There are many different ways to do cardio, though it has two main uses: to improve cardiovascular function and to burn calories. The first is for performance and function whilst the latter is for aesthetics. Both, however, correlate to an improved quality of life and overall health. Let’s separate both uses apart so we can find out when the right time to use cardio is for you.
So, cardio for performance. If you’re looking to use cardio to boost your performance in the gym or for a sport, then the best time for cardio will depend on your training schedule. Using light cardio can be a great way to make your cardiovascular system more efficient to get more out of your body when exercising. However, it also creates fatigue and can reduce your rate of recovery between training sessions. This means that the best time to use cardio will be not so close to your training session that you can’t give it enough effort, but equally not so long after one session that it impacts the next. Leaving at least a day between your cardio and training sessions should be enough.
Next, if you’re using cardio for health and fat loss, then it really depends on your schedule and when you best perform. If you’re someone who struggles with motivation at the end of the day, then go for a run when you wake up. Some people prefer getting it out of the way as soon as possible whereas others like to leave it to the end of the day in order to unwind. If your goal is to simply improve your health and burn calories, then it really doesn’t matter when you do it as long as you get it done. So, find a time that you can stick to consistently and make it part of your day. Just make yourself one of those people who goes cycling or swimming or running. One of the best ways to become healthier is just to tell yourself you’re someone who does those things. Make it normal, not unusual, and soon enough you’ll feel weird if you don’t do cardio.
If you’ve come to this article wondering when exactly in the day you should complete cardio, then there’s really not that much difference. Like we’ve said, as long as you get it done, that’s all that matters. Everyone performs best at different times. There are advantages to completing it in the morning, such as to wake yourself up and make sure you’ve achieved at least one thing in your day. As well as this, you can time it with your morning coffee to give you a boost. Though, some people prefer to use it at the end of their day to unwind, meditate and make them tired before bed. Really it comes down to the effect cardio has on you, your body and mind.