Is there a right and wrong time to work out during the day? There are certainly pros and cons for the morning, afternoon, or night, but whether there is one time better than the other is still hotly debated.
With our busy schedules, it certainly seems like the morning hours are best. Fitting in your workout before you are bogged down with appointments at work and errands to run may help ensure you fit your workout in more consistently.
Many people also choose to work out in the morning so they can finish, shower, and get on with their day. The early morning boost of energy is refreshing and motivates them to get the day started on the right foot.
A 2012 study suggests that participants who work out in the morning are more likely to make better choices regarding diet after their workouts, furthering the beneficial effects of the workout itself. They also tended to increase physical activity throughout the day in addition to their workout. Another benefit is that working out in the morning on an empty stomach may help you burn more fat.
Afternoon and Early Evening Workouts
For most of us, working out in the afternoon is hampered by work, responsibilities with our family, and the typical afternoon slump. According to a study conducted in 2010, the afternoon might be an excellent time to work out since the body’s core temperature is at its highest. You can take advantage of this, receiving optimum muscle strength and endurance to carry you throughout even the most vigorous workout.
Working out on your way home might also allow you to transition from work to your personal life, especially if you work in a high-stress environment. The ability to work out your stress and frustration from the day before carrying it home is a much better option for your mental health.
It appears that the late afternoon to early evening hours are best if you choose to work out during this time. Pay attention to how late your workout is, as you do not want it to interfere with your normal bedtime routines.
When deciding what the best time is for you to work out, it’s important to pay attention to your body. If you struggle to get up early to work out, you will most likely not stick with the routine. Likewise, if your job is demanding and it is difficult to get out on time, you may forgo your workout to get home and relax.
In the end, the best time of day for you to work out is the time you feel most comfortable and can commit to on a regular basis. It might not be that important when you work out, as long as you are working out.