Oct 25, 2019 by
Mornings are the most popular time of the day for people of all ages to work out, according to data obtained from YouGov Plan & Track. Millennials and Gen Xers, on the other hand, are more likely to hit the gym at the end of the day, eager to rid themselves of the stress of work and life’s demands.
Wondering which of these groups is getting it right? Spoiler alert, the answer is all – and none. Recent research indicates that there is no ideal time to exercise and enjoy a delicious massage afterward. Rather, it is all about commitment and consistency.
As long as you are getting physical activity in your day, you’re doing your body a favor. Depending on the time of day, you may prefer to do one type of exercise over another – it’s probably best if you don’t do any exercise or only do relaxing exercise right before bed. Before then, anything goes!
A 2019 study published by researchers at the University of Copenhagen found that the effect of exercise depends on the time of day in which it is performed.
In lab tests, it was found that morning activity improves the ability of muscle cells to metabolize sugar and fat. Exercise in the evening, on the other hand, increases caloric expenditure in the whole body for an extended period of time.
Researchers concluded that it was, therefore, impossible to pick a better time to exercise as the goals of exercise may differ due to your body’s reaction.
One aspect of night-time exercise that some athletes and fitness enthusiasts worry about is its possible effect on sleep. New research published by scientists from The Physiological Society found that even high-intensity exercise performed in the early evening does not hamper subsequent sleep. Just make sure you’ll be relaxed enough right before bed!
In fact, exercising at night has one important benefit – it can help reduce the sensation of hunger. If for any reason, you aren’t getting your recommended seven-to-nine hours of sleep, it may have more to do with stress than exercise. Physical activity in itself is considered a powerful stress buster, but if you need a bit of extra help, consider taking up a holistic activity like yoga, meditation, or Tai Chi.
If you are a person who likes to order monthly subscription boxes, you can get a box that contains relaxation items like herbal tea, aromatherapy candles, and relaxing essential oils like lavender. While in bed, try breathing or progressive muscle relaxation, and don’t forget to enjoy a calming massage session with your favorite Thumper® massager, which will help soothe tension and tightness in your muscles.
The American Heart Organization rightly points out that what you do is more important than when you do it. The key to achieving results, it says, is to choose activities you enjoy and find motivating. Your weekly workout schedules should ideally include a blend of cardiovascular and strength exercises, but if on any given week you are pressed for time and cannot achieve perfection, focus on what you can (rather than what you can’t) do.
Recommended activities for people of all activity levels include walking, swimming, biking, playing sports, yoga, and Pilates. Think of the activities that appeal to you, and make it easier on yourself by embracing those you feel happiest undertaking.
If you want to make the most of your workout, don’t worry too much about the ideal time to get fit. Studies show that exercise at any time of the day has significant benefits, including weight loss and fitness. Remember to blend cardiovascular and strength exercises with stress-busting activities like yoga. This way, you will feel relaxed and calm at bedtime, which is the perfect state to be in to enjoy good quantity and quality sleep.
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