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When to Take Exercise Classes with a Personal Trainer for the Most Effective Workout

By Imogen, published on 04/10/2017 Blog > Health and Fitness > Personal Training > What is The Best Time of Day for Exercise?

Exercise demands a certain degree of regularity if you have fitness goals to aim for.

But if you work or study during the day, or your life is simply too hectic to be able to plan workouts in advance, how do you know when it’s a good time to train?

It may surprise you that your physical and mental states change as the day goes on, and this can impact the quality of your workout.

Here are just some of these fluctuations:

  • Morning: This is when your mental agility and memory are at their peak, testosterone is also at its highest level.
  • Afternoon: Your pain tolerance is at its highest, which it good if you want to take your workout to the next level. However, be aware that you may feel a wave of fatigue at around 1pm. In the late afternoon, adrenaline levels and body temperature are high.
  • Evening: On one hand, coordination, endurance and body temperature are at their ideal levels for exercise. On the other hand, concentration progressively worsens.
  • Night: From around 9pm, the body begins to produce extra melatonin, a sleep hormone.

In addition, your activity levels will change as you age. Older people might find they are most active in the early afternoon, while younger athletes might prefer the early morning or evening.

Having a fitness coach to motivate you and keep you on track, as well as provide you with a training and nutrition plan which is tailored to your specific physiology, body composition, athletic ability and your goals can be incredibly beneficial.

Though to some, this may seem like another way for the fitness industry to make money, personal trainers are experts in their field. It takes years of training and exams to get certified and earn your personal training certification to become a personal trainer, so you can rest assured that you are in capable hands.

Your personal fitness instructor will be there to provide support and advice on all aspects of keeping physically and mentally healthy, including nutrition, functional training techniques, and how to get the most out of your training program, as well as more specific issues such as the time of day you should be exercising.

Personal training services can be found in health clubs and gyms, however, there are also many private personal training businesses that will operate within a certain area – so you’ll be spoilt for choice!

Training Before Breakfast

Contrary to what some might say, completing a workout on an empty stomach is a good thing since it forces our bodies to take their energy from our stored fat, and so, we have a higher chance of shedding the excess pounds and slimming down.

Training before breakfast is guaranteed to help you burn more fat during your workout, as your body has already used up its stored sugars during sleep, meaning that it has to rely on stored fat for fuel.

What better way to kickstart your day than with a refreshing training session? Greet the new day with a workout session ¦ source: Pixabay – StockSnap

When it comes to your fitness nutrition, you’ll need to find out about consuming enough healthy fats. These will help you to recover more quickly as they promote the growth of cell membranes, which strengthens the immune system and helps fight inflammation.

There are many advantages to exercising in the morning:

  • If you’re up early enough, you’ll be able to avoid crowds and have the road or the gym to yourself
  • Something to get out of bed for
  • Keep yourself energised for the rest of the day with the increased production of endorphins
  • Have a better night’s sleep

A Guide to Running on an Empty Stomach

  • If you’re worried about training before you’ve eaten, see your doctor. They will be able to advise you on what’s best for your body.
  • The night before your workout, whether you’re playing a team game or having personal training sessions at the gym, make sure you eat enough carbohydrates to fuel your body. As an accredited health and fitness professional, your certified personal trainer will be able to advise you on this.
  • Once you wake up, drink a big glass of water. This will help kickstart your body’s main functions and ensure you’re sufficiently hydrated.
  • Always take money with you – you never know when you’ll need it. You may need to buy some food if you feel faint, or take the bus home.
  • Try to keep your training regular, and don’t go too far. It’s recommended that you start by running for just 20-30 minutes at a time, but never exceed 1 hour on an empty stomach.
  • The morning is perfect for aerobic endurance workouts rather than high-intensity training since this can lead to tiredness and acid build-up during the day.
  • If you are a frequent runner (around 3-4 times a week), you can train before breakfast once a week. However, if you run less than 3 times a week, try to only do this once every fortnight.
  • Once your workout is complete, make sure you have a substantial and balanced breakfast.

Training After Lunch

Training after lunch isn’t the best time to work out – our bodies need to rest, and that’s why we often feel sleepy in the early afternoon. This has been a part of our biological body clocks for thousands of years, and it’s something that can’t be changed!

