A study from the University of New South Wales found that exercising in the morning before breakfast is the best time for cardio if you want to lose weight. This may be because when exercising before breakfast your body has to burn fat for fuel, as your glycogen stores will be depleted after a night of fasting. Furthermore, exercising in the morning will also help to kick-start your metabolism, and help to wake you up.
Plenty of people out the benefits of early morning sweat sessions, but if you can’t fit in a workout before noon, don’t sweat it. Research suggests the body could adapt to regular gym dates, so if we hit the weight room every day at 4 p.m., eventually we might perform better at that time than at any other time of day.
Hormone levels are also important in determining optimal workout time. Testosterone is important for muscle growth and strength, in ladies and gents. And the body produces more testosterone during late afternoon resistance training than it does during morning workouts. Plus, the stress hormone cortisol, which aids in the storage of fat and reduction of muscle tissue, peaks in the morning and decreases throughout the day and during exercise. But early birds, take heart: Morning workouts can be successful too.
Here are some activities you can do any time of day:
- Walking, running and jogging
- Dancing and aerobics
- Climbing stairs
- Playing sports
- Strength training and weights
- Yoga and Pilates
- Boxing and kickboxing
- Martial arts and Tai Chi