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The Best Time to Work Out to Lose Belly Fat

Updated: May 7

During the 2020 Covid shutdowns, we all went through significant shifts in our lives. There was one shift I was actually excited about—the chance to create a workout routine that truly nurtured my body (and hormones).

four women of different ethnic backgrounds are performing the High Plank exercise

In my previous blog, I shared my thoughts on cortisol and how to improve hormonal health. What I didn't share is that our cortisol rhythm should naturally follow something like this graphic. We have a natural cortisol spike early in the day which subsides in the evening. Intense training in the evening adds another spike at a less than ideal time. Intense training in the evenings negatively impacts my sleep.

cortisol circadian rhythm chart

So, during the shutdown, I only lead workouts in the mornings. I also promised myself that once things reopened, I'd only teach in the mornings and around lunch!

Let's talk more about timing-based workouts or chrono-exercise. It's pretty interesting.

What is the best time to work out to lose belly fat?

Ever wonder if there's a magic time for torching belly fat? Science might have an answer! A study in the European Journal of Preventative Cardiology found that exercising between 8 am and 11 am can seriously boost your heart health. But here's the exciting part: women who worked out in the morning saw an extra benefit – significant fat reduction and lower blood pressure. So, morning exercisers, high five! Your routine just got even more powerful for belly fat burning.

woman starting morning cardio with a smile on her face

Night Owl Strength: Build Muscle After Dark

If your focus is to build and maintain muscle, several studies reveal that when the sun sets, our bodies are primed to lift heavier weights and train longer. Personally, I'm more of a morning person, but if you're up for double sessions, go for that intense cardio in the a.m. and tackle heavy strength training in the evening.

white woman with medium-length brown hair is wearing over-ear headphones, leggings, and workout jacket. She's tying her sneakers and is getting ready to strength train in the weight room in the morning.

Listen to Your Body: The Ultimate Rule

This science is fascinating, but remember, there's no magic formula. The key is finding a workout routine you actually enjoy and can stick with in the long run. Consistency is king (or queen) when it comes to reaching your fitness goals!

Nighttime Routine: Stretch and Rest for Recovery

woman in a ponytail is doing yoga outside with the morning sunrise

While mornings might be ideal for fat-burning workouts, evenings are perfect for winding down and prioritizing recovery. Here's why:

  • Stretch for Better Sleep: Ever heard of the saying "don't bounce before bed"? Science backs it up! Stretching and self-myofascial release in the evening can help loosen tight muscles and promote relaxation, leading to a better night's sleep.

  • Rest and Recharge (Midnight to 6 am): Our bodies are in rest-and-repair mode between midnight and 6 am. Gentle movement like yoga or walking is okay, but avoid intense workouts during this time. Disrupting your natural rhythms can negatively impact your health.

Remember, You're Unique!

While this information is interesting, don't feel the need to micromanage the timing of your workouts if all that does is add stress. The most important thing is to find a workout routine you enjoy and can stick with consistently. Consistency is key!🤍

Bonus Tip: Tame Those Post-Dinner Sugar Spikes

We've all been there: a delicious, carb-heavy meal followed by a dreaded energy crash. But there's a simple solution! A relaxing after-dinner stroll can do wonders for managing your blood sugar levels. Plus, it's a great way to unwind after a busy day. I personally love to do this after going out to dinner in the city.

Ready to Spark Your Fitness Journey?

Download my FREE SPARK Method guide for a personalized roadmap to achieving your health and wellness goals! It's packed with easy-to-follow tips, tricks, and expert advice to help you unlock your full potential. Let's get started!

Amira Lamb performing a split on the Williamsburg Bridge in Brooklyn New York




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