Keeping fit and healthy is hard – it’s like a full-time job. You constantly have to be aware of it and try to do what’s best for your body. With so many factors to take into consideration, it can be difficult to know the most effective way to stay fit. What should you eat? What exercises should you do? How can you push yourself? Something that we’ve been wondering for a while is: when is the best time to work out? Well, we think we’ve finally found the answer.
An expert’s advice
No two sources ever seem to give the same response and the confusion over what to do can put you off from working out altogether. That’s not what you want, so exercise physiologist Chris Jordan has come up with a definitive answer to rid you of your worries. What he says might surprise you.
“The best time of day to work out is the time you’re most likely to work out,” is what he advises. As the creator of the successful Johnson & Johnson 7-Minute Workout, we’re inclined to follow his advice.
Will this pay off?
That might not seem any more helpful than everything else you’ve heard, but it makes a lot of sense. Working out when it best suits you means that you’re scheduling your fitness at a time where there’s already a place for it. Rather than having to move things around in your life and throwing yourself out of whack, you’re doing exercise when you weren’t otherwise engaged. There might not be any specific health benefits to doing it this way, but you are more likely to stay motivated and see your fitness through. The longevity of your fitness will be more beneficial than any health gains you get from exercising at a specific time of day.
Johnson carried out several experiments before settling with afternoon workouts which he states is easier for his body to handle. He pointed out that his body is looser later on in the day, which keeps him from stiffening up and giving himself an injury. Johnson also finds that working out at this time gives him an energy boost for the rest of the day. However, he does emphasize that these afternoon sessions only benefit him because it’s when his work schedule allows him the freedom to exercise.
The benefits of morning workouts
If you’re someone who wakes up early in the morning or who has a lot of free time first thing in the day, then you may find that working out after you get out of bed will pay off for you. This is because studies have found that there’s an additional health benefit to exercising so soon after you wake up.
By working out on an empty stomach, you force your body to derive fuel from existing fat reserves, rather than from the food you’ve recently eaten. Doing this can make it easier if you’re trying to lose weight. That’s because it sets you up for an all-day fat burn, even though your exercise is done before you’ve even hit 12 pm. While working out first thing in the morning isn’t for everyone, especially on an empty stomach, it’s ideal for anyone whose schedule allows them freedom at this time of day.
Whatever you decide to do, just remember that your fitness is something that needs to work with you, not against you. You’ll never reach your goals if you view exercise as something that can’t be enjoyed.