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Best Time to Work Out for Optimal Metabolic Health

Reviewed by

Shifa Fathima

Best Time to Work Out for Metabolic Health

Nowadays, people are a lot into exercising and always make it a point to take out some time from their personal and work schedules to exercise. Research has it that exercising regularly has a major impact on an individual's metabolic health. But it can vary based on the time of the exercise. Thus, on that note, here are the details of metabolism, metabolic health, and the benefits of exercise according to time. 

Metabolism and Metabolic Health

There is no one-size-fits-all approach as far as exercise timing is concerned and the perfect time for a workout can vary from one person to another due to preference, age and lifestyle. Good metabolic health is defined as the state where all metabolic markers including triglycerides, HDL, Blood sugar, Waist circumference, and Blood pressure are found to be at optimal levels without using medicines. The best time of the day to work out is whenever you can exercise consistently, but let's take a look at the benefits afforded by different times of the day.

Benefits of Morning Workouts

Morning workouts are considered the best for strengthening one's metabolism. Research says that people with weak metabolism should perform various exercises like bodyweight squats, walking lunges, mountain climbers, and close-grip pushups in the morning to get the following benefits:

1. Control on Blood Glucose Level

Workouts play an essential role in the management of diabetes by keeping the blood sugar levels of an individual in control. They do this by increasing the insulin sensitivity of a person.

2. Improved Sleep

Morning exercises in bright sunlight improve melatonin secretion, which is a sleep hormone.Exercising first thing in the morning, enhances your sleep quality. Studies show that individuals who did aerobic exercises or any other workouts early in the morning around 7am reported improved sleep patterns, invoked a greater dip in night-time systolic blood pressure than when exercised at 1 pm or 7 pm

3. Managing Blood Pressure

Studies on morning exercises have shown that sessions on a treadmill at 7 a.m. can be highly effective in managing high blood pressure.

4. Controlled Appetite

Exercising in the morning can control appetite throughout the day by lowering the hunger hormone called ghrelin. Even 45 minutes of mild to vigorous workout early in the morning can help control a person's appetite.

5. More of Fat Burning

Exercising in the morning, particularly before breakfast, can increase 24-hour fat oxidation and have a major impact on fat loss compared to exercising at any other time of the day. Studies indicate that morning exercises after 8 to 12 hours of fasting can help burn up to 20% more fat than exercising in the afternoon or evening.

The other additional advantages of morning exercises, apart from metabolic health benefits, include:

  • Improved food choices
  • Focused exercises
  • Increased movement
  • Better mood
  • Improved focus
  • More energy

Benefits of Afternoon Workouts

Exercising in the afternoon is something impossible to be consistent with for the majority of the working professionals. Nevertheless, with the present circumstances focusing more on the work from home culture, people now have the time to comfortably work out in the afternoon. It is high-intensity interval training that works wonders for individuals with type 2 diabetes. Here are the benefits:

1. Optimal Body Temperature

As per studies, the human body is at its best in the afternoon. The human body's temperature increases throughout the day, optimising muscle strength and function, endurance for proper performance, and enzyme activity.

It is highest between 2 pm. and 6 pm, which means that your performance will be at its peak potential if you choose to exercise during this time.

2. Blood Sugar Regulation

Consuming excessive carbohydrates and refined carbohydrates can increase blood insulin and sugar levels, resulting in tiredness. This is the same tiredness and the food coma that you feel after having a meal. And it is one of the most prominent attributes of diabetes.

3. Better Exercise Benefits with Perceived Exertion

Working out simply for the sake of it will do no good. You must work out at a sufficiently intense pace to give us desired results and help us achieve our objectives without over-exertion of the body. This intensity is known as RPE or the rate of the perceived scale of exertion. RPE is the lowest in the afternoon, which means that you can ultimately exert yourself while feeling it less on your body. So there are chances of making the most out of vigorous workout sessions in the afternoon.

Evening Workouts

If you do not get time in the morning or afternoon, do not be upset. You can make up for this in the evening by doing planks, glute bridges, and even a 10 minutes of brisk walking can have a significant impact on your metabolic health.

1. Suppression of Hunger Hormones

The hunger hormone called ghrelin increases food consumption while stimulating appetite. This hormone is released in small quantities by the brain, small intestine, and pancreas. Studies have found that evening exercises can suppress this hormone, resulting in weight management.

2. Boost the Power of Protein Absorption

As per research, working out in the evening can enhance your capacity to absorb more nutrition from the food. Two  groups of young people participated in the research - one group drank protein shake whereas another group took a placebo. Results showed higher concentration of amino acids in the body of the first group indicating better absorption of protein and better metabolic health. 

3. Better Reaction Time

Research has proven that a person's performance in the evening is quicker than at other times of the day. And this is crucial for HIIT or high-intensity interval training that can work wonders for one's metabolic health.

Bottomline

Undoubtedly, morning workouts are more beneficial than afternoon and evening workouts. But the most important thing is exercising regularly regardless of the time of the day. That's important because exercising itself offers several benefits no matter what time of the day you work so adhere to a schedule that motivates you.

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