By Thorin Klosowski
It’s no secret that picking a workout time and sticking to it is good for building a habit, but as health blog Greatist points out, it’s also good for performance.
It’s thought that when you work out at the same time every day you have higher oxygen consumption, and lower perceived exhaustion. Essentially, the longer you stick with a routine, the easier it feels. So, does it matter what time you work out? Greatist suggests the question is more complicated than you’d think.
For afternoon workouts, it’s all about body temperature:
Body temperature typically increases throughout the day, so muscle strength and endurance may peak in the late afternoon, when body temperature is highest . The afternoon is also when reaction time is quickest and heart rate and blood pressure are lowest, all of which combine to improve performance and reduce the overall likelihood of injury.
However, early morning workouts aren’t bad either. In fact, they’re good for people who typically have a lot of things going on throughout the day. If you’re a morning workout person, Greatist only has one suggestion:
If working out in the morning is easiest, just make sure to spend a few extra minutes warming up muscles that might be extra cold and tight from sleep.
Regardless of which time you choose, the important thing is to keep it consistent. Not just for the sake of building a habit, but because consistency will actually make you feel better in the long run.