Is your New Year’s Resolution to exercise more, lose weight, build muscle, get more toned, improve balance, or a combination of the above?

Most people begin the New Year with lots of positive energy and great intentions as they set out to accomplish their New Year goals, but quickly fizzle out as they realize how difficult it actually is.

We blame things like lack of time, lack of motivation, and lack of knowing what to do in the gym that prevent us from making progress.

Truth is, all of these excuses are bogus. And the funny thing is, all of you know why. So rather than discussing this, lets look at a training variable that is often overlooked, and explain why it could be a major determining factor in your likelihood of meeting your New Year goals.

The variable? Timing.

Not time, as in how much time you have to workout; but timing, as in the time of day you decide to workout. Do you train in the morning? Afternoon? Evening? Why? And what physiological benefits are associated with each?

Timing can be the difference between seeing and feeling progress as a result of your hard work and not. If you see progress faster, won’t you be more motivated to stick with your routine and not cop out with one of the excuses noted above?

Lets look at how you can time your workouts for optimal results and set yourself up for success faster.

Exercise in the morning if you want to:
Lose weight.

When we first wake up, having not eaten for 6 or more hours, our blood sugar is lower than normal. Because we need blood sugar (glucose) to fuel our brain and muscles, morning exercise will use the fat stored in our body to supply the energy we need instead of tapping into the blood sugar.

Science has shown that morning exercise may burn up to 25% more fat than later day, post-food workouts.

Exercise in the morning if you want to:
Be happy.

Anything that gets your heart rate elevated to about 60%+ of your maximum heart rate for 30 minutes—walking, running, swimming, biking, HIIT workouts, circuit training—can elevate mood.

Cardiovascular activity causes our bodies to produce elevated amounts of feel good neurotransmitters like dopamine and neurotrophic factors like Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF).

When we exercise in the morning, we enjoy the benefits of these mood boosters all day. If you wait to exercise until the evening, you might miss some of the benefits during your sleep.

Exercise in the late afternoon/evening to:
Get strong.

In a study of 121 athletes, the University of Birmingham found that individual performance can vary by as much as 26% based solely on time of day—and that performance typically peaks between 10 and 12 hours after awakening. Training in the afternoons can help you train harder, run faster, or hit that squat PR you are striving for.

Also, during the afternoon lung function is highest, so your circulatory system is more efficient. This is also the time of day when strength peaks, reaction time quickens, hand-eye coordination sharpens, and heart rate and blood pressure drop. In fact, a disproportionate number of athletic records, especially in speed events, are set in the afternoon or evening.

Exercise in the late afternoon/evening to:
Enjoy exercise more.

The American Council on Exercise has found that people typically perceive workouts to be more enjoyable and less arduous when done later in the day.

Exercise in the late afternoon/evening to:
Avoid getting hurt.

Studies have found that injuries are less common in workouts later in the day. Our body temperature reaches its high point in the late afternoon and early evening, and when our muscles are warm, they’re more elastic and less prone to injury.

Timing your workouts could be the difference between sticking with your New Year Resolutions and achieving your goals, or becoming yet another victim of that evil voice in everyone’s head telling them to stop.

If you are struggling with your routine or need something new, try working out at a different time of day, and use the information above to help you determine what time is optimal for you.

And last, if you had an ActivMotion Bar, you could use it at home, at any time of day… 🙂

Thanks for reading.

– ActivMotion Bar

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