MPH Blog

When Is the Best Time to Exercise?

We already know that exercise is important in maintaining your overall fitness and health. Some people think that to maximize its benefits, you have to do your workout at a particular time. While there are some who swear by the advantages of an early morning sweat session, others insist the opposite. But does the time of your workout really matter? Although there is some research that supports both claims, it seems that the real key is in the consistency of your workouts.

The best time of day to work out? That will depend on how your body feels and your particular schedule!

Benefits of Being an Early Bird

Are you one of those people who never seems to be cranky in the morning and is always ready for the day at the first beep of your alarm? If you don’t have to drag yourself out of bed and you’re able to distinguish which shoe goes on which foot at the crack of dawn, then a morning exercise is definitely for you.

It can be easier to be consistent when you work out first thing in the morning, as your less likely to be interrupted by a work emergency or social function. Gyms are also less crowded in the morning, making it easier for you to do exercise variation. If the reason you exercise is to lose weight, a 2010 study suggests that exercising on an empty stomach helps you burn up to 20 percent of body fat.

Are Night Owls Better?

If you’re the person who forces themselves to exercise in the morning only to sleepwalk on the treadmill, then going to the gym right after work or later in the evening may prove to be a better option. Since your body has already adjusted with a full day of work, it is easier to get in the zone and do a more vigorous workout. Exercise is also a great way to blow off steam after a stress-filled day. In addition, people are more inclined to join you in your workout if it’s at a later time of the day. Having company means being accountable for each other’s workout progress!

Finding the Best Time for You

Still wondering which time of the day is best for you? You may try to stick to a particular schedule the first week, then switch to another on your second week. Listen to your body to figure out which time of the day is more comfortable for you. However, you don’t have to be stuck with just these two schedules! You may also decide to spread your exercise schedule all throughout the day. Most experts suggest that to keep your health in check, you need to have at least 30-minutes of physical activity a day.

Here’s an example on how you can sprinkle your workout throughout your day:

  • Morning: Quick yoga poses for 10 minutes before breakfast.
  • Afternoon: 10-minute stroll after lunch. You may also opt to take the stairs instead of the elevator as well.
  • Evening: 10-minute stroll around the neighborhood.

Whatever time you choose for your body, the important thing is to be consistent in doing your exercise. Don’t stress too much, and remember that exercise should feel good!

This article contains general information about medical conditions and treatments. The information is not advice and should not be treated as such. The information is not intended to replace the advice or diagnosis of a physician. If you have any specific questions about any medical matter you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider.