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11 Jan 2005

Hubby just began working out-- when is the best time to exercise?
Hello Doctor,

My husband has recently taken up a fitness programme that he's doing from our home.

What he wants to know is- when is the best time to exercise? Morning before breakfast or late afternoon, or evening before supper? He can adjust his schedule to work out at any time of day, but he'd like to know the best time to do it so that he loses fat. He is also on a kilojoule controlled diet.

Any thoughts on this? My experience is that people tend to work out when they have the time. Since hubby's time is flexi, he can choose his time, so which is optimal for fat loss?

Thanking you in advance.
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Expert
FitnessDoc
fitnessdoc

01 Jan 0001

Hi Wifey

It's a pretty common question, but not one to which there is a definitive answer. I will give you the general ideas, but at the end of the day, you have to exercise when it suits you best and when you will be able to best stick with it. If that means morning, then so be it.

Some people suggest that training in the morning, before eating breakfast is good, because it forces you to exercise on 'an empty stomach' which basically means that your body has no glucose to burn. Therefore, it is thought that the body will use more fat, and weight loss would be greater. However, the principle may be true, but there are certain other considerations that you must take into account:

• The intensity of the training: if the intensity is too high, you have the risk of becoming hypoglycaemic.
• The duration of the training: if you exercise too long, you also have a risk of becoming hypoglycaemic.
• If you are glycogen depleted when you begin, you will become hypoglycaemic quicker.
• The meal that you ate the previous evening.
• It also dependent on your previous training and your dietary intake over the one or two days prior to the session.

In otherwords, exercising without giving your body any energy can cause you to become hypoglycaemic. It may be safe if you train at a low intensity and for less than an hour. you may wish to try this out and experiment, and see what works best for you, and then choose the most convenient time of day, as mentioned.
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