Carving out time to exercise may be challenging. The most important thing that you need to do is to squeeze in any amount of exercise whenever you can. However, if you want to optimise your workouts in order to get the widest range of benefits, you may want to try exercising in the morning.

Why Is This?

Exercising in the morning — especially before breakfast — is the best way to burn stored fat. In fitness circles, this is called fasted cardio. So, if your health and fitness goal is weight loss, then you should definitely try this. According to experts from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, that’s largely because the body’s hormonal make-up in the morning is set up in order to support that goal.

In the early hours of the morning, you have a hormonal profile which would predispose you to metabolise fat better. People naturally have elevated levels of cortisol as well as growth hormone in the morning, both of which are intimately involved in metabolism. This means that you’ll draw on more of your energy from your fat reserves.

Fasted cardio may potentially help with weight loss. A lot of research also suggests that morning exercisers might have less of an appetite throughout the day and this could also help protect them from putting on unwanted extra weight.

But What If Early Morning Exercising Is Not My Thing?

If you can’t face fitting in a workout before work, don’t worry! Afternoon exercising has proven perks.

One study has found that your body’s ability to perform well in your workout peaks in the afternoon. This is owing to the fact that your body temperature increases throughout the day, so optimising your muscle function and strength, enzyme activity as well as endurance for performance.

Between the hours of 2 and 6 pm, your body temperature is at its highest. This could mean that you’ll be exercising during the window of time when your body is most ready. This will potentially make it the most effective time of day to work out.

In addition, oxygen uptake kinetics are quicker in the evening. This means that you will use your resources more slowly as well as effectively as opposed to in the morning. Exercising in the morning could also require adding an additional warm-up to your routine, which could take away from the focus of your workout.

But What Should I Do?

So what time is best to exercise? While the science and studies seem to be contradictory, one thing is crystal clear: Working out is important, no matter what hour of the day you do it. What is really important is that you find a time of day which works for you, before or after you play fun mobile games, as well as a time that fits your schedule. Then stick to it. By keeping your workout regime consistent, and at the same time each and every day, you could be making greater training gains. And isn’t that what really matters?