HEALTH

Which Time Of Day Is The Best To Exercise?

It all comes down to your chronotype.

23/10/2017 7:39 AM AEDT | Updated 23/10/2017 7:46 AM AEDT
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Working out the best exercise plan to get the results you want is no easy task.

The good news? There's a perfect time to exercise, but the not-so-good news is that the right time is different for each of us. Don't worry though, there is a way to work out which time of day is best for your body and it all starts with this mysterious thing called a 'chronotype'.

"Chronotype is just a really fancy word for morning person or evening person," applied sports scientist Professor David Bishop told HuffPost Australia.

"What we have is these circadian rhythms within our body. They are hormones that are increasing and decreasing with genes and proteins that are turning on and off in this approximately 24-hour cycle and that's what determines your chronotype."

The most important thing with exercise is that it's regular and that you can turn it into a constant habit.

As your chronotype refers to the way your body self-regulates time, it is a significant factor when working out which time of day will suit your body best for exercise.

Bishop suggests playing around with daily exercise times as a way of testing which could suit you better.

"Try exercising in the morning for couple of weeks, try exercising at lunchtime for a couple of weeks and try exercising in the evening some time. So, I think then you'll get a little bit of a personal experiment to find out when exercise tends to be working best for you," Bishop said.

"I think it's really a personal thing."

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Experiment with morning and evening workouts to see what works best for you.

Another thing that is very individual is lifestyle and Bishop says that working exercise into your daily routine is one of the most important ways to ensure working out becomes a habit.

For many people, lifestyle is the determining factor for when they can exercise.

"A lot of people are good at starting exercise and doing it for one and two weeks, but the key with exercise is that it becomes a habit ... and one of the most important parts of that is making sure that it fits in with whether you are a morning or afternoon person, and also with your personality [and] when you're most likely to get that exercise done," Bishop said.

"The most important thing with exercise is that it's regular and that you can turn it into a constant habit. So, if you are a morning person and I tell you that the best time for whatever your goal is, is to exercise in the evening, but then you never ever exercise in the evening, well that's kind of wasted advice."

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Making exercise a regular thing will help you form a habit.

Bishop says that as long as you are trying to meet the average recommended 150 minutes of weekly exercise -- that's about 30 minutes, five days a week -- then the time you choose to exercise shouldn't have a drastic impact on achieving your fitness goals.

"The truth is ... most people know their bodies pretty well, so choosing a time of day that will allow you to be as consistent as possible with your exercise is going to be the best idea, rather than trying to adapt yourself to what you think is the best time to exercise."

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