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What TIME is best to exercise?

Oct 06, 2020
What’s the Best Time of Day to Exercise?
With busy schedules, sometimes we think it is hard to find the time to exercise.  Between juggling everyday tasks, it can be difficult to squeeze in workouts even though we know they are vital to our health and well-being.  However, exercise can actually help with our overwhelming schedules and knowing what’s the best time of the day to exercise can help.
Working Out in the Morning-
Logistically, there are many pros to working out in the morning.  First of all, you’ll get your workout done and over with before you even start your day. That means you’ll begin your day with endorphins and a good feeling knowing you accomplished your workout. And that’s a huge ego boost.  You also won’t have to worry about working out later in the afternoon or evening.
Studies support the benefits of working out in the morning hours.  Those who exercised in the morning, also increased their physical activity throughout the day more than days they didn’t exercise in the morning. Additional benefits include an increased metabolism, which means you’ll continue to burn calories throughout the day as you consume them rather than at night while you’re sleeping.
One more argument for a workout first thing in the morning is that exercising on an empty stomach could burn more fat.  Exercisers can burn up to 20 percent more body fat when hitting the gym with an empty stomach.  This is a much more attainable feat in the morning, before breakfast, than after a full day during which you should be eating regularly.
Exercise in the Afternoon or Evening-
While it certainly seems like the morning is an ideal time to work out, fitting in exercise in the afternoon or after hours has its proven benefits as well.
Your body’s ability to perform peaks in the afternoon can have benefits. Your body temperature increases throughout the day, optimizing your muscle function and strength, enzyme activity, and endurance for performance.  Between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m., your body temperature is at its highest. This may mean you’ll be exercising during the window of time your body is most ready, potentially making it the most effective time of day to work out.
Additionally, oxygen uptake kinetics are faster in the evening, which means you use your resources more slowly and effectively than in the morning. Working out in the morning could also require adding an additional warm up to your routine, which could take away from the focus of your workout.
Also, in the afternoon and evening, your reaction time is at its quickest, which is important for exercises like balance. The late afternoon is also the time when your heart rate and blood pressure are lowest, which decreases your chance of injury while improving performance.
While some may caution individuals about how working out at night can disrupt your sleep, one study even found that those who lifted weights in the evening got better quality sleep and slept for longer than those who did the same workout in the morning.
What is the answer?
So what time is best? While the science and studies seem contradictory, one thing is clear— working out is important, no matter what time of day you do it.
What really matters is that you find a time of day that works for you and that fits your schedule, and then stick to it.  By keeping your workout regime consistent at the same time every day, you could be making greater training gains and have better success reaching your fitness goals!
The best time to exercise is WHENEVER it works best for you.
As long as you are exercising on a regular basis, it makes no significant difference.
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