When is the Best Time to Exercise?
If there was one specific time of the day that working out would burn the most calories and provide the most significant improvements, everyone would probably exercise at that time, right? Well, the truth is that a calorie burned at 8AM is the same as a calorie burned at 8PM, so the best time to exercise really depends on what the best time for YOU is. Working out in the morning may be right for one person, while working out in the evening may be better for someone else. Not sure what time is best for you? Here are some benefits associated with working out at specific times of the day:
- consistency – sticking to a morning workout time can be easier because there are fewer distractions to prevent you from exercising (friends/family, evening plans, getting stuck at work, traffic and fatigue from the day)
- breakfast – starting your morning at the gym can make it easier to incorporate a healthy breakfast into your day
- early bed time – knowing you are going to get up and work out in the morning can motivate you to go to bed earlier and get an adequate amount of sleep
- increased metabolism – morning exercise will help kickstart your metabolism for the day
- more energy – exercise has been proven to help reduce fatigue, so exercising in the morning can lead to more energy and productivity during the day
- energy to finish the day – working out midday can provide a quick boost to revive your energy and helps you finish your workday strong
- stress relief – exercising on your lunch break helps break up your workday and provides an opportunity to get out of the office to de-stress
- more free time in the evening – working out in the middle of the day frees up your evening and helps keep exercise from being associated with being a distraction or a chore
- staying under your limit – working out later in the day can allow you the chance to eliminate extra calories gained throughout the day and stay within your daily allowance
- a chance to decompress – an evening workout can be a healthy outlet to release any stress that has built up during the day
- accountability – it may be easier to find a workout partner or personal trainer later in the day to help keep you motivated and on track
- class availability – there are usually more fitness classes offered at gyms later in the day
- no time restraints – you won’t have to put a time limit on your workout in order to return to work or other obligations
While each time of day provides its own benefits, ultimately you need to choose a time that you can make a consistent part of your daily routine. Making exercise a daily habit matters more than the time of day. At Verve Health, we recommend adults engage in about 30 minutes of physical activity per day at least 3-5 days/week for low and moderate intensity training and 20-30 minutes of physical activity 2-3 days/week for high intensity training. Our program participants have the benefit of our telephonic and onsite health coaching, which helps them stay motivated and on track with any exercise program they are starting or continuing.