Best Time To Exercise

Best Time To ExerciseIf you’re just starting out, you might be wondering when is the best time to exercise?  Should you get up early and knock out your workout right away or should you wait until after work?  What about your meal timing?  If you get home late from work should you eat first and wait a while to workout, or should you just workout right before bed?  If you exercise to late will it affect your sleep?  I get questions like these quite often, so if you’re wondering when is the best time to exercise, you’re not alone.

Best Time To Exercise – Morning = Consistency

You might not be a morning person, but personally I really like working out in the morning, and for me it’s the best time to exercise.  To tell you the truth I really had never really been much of a morning person.  I liked to sleep in and get up just in time to get ready and get going to work for the day.  But I also used to skip workouts all the time and found it hard to stay consistent with my workout, which is part of the reason I had put on 25 lbs. of fat.  So for me, getting up earlier and getting my workout in first thing is the best way to go.  No one is going to schedule a 5:00 AM meeting with me and there are not going to be any distractions.  There really aren’t any excuses that can get in my way, which I like.  When I workout in the morning, I’m much more consistent with my workout because I’m in control of that time.  Plus it energizes me for the day and I don’t get distracted thinking about when I’m going to get my workout in because it’s already done!  It’s a great feeling for me.  And research has actually shown that people who workout in the morning are much more consistent and stick with their program.  So if you’re someone who can get easily distracted or are very busy after work, then the morning is probably the best time to exercise for you.

Best Time To Exercise – Afternoon = Physiological Benefits

According to research, the best time to exercise, from a physiological standpoint, is in the afternoon.  This has to do with your body temperature being at it’s highest, and also your strength and endurance are greater in the afternoon.  So from a performance perspective, the best time to exercise is probably in the afternoon.  You should be able to do more and keep up with your workouts, but for me, it’s just too easy to let distractions come up that can be out of my control.  And it just distracts me all day, thinking about the workout coming up, when exactly I’m going to do it and how it will go.  Plus I also like to workout on an empty stomach, which is pretty hard to do in the afternoon.  If I workout right when I get home from work it makes dinner pretty late, otherwise if I eat right when I get home my workout gets pretty late.  But I know plenty of you love the afternoon workouts and struggle to get up early enough to get a good workout in.  So the afternoon is ideal for you, because you can get it in right after work or school with no problem.  And if you do schedule it in your day and feel more energized, then the best time to exercise for you is probably the afternoon.

Best Time To Exercise – Will a late night workout affect sleep?

When people ask me if late at night is the best time to exercise, they often worry about it affecting their sleep.  Although I haven’t read any research saying it will keep you up or make you sleep like a baby, I can speak from personal experience and what I’ve heard others say.  I actually just had a 9 PM workout yesterday, so it’s fresh in my mind.  Personally, when the only time to workout is late at night, which is rare, it just knocks me out and I have no problems sleeping at all.  I actually think it improves my sleeping.  I didn’t wake up once last night and feel very rested this morning.  But I have heard from other people that it really keep them up at night, although this could have a lot to do with the supplements they take.  If you like taking a pre-workout supplement, then late at night might not be the best time to exercise for you because the caffeine and other things that give you a boost of energy for your workout could make it hard to sleep.  So your supplements can play a big role here too.  For me, this time is not ideal, but I have also heard from some parents that nighttime is the best time to exercise for them because they can put their kids to bed and get a workout in with no distractions.  For people with young children this really might be the best time to exercise!

Best Time To Exercise = What works for you

As you can see, the best time to exercise is really dependent on your schedule.  While I personally like working out right away in the morning, it doesn’t work for everyone.  So in my opinion, the best time to exercise is the time that works best with your schedule and is least likely to get scheduled over.  The important thing is that you get your workout in!

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  1. […] workout in, you are much more likely to complete it.  And if you’ve read my article, the best time to exercise, you’ll know that I am a huge proponent of working out in the morning.  Why?  Because there […]

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