing your body with fuel for exercise. This is the fuel that your body will use to power your exercise. In addition, the evening may be the optimal time of day to train because it is associated with greater metabolic demand and because it permits greater levels of both aerobic and anaerobic energy production[3].

Get Moving and Keep Moving

Depending on your exercise goals, the timing of your exercise can make a difference. If your goal is performance, afternoon or evening exercise is preferred over morning exercise. If your goal is fat loss, exercising in the morning is the preferred option. It also rewarding to complete your exercise in the morning knowing that you are done for the day. If you are not a morning person, do not sweat it, as there is really no bad time to exercise and it is more important that you make time in your day to exercise, whenever that might be.

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Written by:

EP Health Wellness Team

 

[1] Hanlon, B., Larson., M. J., Bailey, B. W., & Lecheminant, J. D. (2012). Neural Response to Pictures of Food after Exercise in Normal-Weight and Obese Women. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 44(10), 1864

[2] Amanaka, Y., Hashimoto, S., Takasu, N. N., Tanahashi, Y., Nishide, S., Honma, S., & Honma, K. (n.d.). Morning and evening physical exercise differentially regulate the autonomic nervous system during nocturnal sleep in humans. American Journal of Physiology-Regulatory Integrative And Comparative Physiology, 309(9), R1112–R1121.

[3] [3] Hill, D. W. (2014). Morning-evening differences in response to exhaustive severe-intensity exercise. Applied Physiology, Nutrition & Metabolism, 39(2), 248–254

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