Is there a best time of day to exercise?

When should I exercise? This is a question on a lot of people’s minds today. Our schedules are crammed and packed full from daylight to dark it seems and it can be difficult to get a good workout in on some days. And we certainly want to schedule our workouts at a time that is manageable and doable, so does it really matter if it is in the morning, evening or anytime in between? It is likely that if you search hard enough and deep enough you can find an expert that will tell you that you should exercise first thing in the morning. But you will also find experts that tell you it’s best to exercise in the evening before bed. There have not been any conclusive results that state one is absolutely better than the other especially as far as calories burned. Whether you choose to work out in the mornings or evenings is likely dependent on your schedule and how your body feels. While one time is not definitely better than the other, each can offer some unique benefits.

Man Working Out

Benefits of Working Out in the Mornings

There are some studies that indicate exercising in the morning is a good time to get the body revved up for the day. Most people who exercise first thing in the morning realize more sustained energy throughout the day.  For those who like to work out before they eat breakfast, there are some reports that indicate the possibility of the body burning more fat from a fasting state.  If you choose to exercise in the mornings, then you do not have to try to work it in for the rest of the day. Some experts have discovered that those who exercise early in the mornings tend to sleep better at night. Upon waking in the morning the liver has emptied itself of its stored carbohydrates. This means it is really good to do some cardio early on to help the body burn up fat.


Benefits of Working Out in the Evenings

One of the biggest noted benefits to working out in the afternoon or evening is that the body’s temperature is higher. This helps prevent injuries that are more likely to occur during morning workouts.  This basically means that you can get a harder workout in during afternoons or evenings. Doing workouts that are more difficult can help you reach goals like increasing your cardiovascular capacity or improve your overall sports performance.  Your body also has an increased capacity for synthesizing proteins later in the day. This means that later in the day, the body can better use dietary proteins to repair muscles. To achieve a maximized recovery you want to plan your more difficult workouts between 5 and 7 in the evenings.


The Time-of-Day Solution

Based on the varied information about what time of day is best to work out, it seems that it’s just best to do it. If the only time you have is before work in the morning, do it then. If your schedule is not conducive to an early morning workout, but it works better for you to work out in the evenings then go for it. If the schedule allows, you might try to alternate between working out in the mornings and the evenings. There are benefits associated with morning workouts and evening workouts so either of them is acceptable. The basic rule of thumb is to just keep moving – workout as often as you can whenever you can. Your body will thank you later.



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