• Laura Warren

What time of day is best for exercising?



Reader Request: I've heard so much conflicting advice on what time of the day is the best time to workout. Can you share any advice?

When it comes to exercise, its usually determined by our work or life commitments. Sometimes it may suit early in the morning before a day at the office or later in the evening when a partner can come home to care for the kids.

In my opinion, consistency is the most important factor in doing any exercise and its once again a case of what works for one doesn't work for all.

Overall, any exercise is good exercise if you’re willing to do it repeatedly. I've complied a few pros and cons for different times of day but it's up to you to make the final decision on which works best for your circumstances…

Morning Workouts

The Pros:

Getting it done for the day.

Choosing to work out in the morning invigorates the body. It increases your mental alertness but allows you to feel 'settled' in your physical body for a day at work. Exercising in the morning minimizes the risk of the risk of potential cancellation. Its easy to put exercise as a low priority if work or family commitments pop up. It feels ok to collapse on the couch after a hard day at work and get sucked into a Netflix binge if you've put in the physical exertion in the morning.

Exercise without the crowds.

Hitting the gym a little earlier helps you beat the rush and avoid weighting in line for the weights or your favorite cardio equipment . Most busy gyms and group classes have open spots early as opposed to later in the morning and after work hours.

Get better sleep

A hard morning workout can help improve your sleep quality. There’s nothing worse than laying in bed at night not being able to flick out. If you have this problem try working out in the morning, as exercising in the evening can energize you making it harder to get to sleep. Getting adequate restorative sleep is just as important as working on your fitness!

The Cons:

It feels more difficult

Don’t worry it’s not just you! if your like me I feel that until I get a routine morning workouts feel like they require way more effort than afternoon workouts. Maybe your muscles and joints are stiff and your body is colder, so making sure you do a proper warm-up is crucial when you do exercise in the morning. Morning yoga is a great way to loosen up and prepare your mind for the challenges of the day ahead.

Afternoon Workouts

The Pros:

Improved flexibility

As your body moves through the day, it naturally warms and becomes more flexible. A warm body is important in minimizing injuries so a proper warm up is always crucial no matter what time of the day.

Better for maximum effort

It seems to be easier to increase your physical performance and give maximum effort in the afternoon Afternoon training sessions increase your tolerance for intense exercise, helping you get more out of your workout.

The Cons:

Potentially, Goodbye happy hour

This can also be seen as a positive or negative thing, but balance at the end of the day goes a long way! Whether it’s watching a movie with your number 1 or meeting with friends after work, an afternoon workout can minimize your time to socialize if your work hours are already long. Planning social and exercise commitments into your schedule is important.

At the end of the day I think getting to wrapped up in the how, when, why, what nitty gritty details can bred more confusion and less action. So the takeaway point from this, calling on the Nike catch phrase JUST DO IT! Now it’s time for you to decide: morning or afternoon?