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The Best Time of Day to Walk and Exercise - Evening Pros and Cons

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  • The Best Time of Day to Walk and Exercise - Evening Pros and Cons

    By Wendy Bumgardner, About.com

    Created March 24, 2009
    About.com Health's Disease and Condition content is reviewed by our Medical Review Board


    Is there a best time of day to exercise?


    Research on lung function, body rhythms, temperature, and hormone levels says one thing - to exercise around 6 pm.
    Surveys on exercise habits say another - to exercise in the morning before other commitments distract you, or during the day when you have a free period of time. Let's explore the pros and cons of when to exercise.

    Mornings

    Pros:

    • The majority of people who exercise consistently do so early in the day. It is easier to form the exercise habit through morning exercise.
    • Fewer distractions and schedule interruptions.
    • Can make time for exercise by getting up a bit earlier.
    • Raises your heart rate and metabolism to burn more calories earlier in the day.
    • Gives a feeling of physical energy for hours.
    • Improves your mental acuity for hours.
    • Cooler temperatures in summer.
    • Air pollution is lowest in the morning.
    • The body adjusts to your exercise time, so if you are training for a morning sports event, train in the morning.
    Cons:
    • Body temperature is at its lowest 1-3 hours before awakening, making morning a time of naturally lower energy and blood flow.
    • Cold, stiff muscles may be more prone to injury - be sure to warm up well before doing a higher intensity workout, and do gentle stretching.
    • If you do not enjoy morning exercise, you won't easily form a habit by choosing a morning workout time.
    • Because body temperature and hormones are higher in late afternoon, you probably get the same or better calorie-burning effects later in the day.


    Noon-Time and Break-Time

    Pros:
    • Can make a habit to walk and exercise at lunch and break time.
    • Can use a walking and exercise partner at work, school, or in your neighborhood.
    • Body temperature and hormone levels are higher than first thing in the morning.
    • Can help regulate the amount of food you feel like eating for lunch, and help you avoid break-time snacking.
    • Improves blood flow to the brain so you are sharper in the afternoon.
    • Stress relief from work, school, or home stresses.

    Cons:
    • Time constraints may not allow you to get in a full workout. Any amount is good, but best if you can walk 30 to 60 minutes or more at a stretch
    • Distractions and other commitments make keep you from walking and exercising at the appointed times.
    • Research shows that lung function is worst at noon. For an easy walk, you may not notice the difference. But for a vigorous workout or for those with lung problems, the 15% to 20% difference may be felt.


    Afternoon and After-Work

    Research shows that afternoon (3 p.m. to 7 p.m.) is the best time to exercise for both endurance and for building muscle.
    Pros:
    • For most people, body temperature and hormone levels peak at 6 p.m. Exercising 3 hours before or after the peak will give your your best workout for both endurance and building muscle.
    • Research shows lung function is best at 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.
    • Muscles are warm and flexible.
    • Perceived exertion is lowest -- how hard you feel yourself to be working at exercise. So you may be able to work out harder or faster by doing so in the afternoon.
    • Can help regulate the amount of food you feel like eating for dinner.
    • Stress relief after a day at work, school, or home.
    Cons:
    • Distractions and other commitments make keep you from walking and exercising at the appointed times.

    Evenings

    Pros:
    • For most people, body temperature and hormone levels peak at 6 p.m. Exercising 3 hours before or after the peak will give your your best workout for both endurance and building muscle.
    • Muscles are warm and flexible.
    • Perceived exertion is low -- how hard you feel yourself to be working at exercise. So you may be able to work out harder or faster.
    • Can help regulate the amount of food you feel like eating for dinner.
    • Stress relief after a day at work, school, or home.
    Cons:
    • Distractions and other commitments make keep you from walking and exercising at the appointed times.
    • Need to allow one to three hours to wind down after walking or exercise to be able to fall asleep.
    • If you discover sleeping problems, need to schedule your workout earlier.
    • At dark times of the year, be sure to wear reflective gear.



    The Very Best Time
    The very best time to walk? Walking can only do you good if you do it. The best time to walk is the time that will fit best into your schedule so you can do it consistently. Experts agree -- it is not the time of day that matters as much as finding the time you can set aside consistently for your workouts.




    http://walking.about.com/cs/beginners/a/besttime.htm
    "There is a difference between knowing the path and walking the path." - Morpheus, The Matrix. :hidban:

    "It would not be reasonable in me if I did not serve Him Who created me, and to Whom ye shall (all) be brought back." Surah 36:22. Ya Sin (Yusuf Ali Translation)

  • #2
    Re: The Best Time of Day to Walk and Exercise - Evening Pros and Cons

    does the timing HAVE to be consistent? (ie; same time of day every day?)
    Screaming, But Will Never Be Heard

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: The Best Time of Day to Walk and Exercise - Evening Pros and Cons

      Originally posted by GuCcI View Post
      does the timing HAVE to be consistent? (ie; same time of day every day?)

