Exercises are an integral part of Americans’ routines despite busy schedules. Nevertheless, only 23% of adults aged 18+ meet the recommended aerobics and strength training guidelines. Lack of time is the most significant barrier.
Over 30,000 Americans were surveyed and claimed to have an average of more than five hours of free time each day. One of the biggest questions we hear from people considering starting a workout regimen is, “When is the best time to exercise?”
The average person follows a fairly regimented exercise schedule. Work schedules or childcare obligations often dictate whether you exercise in the morning or evening. You might need to consider whether you are a “morning person” or a “night owl.”
Can morning workouts be justified with science? Some new insights from Frontiers in Physiology.
Do The Early Birds Get The Worm?
The study conducted by Skidmore University involved data from 27 women and 20 men who were already physically active. Four times a week, they did stretching, resistance training, interval sprints, or endurance training for one hour.
Those who exercised in the morning:
In comparison with men, women lost 7% more belly fat, lower blood pressure, and had more muscular legs.
Those who exercised in the evening:
Women had more significant gains in upper body strength, power and endurance, and increased mood. While men improved heart health and metabolic health, they also lost more weight and blood pressure.
Importance Of Sleep
Women are likely to spend longer in the deep sleep stage at night and therefore be more alert and ready to exercise earlier in the morning. Many men also prefer to exercise in the morning. Night owls may not be affected by exercising late in the day. The meta-analysis found that exercise improved sleep quality or duration in 29 studies.
There’s still a lot to learn about time-dependent exercise benefits. There is growing evidence for the metabolic benefits of evening exercise for men. It’s essential to exercise morning or evening, but you certainly reap its benefits whatever time you exercise.