Morning or evening? When to exercise? Scientific advice on the best time of day to exercise

Whether squatting, running or HIIT training at home, sport is essential for the well-being of the human body. In addition to strengthening the immune system, physical activity also helps improve mental health. While each person individually chooses the sport that best suits his or her health condition and needs, choosing the best time of day to exercise is something else. It is indeed a rather controversial topic. So when do you actually exercise? Morning, afternoon or evening? What does the science say? The answers to all your questions in the following paragraphs.

When to exercise? The pros and cons of morning and evening workouts!

There are many types of sports training available to you so that you can find the one that suits you best. Whether it’s Pilates, yoga, jogging or swimming, physical activity is good for your health. But there’s one question that plagues athletes and sparks debate within the community: When is the best time of day to exercise? In this article, we’ll look at the pros and cons of morning, afternoon, and evening exercise. In addition, we will consult the latest scientific discoveries. Follow us !

Train in the morning

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“When to exercise during the day” is a topic that many people talk about, it’s a fact. It’s also no secret that most people prefer to exercise in the morning to start the day right and this has many benefits. First, you are done with your exercise session before you start your day. This means that you start your day with a good dose of endorphins, but also with the motivating feeling that you have achieved something before 9 am. Second, you have more free time to rest, cook or hang out with friends.

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But what does the science say? So the science behind morning workouts is pretty strong. According to a study, exercising in the morning also stimulates physical activity during the day. Other benefits included an increased metabolism, which meant participants continued to burn calories throughout the day.

Other studies have shown that morning exercise can seriously disrupt your sleep, as exercise tends to increase heart rate and body temperature. In addition, a morning workout on an empty stomach burns up to 20% more body fat than the evening workout.

Sports activity in the afternoon or evening

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Although the morning seems like the best time to do your physical training, exercising in the afternoon or evening also has certain benefits. Among the first, longer sleep in the morning and maximum performance capacity! According to one study, body temperature is highest between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. This means exercising at the time of day when the body is most efficient, potentially making it the most effective time for physical activity.

As for sleep disruption, one study found that people who lifted weights in the evening had better quality sleep and slept longer than those who did the same workout in the morning.

What do the latest scientific discoveries say?

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To learn more about this controversial topic, researchers organized a study in mice, the results of which were published Feb. 1, 2022 in the journal cell metabolism† As part of their study, the scientists took samples from various tissues, including muscle, liver, hypothalamus (the area of ​​the brain involved in eating behavior), heart, brown adipose tissue and two types of white adipose tissue. Assessments were made after morning or evening physical activity that consisted of an hour of running on a treadmill.

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Results: Morning physical activity helped burn sugars and fats, while evening exercise increased energy expenditure. In addition, exercise as soon as you wake up has been shown to improve the regulation of the internal clock in mice with sleeping problems.

Still, the study authors say their study has some limitations, as it didn’t take into account the rodents’ age, sex, and metabolic diseases.

When to exercise? The conclusion.

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So, what is the best time of day to practice your sport? Although the scientific studies on the subject seem contradictory, one thing is certain: sports training is important and beneficial for your health, regardless of the time of day. What really matters is finding the ideal moment that best fits your daily life.

*Sources used:

health line

cell metabolism