      It doesnt have to be consistent but its better if it is

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: The Best Time of Day to Walk and Exercise - Evening Pros and Cons

        jazakAllah for the post.. :up::up: i soo need to becum more active.. im soo lazy nowadays.. always sat on my lazy **s
        Narrated Abu Musa: Some people asked Allah's Apostle, "Whose Islam is the best? i.e. (Who is a very good Muslim)?" He replied, "One who avoids harming the Muslims with his tongue and hands." (Book #2, Hadith #10)

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: The Best Time of Day to Walk and Exercise - Evening Pros and Cons

          Originally posted by sunni_ninja View Post
          jazakAllah for the post.. :up::up: i soo need to becum more active.. im soo lazy nowadays.. always sat on my lazy **s
          that doesn't sound very ninja-like girl. You've gotta pay some more attention to yourself and leave the training of the new ninjas to others for a while as you need to be in shape for the big Ninja G9 meeting next month
          "Qui desiderat pacem, bellum praeparat; nemo provocare ne offendere audet quem intelliget superiorem esse pugnaturem"
          Whosoever desires peace prepares for war; no one provokes, nor dares to offend, those who they know to be superior in battle-Flavius Vegetius Renatus

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: The Best Time of Day to Walk and Exercise - Evening Pros and Cons

            Originally posted by sunni_ninja View Post
            jazakAllah for the post.. :up::up: i soo need to becum more active.. im soo lazy nowadays.. always sat on my lazy **s
            tell me about it, im too lazy to even walk to the bus stop which is only a few blocks :(

            but its not my fault im so fat and lazy :(
            Screaming, But Will Never Be Heard

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: The Best Time of Day to Walk and Exercise - Evening Pros and Cons

              Originally posted by Reflection09 View Post
              that doesn't sound very ninja-like girl. You've gotta pay some more attention to yourself and leave the training of the new ninjas to others for a while as you need to be in shape for the big Ninja G9 meeting next month
              nah it doesnt sound ninja like does it..??:o:o never mind after reading this post i think i will be back on the role.. :D;)

              Originally posted by GuCcI View Post
              tell me about it, im too lazy to even walk to the bus stop which is only a few blocks :(

              but its not my fault im so fat and lazy :(

              ufff i used to love walking i used to walk it to and from college even skool but since i started uni and my guwjus friend has a car and does the honor of giving me a lift.. i dnt even walk to the bus stop anymore.. n i hav gained weight.. :(:(

              i tried doing situps da other day i just about managed 10 :o so need to get in gear
              Narrated Abu Musa: Some people asked Allah's Apostle, "Whose Islam is the best? i.e. (Who is a very good Muslim)?" He replied, "One who avoids harming the Muslims with his tongue and hands." (Book #2, Hadith #10)

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: The Best Time of Day to Walk and Exercise - Evening Pros and Cons

                Originally posted by sunni_ninja View Post
                nah it doesnt sound ninja like does it..??:o:o never mind after reading this post i think i will be back on the role.. :D;)




                ufff i used to love walking i used to walk it to and from college even skool but since i started uni and my guwjus friend has a car and does the honor of giving me a lift.. i dnt even walk to the bus stop anymore.. n i hav gained weight.. :(:(

                i tried doing situps da other day i just about managed 10 :o so need to get in gear
                Just leave the kiddos for a while and you'll get back in shape in no time climbing roofs, walls and what not
                "Qui desiderat pacem, bellum praeparat; nemo provocare ne offendere audet quem intelliget superiorem esse pugnaturem"
                Whosoever desires peace prepares for war; no one provokes, nor dares to offend, those who they know to be superior in battle-Flavius Vegetius Renatus

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: The Best Time of Day to Walk and Exercise - Evening Pros and Cons

                  Originally posted by Reflection09 View Post
                  Just leave the kiddos for a while and you'll get back in shape in no time climbing roofs, walls and what not
                  leave the kiddos.??? u lost me there..

                  ohhh it brings back memories on how i used to be soo active.. literaly i used to climb walls and what not.. was the best in my p.e class and swimming was the best.. miss it loads.. i just wish some1 wud join me to the gym.. it wud b fun
                  Narrated Abu Musa: Some people asked Allah's Apostle, "Whose Islam is the best? i.e. (Who is a very good Muslim)?" He replied, "One who avoids harming the Muslims with his tongue and hands." (Book #2, Hadith #10)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: The Best Time of Day to Walk and Exercise - Evening Pros and Cons

                    Originally posted by sunni_ninja View Post
                    leave the kiddos.??? u lost me there..

                    ohhh it brings back memories on how i used to be soo active.. literaly i used to climb walls and what not.. was the best in my p.e class and swimming was the best.. miss it loads.. i just wish some1 wud join me to the gym.. it wud b fun
                    the kiddos=the new ninjas in training

                    Just get out there and do your thing. I mean sometimes we give up things because the company is not there but if you start with joining a class/training session you'll be fine on your own.
                    "Qui desiderat pacem, bellum praeparat; nemo provocare ne offendere audet quem intelliget superiorem esse pugnaturem"
                    Whosoever desires peace prepares for war; no one provokes, nor dares to offend, those who they know to be superior in battle-Flavius Vegetius Renatus

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: The Best Time of Day to Walk and Exercise - Evening Pros and Cons

                      for me, i look at my schedule for the week and plan for the days i can go walking... about 3-4 times a week, might be different days or time every week, which makes it more interesting and gives the body a variety of work-out, but i make sure i go when it's already 'planned'... i also plan for rest day and time... i have been doing this for the last 3 months and i can see and feel results... :)
                      "There is a difference between knowing the path and walking the path." - Morpheus, The Matrix. :hidban:

                      "It would not be reasonable in me if I did not serve Him Who created me, and to Whom ye shall (all) be brought back." Surah 36:22. Ya Sin (Yusuf Ali Translation)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: The Best Time of Day to Walk and Exercise - Evening Pros and Cons

                        I go to the gym at 8pm ish, and I can never get to sleep til at least midnight! Which is ok in the summer i guess as isha is at 11ish!

                        Comment

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