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What Is the Best Time to Exercise?

By Sarah Baker

Posted almost 2 years ago

When is the best time to exercise? Is there a best time? Does it really matter? After having difficulties developing a consistent exercise routine, these are questions I was determined to find the answers to.

There are three major times during the day that you can exercise. Morning, afternoon (lunch time), and evening. I’m going to break down these times to figure out which, if any, offers a better exercise. 



Why Exercise In the Morning:

If you are a morning person, unlike me, this is definitely a great time for you to do your exercise! If you wake up filled with energy, use that energy to get your day started on the right foot and get active. This is also a good time to exercise if you have problems with consistency in your workout routine. If the first thing that you do every morning is exercise, it’s hard for you to forget or run out of time. Working out in the morning can also rev up your metabolism and doing an easy workout can have added benefits because in the morning your stomach is empty. There are also studies that have shown that if you exercise in the morning, it offers you a better night sleep. 

My best friend’s husband swears that working out in the morning helps him to sleep better. Just remember that if you do plan on working out in the morning, don’t eat a heavy meal, it’ll make you sick. Eat something light so you don’t pass out but don’t get sick either. Also, give yourself some extra time for a warm up. Your body temperature is lower so it will take longer for all your muscles and joints to wake up and avoid injury.


Miranda Kerr practices yoga in the morning 

Why Exercise In the Afternoon:

Exercising in the afternoon or at lunch time is probably best for you if you are neither a morning person nor a night owl, like me. Working out on your lunch break offers you a couple of benefits. It can help you to relax if you are stressed or overwhelmed at the office because of the endorphins that you release when you exercise. It also offers you other people to work out with. If you don’t like working out alone, find an office buddy to do it with you, there are always plenty of people to find at the office. Just remember that if you are going to exercise on your lunch hour, always eat after.  


Fitness motivation: supermodel Gisele Bundchen, exercises religiously

Why Exercise In the Evening:

If you are not a morning person and more of and night owl or offer more productivity at night, than working out in the evening is probably the right time for you. In the evening, you are not fighting your alarm clock to wake up earlier than normal to squeeze in that workout. In the evenings, your body temperature is higher, therefore you muscles and joints are more adaptable for exercise and you are less prone to injury. You also may have more energy in the evenings because you’ve been awake for longer, this can also result in less energy if you have had a busy day. An evening exercise is better if you plan on running, biking, or swimming because your strength and endurance are greater later in the day. Just remember not to exercise too close to bedtime, otherwise it can throw off your melatonin levels and cause sleepless nights.


Fitness motivation: model Brooke Burke (age 43) exercises religiously & has made a career out of it

What it comes down to is opinion and how your body works. It all depends on the type of person you are and when is the best time for you. Don’t know when is best for you? Try them all out. For a few weeks at a time, exercise in the morning, then try afternoon, then try evening. Which on gave you more energy? Which on made you feel the best? That time is the best time for you. For me, it’s probably the afternoon/lunch time hour. This allows me to not have to wake up early and also takes my “I’m tired” and “I just ran out of time” excuses away.

Besides just figuring out when you exercise the best, you need to figure out where you do it best, what kind of exercise you prefer, and if you want to go solo or need a buddy. All of these go hand in hand to find your best workout scenario. The main thing is to be consistent, get in to a routine, and be active. 


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