Time Your Workouts for Maximum Burn

You can burn more calories if you know the best time of day for specific exercises.

While anytime is a good time to exercise, there are times during the day that are better for certain types of exercise than others. Exercising at the right time of day can increase stamina, prevent injury, improve lung capacity or offer other benefits. It all comes down to what benefits you want from your workout routine.

Best Time to Burn Fat

The best time to burn fat is first thing in the morning. While it’s difficult to work yourself up for a workout first thing in the morning, exercising before eating breakfast can boost your fat burning mechanism by 20 percent since your body is forced to call on stored fat for energy rather than the carbs you just ate for breakfast.

A good, steady cardio routine is best for early morning workouts. Keeping a consistent pace is important. Since you haven’t eaten, you need to keep your energy level constant to avoid crashing your energy reserves. Using the elliptical, treadmill or taking a jog are some of the best ways to keep a steady pace.

Best Time to Strength Train

While it seems counterintuitive, your body is at its strongest between 5 and 7 p.m. For those looking to tone up or increase strength, this is the time to push yourself. Your body is at its peak; coordination is better, muscles are slightly stronger and more oxygen is delivered to the muscles (www.marieclaire.com).

Your best bet is to do a set of six reps with a weight that fatigues your muscle completely after the last rep. Strength training after work can mean the difference between using a lighter weight or a heavier weight. The heavier the weight, the more sculpted the muscle.

time your workoutsBest Time to De-stress

Exercise is one of the best stress relievers. Have a hectic afternoon or have a nerve-wracking meeting on the agenda? Work out during lunch. Just 30 minutes of moderately intense exercise, such as interval training, increases dopamine production in the brain. The feeling of well-being starts about 15 minutes post workout.

When focusing on interval training, do cardio first to maximize calorie burning. Try running before doing any resistance work for the best results.

Best Time to Prevent Injury

For those that have chronic joint or muscle issues, exercising in the early evening can help prevent the aches and pains of exercise. Between the hours of 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. body temperature peaks and increases the temperature of muscle tissue. This increase in temperature makes the body less susceptible to injury.

Best time to Promote Wellness

Regular exercise is one of the best ways to ensure a good night’s sleep. Vigorous exercise a few hours before bed can make it difficult to fall asleep. However, a 30-minute yoga session in the early evening can help you fall asleep faster and get a more restful sleep.

If you like to exercise outside and have allergies, skip an early morning workout. Pollen counts are higher before 10 a.m. Exercising in the afternoon can help avoid the higher pollen counts so you can be sneeze free throughout your workout.

Exercise is essential for good health. You can optimize your results by exercising when the time of day synchs with your body’s natural rhythms.