The best time of the day to exercise

by Michael Davis in Education

When it comes to exercise, there are a lot of factors to consider, including what kind of exercise to do, how long to exercise, and what to eat before and after working out. However, one important consideration that many people overlook is the timing of their workouts. While some people swear by early morning exercise, others prefer to work out in the evening or even late at night. So, what is the best time of day to exercise? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of working out at different times of the day.

Morning Exercise

For many people, working out first thing in the morning is the best way to start the day. Here are some of the benefits of morning exercise:

  • Improved sleep: Exercise has been shown to improve sleep quality, so working out in the morning may help you sleep better at night. Research suggests that early morning exercise may beneficially change your circadian rhythm so that you feel more energised in the morning and sleepier at night.
  • Consistency: Working out in the morning helps establish a routine that can help ensure you stick to your exercise goals. Getting your workout in early in the morning means that you don’t have to worry about not having enough energy in the evening/afternoon for your workout.
  • Productivity and mood: Morning exercise helps release endorphins, which can boost mood and reduce stress and anxiety. In addition, it increases blood flow and oxygen to the brain, improving mental clarity, focus and productivity.

Here are some of the drawbacks to exercising in the morning:

  • Lack of Energy: Some people find it difficult to muster the energy for a morning workout, especially if they are not used to exercising at that time of day. Be sure to get enough sleep, you may need to get to bed earlier if you are thinking about waking up earlier than usual to workout. It’s also important to fuel your body correctly before exercise, check out this blog on meal timing
  • Increased Injury Risk: Because your muscles and joints may still be stiff from sleep, there is a slightly higher risk of injury when exercising in the morning. It’s important to get a good warm-up in before your workout, especially before a morning workout.
  • Difficulty waking up: If you’re not a morning person, it can be difficult to muster the energy to work out first thing in the morning.

Afternoon/Evening Exercise

If you’re not a morning person, working out later in the day might be a better option for you. Here are some of the benefits of afternoon/evening exercise:

  • Increased Flexibility: Your body is generally more flexible later in the day, which can help reduce the risk of injury and improve your workout performance. Muscle endurance and strength are also better later on in the day than the morning.
  • Stress Relief: Exercise has been shown to be an effective stress reliever, and working out after a long day can be a great way to unwind.
  • Increased Energy: If you’re feeling sluggish in the afternoon, a workout can help give you a boost of energy to power through the rest of the day.

However, there are also some potential drawbacks to afternoon/evening exercise:

  • Sleep Disturbances: For some people, exercising too close to bedtime can interfere with sleep quality. This mostly applies to very intense exercise like HIIT, whereas more gentle forms of exercise such as yoga may improve your sleep.
  • Crowded Gyms: If you’re working out at a gym, you may have to deal with crowded equipment or busy group classes during peak hours.
  • Less Consistency: If you have a busy evening schedule, it can be difficult to consistently fit in a workout. Some people have a hard time finding the energy to workout out in the evening after a long day of work.

So when is the best time to exercise?

The best time to exercise will depend on your personal preferences and schedule. Some people may find that they have more energy and motivation in the morning, while others may prefer to work out in the afternoon or evening. It’s important to find a time that works best for you and stick to it consistently to build a healthy exercise habit.

Regardless of what time of day you choose to exercise, it’s important to prioritize getting enough good sleep. If you find that your current exercise schedule is interfering with your sleep, then it might be a good idea to change which time of day you choose to exercise.

It’s important to consider any potential benefits or drawbacks of exercising at different times of the day. By prioritizing your health and being consistent with your exercise routine, you can enjoy the many benefits of regular physical activity, regardless of when you choose to work out.

Thanks for reading.