What Is the Best Time of the Day to Exercise?

Vitamin D
Amelia Phillips

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Answer: Anytime!

However there are varying parts of the day that yield better results. Over and above my suggestions below, you should also consider 2 other factors when planning your workouts; Your inner motivation and your schedule.

Inner Motivation: Are you the kind of person that springs out of bed whistling Dixie ready to attack the day, or is the effort of opening one eyelid too much to bear and the snooze button has a neat thumb print embedded in it? Don’t kid yourself, if you’re not a morning person, scheduling a workout pre-sunrise is only setting yourself up for failure.

Busy Schedule: It’s often the busiest people that stick to their workouts, i.e. if you want to get something done, give it to a busy person and this is because busy people know how to plan. But it’s not just about planning your workouts. Plan your sleep. If you get 7+ hours per night, you will have the energy to train, no matter what time. Plan your evenings so you will get to bed at a reasonable time, and book your training sessions at a time least likely to get interrupted.

Best time of day for weight loss: Mornings: Training before breakfast means you have less sugar (glycogen) in your system. You will not start burning fat until you are glycogen depleted. This happens much faster when your last meal was 12hours ago. In addition, your metabolism stays boosted for up to 15 hours after you exercise, so your brekky, lunch and probably dinner are being digested faster. The calories from your meals are being burnt up by your body in recovery from training, rather than being stored in your fat cells.

Best time of day for optimum Strength/performance: Mid afternoon: Your body has something called its Circadian rhythm, which regulates your body’s clock, winds you up in the morning and slows you down at night. Studies have shown that our body is geared to perform at its best at 2pm and at its worst at 2am. So if you want to impress, the afternoon is your best bet.

Best time of day for energy improvement/productivity: Lunch time: Huh? You say. Well try it. Go for a run in your lunch break and see how fast the afternoon flies. You will be buzzing at your desk instead of nodding off. It doesn’t eat into your personal time and you didn’t have to wake up extra early. All those calories you consumed at lunch are being burned by your worked muscles rather than causing the afternoon slump, and there’s nothing better to clear your busy head than a great sweat session. It’s when I get my best ideas!

My favourite time to train: Mornings! Yes I happen to be one of those annoying morning

people, but I believe exercise has helped me become that way. It’s almost like the body wakes up expecting to move and rewards you when it does. I always feel amazing after my morning workouts and tend to take on a more positive approach throughout my day. My top tip – Go to bed EARLY (like 9-9:30pm)! And what about that feeling when your fatigued body sinks into bed at night: ahhhh addictive!

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    I also love working out in the morning. As much as possible, I stick to my exercise. However, if I cannot do it because of my hectic schedule then I do a brisk walk as I go to the office, and another one while walking home after work.