In our hectic lives, squeezing in a workout, especially with the guidance of a dedicated Toronto personal trainer, can feel like an impossible feat. Balancing work, social commitments, and those tempting Netflix marathons, it’s easy to push exercise aside, even though we know it’s crucial for our health. But what if the timing of your workouts could be the key to achieving your fitness goals? Let’s explore when the best time to exercise for weight loss really is.

Weight loss is a journey that demands dedication and perseverance. Small changes in your daily routines can have a big impact, affecting everything from your diet to your workout habits. But one question baffles many: when should you work out during the day to maximize weight loss?

Morning Glory: The Best Time to Torch Fat

Exercising first thing in the morning, especially on an empty stomach, is the most effective way to burn fat and kickstart your weight loss journey. According to Anthony Hackney, a professor of exercise and sport science at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, this advantage is primarily due to the body’s morning hormonal makeup, which is primed for fat burning.

Morning workouts boost your metabolism, ensuring calorie burn throughout the day. In fact, morning exercise may even improve your sleep quality. Research from the University of New South Wales found that morning cardio workouts were particularly effective for weight loss and overall fitness.

The endorphins released during your morning workout can infuse your day with energy and positivity. Morning exercise is more likely to boost your mood compared to evening workouts, and it can enhance your mental sharpness all day long.

Early morning exercise offers several advantages. It grants you an extra hour before the day officially begins, allowing you to complete your workout before distractions arise. This early burst of endorphins reduces stress and clears your mind, setting a positive tone for the day. Plus, morning exercise supercharges your metabolism, helping you burn fat throughout the day and promoting better sleep compared to evening workouts.

Is Evening Exercise Worth It?

Perfect time to workout

Research supports the idea that morning exercise is a winning strategy, but what about evening workouts? A study in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise explored how women’s eating habits were affected after a morning workout. Surprisingly, they were less tempted by appetizing food images after a brisk morning walk compared to days when they didn’t exercise.

On days with morning workouts, participants increased their physical activity throughout the day, boosting their overall calorie burn. Additionally, working out in the morning helps you burn calories when you eat them, as opposed to storing them during nighttime rest.

Exercise later in the day, between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m., aligns with your body’s peak temperature, making it the most efficient time to work out. Research shows that your body’s performance peaks in the afternoon, with increased muscle function, strength, enzyme activity, and endurance.

Furthermore, oxygen uptake kinetics are faster in the afternoon, meaning your body utilizes resources more efficiently. Unlike morning workouts, evening exercise doesn’t necessitate a lengthy warm-up, allowing you to dive straight into your routine.

Late afternoon and evening workouts are beneficial for those who require fast reaction times, making it ideal for activities like high-intensity interval training (HIIT) or intense treadmill sessions. Plus, your heart rate and blood pressure are at their lowest in the late afternoon, reducing the risk of injury while maximizing efficiency.

Despite concerns about late-night workouts disrupting sleep, one study found that those who lifted weights in the evening actually enjoyed better and longer sleep than their morning-exercising counterparts.

Final Thoughts

While research may present differing opinions, one thing is clear: regular exercise is essential, regardless of when you choose to do it. The key is finding a time that suits your schedule and sticking to it consistently. Whether you’re an early bird or a night owl, the most crucial aspect is committing to your exercise routine at the same time every day. By doing so, you’ll reap the rewards of your dedication and achieve your weight loss goals.

Remember, the best time to work out is the time that works best for you.