Physical exercise is one of the best habits we can adopt, because it brings many benefits to our health in every way. However, it is not only the type of exercise you do and what you eat that matter; you also have to take into account the time factor. In view of this, some people ask themselves the question: ” What is the best time to do sport? “.
To know the best time to train, we must take into account many variables, for example, the physical capacity we want to work (strength, aerobic resistance, power, etc.), biorhythms, work schedule, family …
In this article we will review these variables and propose some advantages and disadvantages of each of them according to the time of day when we practice sport . However, deciding which time is the most convenient for exercising depends on each person and their daily needs and habits.
The best time to play sports, depending on the objective
Some people prefer to do sport first thing in the morning, while others prefer to do it at midday or in the evening. However, some studies seem to state that, depending on the objective one is seeking, it is better to train at a certain time .
Research suggests that endurance, that is, the ability to sustain an effort for as long as possible at a low to medium intensity, is worked on equally throughout the day.
Anaerobic endurance, which is the high intensity effort and therefore of short duration, seems to be best worked on in the afternoon, especially after 6pm. The body temperature seems to be ideal from that time onwards.
Many men want to increase their muscle mass, something that should be done without becoming obsessed, because vigorexia is a disorder that some individuals may have when they enter the vicious circle of becoming obsessed with bodybuilding. Studies suggest that, to increase muscle mass, it is best to do so early in the day or late at night .
Some experts recommend that to train to lose fat, it is better to do it in the afternoon , when the metabolism decreases. This way, we speed up the metabolism again, which helps to burn more calories.
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Training at a time that depends on our schedule or life habits
Sometimes, the habits we have, our work and our responsibilities determine the best time to train. In this sense, if we train in the morning, despite having to go to bed early, we will have the rest of the day to do those activities we want. Morning training activates our body for the rest of the day , but it can also cause our energy levels to drop considerably in the mid-afternoon.
If you are going to train in the morning, you should know that it is necessary to warm up well and increase the intensity progressively. If you are going to train when you wake up, , try not to do so on an empty stomach , and always stay well hydrated. Eat at least a banana if you are going to train very early.
Training at noon can be a good alternative, but it is necessary to schedule well, and not everyone can exercise before eating. This time is good for relieving stress and starting the afternoon in a different mood.
As for the night, it is not very advisable to exercise very late , since adrenaline increases when you exercise, as well as heart rate, so it can be complicated to fall asleep at a decent hour.
However, these schedules are applicable for most of the population but those who work at night must adapt the training schedule to their own needs. Generally, people also have family responsibilities.
Which variables influence performance
Our body and mind can also undergo variations throughout the day. Some people feel more active in the morning and others in the afternoon, so circadian rhythms play a determining role . These can vary from person to person depending on their habits or their genetics. However, other factors can also be determinant. For example, hormones.
Research shows that exercise is ideal when testosterone levels are high, and even more so when there is a balance between testosterone and cortisol.
Testosterone increases protein synthesis , which is key to increasing muscle mass and strength. In the case of cortisol, which degrades muscle proteins, it appears in times of stress, but after physical exercise its levels drop. The amount of both hormones is higher in the morning.
If you want to know more about testosterone and cortisol, you can read our articles:
- The effects of testosterone on the human brain
- Cortisol: the hormone that creates stress
What are the benefits of physical exercise for our mind
Physical exercise has proven to be very beneficial for many reasons, but it is usually more related to physical and aesthetic improvements. However, physical exercise is also key to our mental well-being , our emotional health, our attention, our memory and produces happiness and pleasure.
- If you want to know more, you can read our article: “The 10 psychological benefits of physical exercise”