Best Time of the Day to Exercise in Shreveport
This entry was posted on June 17, 2018.
For many Shreveport residents their day either starts or ends with a good session in the weight room or a nice jog on the treadmill. But have you ever wondered what time of day really is best? Is there an optimal time of day to get the most out of those sweat inducing sessions?
The answer is a bit nuanced, as there are different advantages to working out at various points in the day. Taking your unique circumstances and lifestyle into account, we will help you to determine the most efficient time of day for biohacking your way to improved personal fitness.
Your body’s natural circadian rhythm determines whether you are an early bird or a night owl. It is a daily cycle that regulates many physiological functions, including your alertness, blood pressure, body temperature, and metabolism (among others). This is why some people seem to inexplicably have endless amounts of energy first thing in the morning, while others are just kicking into gear later in the evening.
For those of us that aren’t morning people, trying to muster up the motivation needed for an early workout can feel next to impossible. But all is not lost.
This article aims to look a little deeper into the health and auxiliary benefits associated with the time of day you work out, and will help you figure out what’s best for yourself.
Benefits of Working Out in the Morning
Focus & Energy
Most people find that mornings are better for workouts in Shreveport because they’re able to focus in on their fitness before other aspects of the day have mentally kicked in. For example, you can concentrate on the task at hand (i.e. your workout) prior to being mentally occupied with work or family to-do lists.
An early morning workout means that you can side skirt a majority of the energy-draining activities that happen later in the day, such as rush hour traffic, long workdays, family time and the onset of general fatigue that hits most of us towards evening. These events can get in the way of you completing your workout during evening hours, even when you have the best intentions.
Set the Stage for a Successful Day
Starting off the day with a fitness routine can also set a productive tone for the remainder of your waking hours. By starting your morning off with a workout, you’re more likely to follow that with healthy meals, healthy snacks and increased water intake for the duration of the day. Studies have also shown that working out increases blood flow to the brain and enhances memory and cognition. So that early morning workout might be just what you needed to deliver that presentation at work or crunch some numbers before mid-day.
Get More Rest
Early morning workouts also tend to give you the extra incentive to get to bed earlier at night. Getting enough sleep is a quintessential component of regulating your weight, reducing stress, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Lack of sleep has been linked to heart disease, high blood pressure, anxiety, depression, and even cancer.
Did you know that people tend to crave sugary and fatty foods when they are sleep deprived? This is because the hormone that stimulates your appetite increases significantly when you’re tired. Sleep deprivation also raises your Cortisol levels, or stress levels, which can lead to emotional eating. None of which is a good thing.
Pro Tip: Spin bikes, elliptical machines and treadmills are an excellent choice for morning workouts. If you tend to have a hard time getting started in the morning, these machines come in handy because they allow you to go at your own pace. As your body adjusts to your new morning routine, you can adjust the resistance and intensity accordingly. Check out our pick for a great spin bike, the PRECOR SPINNER RALLEY.
Benefits of Working Out in the Evening
Look, we can’t all be super cheery, full of energy “morning people” here in Shreveport. Some of us prefer to rule the night, and that’s ok. For those of us night owls, there are a number of benefits we can reap when opting for the evening workouts.
Working out in the evening typically gives you more time to adequately fuel up before and after your workout. Proper pre and post workout nutrition and refueling is a critical factor for muscle growth and metabolism.
Unwind & Work out that Frustration
Let’s face it, the sun isn’t always shining in Louisiana. Work, family, relationships…they can all take an emotional toll on us from time to time. And at the end of the day, sometimes we need a way to decompress and let it all out.
Sure, you could hit the local Shreveport watering holes (i.e. bar scene), but that isn’t really doing anyone any good. Instead, opt for a late night workout that can help ease your mind and end the day on a productive note of accomplishment.
Studies have shown that working out can reduce stress and ease anxiety and depression. Give it a try and thank us later.
Partnering Up / Accountability
If you find it challenging to self-motivate working out on your own, you may have better luck finding an accountability partner to push you to work out harder during evening hours. Most people find it easier to fit in an evening workout rather than waking up at 4 or 5 AM to squeeze in some exercise before work, and will likely be happy to accompany you.
While it’s true that working out too close to bedtime can actually keep you up longer, timing your evening workouts just right may actually help you hit the sack harder and enjoy a deeper more replenishing sleep.
With your increased alertness in the evenings, you will love using a stair stepper exercise equipment such as the MATRIX FITNESS C5x CLIMBMILL to strengthen your leg muscles and build cardiovascular stamina.
In the end, the decision of when to workout is a personal one. While both morning and evening workouts have their respective benefits, paying attention to how your own body reacts to each is the best indicator as to which way you should lean.
If you prefer morning workouts, you can look forward to boosting your metabolism, setting a healthy and productive tone for the remainder of the day and consistency in your fitness routine. If you choose to workout at night, you can expect to be more alert and adequately nourished, have increased availability for accountability partners to give you that extra push and muscles that have had the time to warm up, which means increased strength.