However, if this time of day works best for you as an athlete, go ahead – just know that a fitness specialist may advise against it.

Although you are more likely to be affected by fatigue, you’re generally more alert than in the mornings, so it’s easier to lace up and go (as long as you haven’t eaten in the hour before your workout)!

So how should you manage your time when it comes to eating and training in the early afternoon?

Instead of a post-workout snack, have your lunch.

This is because after eating your lunchtime meal, your body takes a lot of energy to digest and process your food, which is why people often feel sleepy following their lunch.

When it comes to choosing what you’d like to eat, you should try not to eat too much or too quickly.

If you find a personal trainer, they will be able to use their fitness expertise to advise you on the best meals for recovery following a workout, and how big your portions should be.

Training in the middle of the can can give you something to look forward to and help you return to work feeling fresh! Break up your work day with a pre-lunch workout ¦ source: Visualhunt

The type of exercise, as well as the amount of type between your meals can influence what your body needs.

As a general rule, eating foods with added sugar such as biscuits and sweets are not recommended, as these will only provide a short burst of energy.

When it comes to practicality, arranging a time to eat and work out without going hungry or putting yourself at risk of getting a stitch, can be difficult at first.

However, you can get around this problem by actively scheduling your training sessions and your meals and making them a part of your routine.

And even if you can’t fit in a full work-out, you can do some exercising at work before your lunch break to help you stay active!

Evening Workouts

There are several advantages to training and visiting the gym in the evening:

  • Your performance will generally be better, since your body temperature is higher, meaning that your body is more likely to burn energy
  • The risk of injuries such as sprains is lower, since your muscles have had all day to warm up

Evening exercise either alone or group fitness classes near me are an opportunity to release the tension built up during the day

Advice for Evening Workouts

Training sessions at the end of the day are perfect for strength and resistance training.

Your metabolic rate and your body temperature peak at around 4pm, meaning your muscular ability will be at 100% in the evening.

However, avoid high-intensity workouts, as they put you at risk of hypoglycaemia, which is caused by low blood sugar.

The evening is a good time to concentrate on cardio training and weights to work on your muscle strength.

If you start exercising in the late afternoon, be sure that you finish your workout before 7pm.

This is because your body’s workout temperature will affect your sleep cycle, and this may end up doing more harm than good.

Make you don’t forget to have a satisfying and nutritious dinner, too!

Training at Night

Night workouts are incredibly popular among athletes, with 70% of them training between 5pm and 8pm.

This is mostly down to practicality. For those who work, this slot is free to go to the gym, see their personal fitness trainer, go to group training classes, and even wind down for the day with a yoga or Pilates session.

Advantages to training at night include:

  • Your body temperature is high, so your muscles are warmed-up and you’re less likely to get hurt
  • You’ll be able to work harder since your muscle strength is at its peak, and so you’ll be able to put in more effort than usual, making your workout more worthwhile.
  • fitness classes and workouts are an opportunity to release the stress from the day.

However, if you’re a night owl, you’ll need to keep an eye on the time.

Working out at night can help you get ride of any stress so that you feel relaxed for the next day Nighttime is the most popular time of day for athletes ¦ source: Pixabay – stux

Make sure your workout finishes before 9pm. This will give your body a good chance to cool down sufficiently for you to sleep – and it takes longer than you think!

Exercising at the Weekend

If you set your weekend aside to exercise, you’ll know that it helps you relax and de-stress before the working week starts again.

However, if you work out frequently during the week, you may want to have the weekend off.

Just like you have two days off work to rest your brain, your body also needs to recover from the week.

It’s all about managing your training program by thinking about workout intensity, frequency and the type of exercise you choose.

You should always aim for short and frequent training sessions rather than 2 or 3 long workouts per week.

By training regularly during the week and taking the weekend to rest, you’ll avoid progressive fatigue and lower the risk of injury.

Your Workout, Your Choice

Despite the many recommendations and advice of fitness experts, sometimes how you spend your time is more important than exercise science, so the time you choose to exercise really is up to you.

As long as you feel that you are making good progress towards your fitness goals or becoming generally healthier, it’s shouldn’t matter too much if your performance is influenced by the time of day.

Following a fitness program will help you get to know your body better, and what time of day works for you.


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