If you’re on a mission to get more exercise, congrats! You’re already one step ahead. Now, here’s the real question. When is the best time to work out? Of course, life responsibilities will pave the way. Work, school, and kids are just a few examples. If you’re a busy bee, you might be forced to exercise at specific times. And that’s fine, because something is better than nothing.
But if you are stuck between the morning, midday, and evening, know that each one has its own pros and cons. Some are related to your physical body, while some depend on your personality. Plus, we all function in different ways. To set yourself up for success, listen to your body and mind. Choose a time that is best for you. By doing so, you’ll be more likely to stick to your routine.
The Best Times To Exercise
1. Morning Workout
Pros Of A Morning Workout
Cons Of A Morning Workout
For some people, waking up early isn’t possible. Maybe you work late, early, or overnight. Or perhaps you’re just a night owl and not willing to kick the habit. You might also need extra time to eat breakfast or feel “alive.” After all, you’ve just been
To do this and sleep for at least 8 hours, you’ll need to hit the hay at around 9 p.m. or earlier. This will keep your internal clock healthy, says the National Sleep Foundation. And you get extra points for rising with the sun!3 However, if you’re the type that needs a lot of time to start functioning, morning workouts probably aren’t for you.
2. Midday Workout
Pros Of Working Out At Midday
Physical activity is a natural mood-booster. It releases endorphins, the “feel good” hormones. This is exactly what causes the popular “runner’s high” after a workout.4 Come midday, exercise serves as the perfect pick-me-up. This is handy if you tend to have stressful mornings. See
And even better, the gym will be empty. Most people try to exercise before or after the rush hour. If you work the non-traditional hours, take advantage of the late morning or midday.
Cons Of Working Out At Midday
After a midday workout, you probably have places to be. This means you need to be diligent about your timing. Every minute counts, especially if you’re on a lunch break. It gets even harder if you still need to shower and get ready – again. A set routine makes it easier. But at the same time, it limits creativity. You’ll be less likely to try new moves or extra reps. You might even rush without realizing it. If you want to exercise midday, focus on quality. Consider doing more intense workouts in less time. Remember, each and every move should have a purpose.
3. Evening Workout
Pros Of Working Out In The Evening
After a long day, exercise lets you blow
Cons Of Working Out In The Evening
You might be tired by now. Like, real tired! Factors like long commutes and manual labor might be to blame. This is also trickier if you have kids. If that’s the case, consider working out with them, such as a brisk walk or game of catch doubles as stress relief for everyone. Since it’s dinnertime, hunger may also strike. It’ll just make your low energy levels even worse. Instead, give yourself some fuel with filling snacks like bananas or nuts.
There’s no right or wrong answer. Choose a time of day that works with your lifestyle, personality, and schedule. By considering all these factors, you’ll be that much closer to your fitness goals.
|↑1||Importance of Physical Activity. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.|
|↑2||Van Proeyen, Karen, Karolina Szlufcik, Henri Nielens, Monique Ramaekers, and Peter Hespel. “Beneficial metabolic adaptations due to endurance exercise training in the fasted state.” Journal of Applied Physiology 110, no. 1 (2011): 236-245.|
|↑3||Melatonin and Sleep. National Sleep Foundation.|
|↑4||Harber, Victoria J., and John R. Sutton. “Endorphins and exercise.” Sports Medicine 1, no. 2 (1984): 154-171.|