Throughout any give day our bodies change and adapt depending on time, the
weather and our own internal body clock. These changes, or cycles are called
circadian rhymes, and they play a major part in our body's ability to perform
So when is the best time to exercise?
Perhaps the best way to address this question is to breakdown exercise and
performance into specific tasks - endurance, power, flexibility, nutritional
breakdown (digestion) etc.
Our body temperature plays an enormous part in exercise and fitness performance.
Our core and muscular temperature has a direct effect on the speed of nerve
impulses and the strength, flexibility and power of our body.
The body performs best when its temperature is naturally higher. This occurs
at around 6 pm. The suggestion here would be that strength and bodybuilding
training should take place at this time.
Again body temperature plays a part in a person's level of flexibility.
The higher the muscular temperature the less likely we are to become injured
- hence why a warm up is advised before undertaking any form of exercise.
To avoid injury, again the suggestion would be to exercise at around 6 pm.
The absorption rate of the stomach varies throughout the day. In the morning
the body's metabolism is naturally higher - due to a period of fasting during
sleep. Thus, the stomachs emptying rate is vastly increased in the morning.
To lose weight or to make sure that the body is receiving the correct amount
of vitamins etc, it is suggested that individuals eat a reasonable, even
large breakfast and eat a lot less for their evening meal.
Because the body temperature effects the strength and power with muscles,
it should be no surprise to learn that this transfers into a greater degree
of fitness output. The best time to endurance train is again 6 pm.
Natural strength levels peak at around 6 pm (I hope you knew this already
by now). Thus the best time to train in order to develop a muscular physique
is during late afternoon.
Working out after work
Of course a hard day at the office will always play a part in how much energy
we have left to expend at the gym. A long day may well finish at 5.30 pm,
which can mean that we're in the gym for 6 pm. However, if this long day
has sapped our energy then this may not be the best time to exercise.
If this is the case, then our suggestion is try to exercise when your effort
levels will be personally at their highest e.g. before work or even during
a lunch hour.