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What's the best time of day to work out?

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  • 4 years ago
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"Is there a better time of the day to work out? Does it make a difference?" - Jessica Perez (on YouTube)

My short answer to this question is: the best time to workout is the time you'll actually do it! While there are benefits to working out in the morning (one study showed that morning exercisers may sleep better) working out in the evening can have it's benefits too (one study found that when they compared two groups of cyclists, those who worked out at 6pm had higher power outputs than those who pedaled at 6am).

Here's the thing: if you are NOT a morning person and it takes everything you have just to roll out of bed in the morning to get to work on time, an early morning workout may not be the right fit for you. Some people find they come alive in the evenings, and enjoy working out after a long, stressful day at work. Others may find that if they don't do it first thing in the morning they won't do it at all because the rest of the day gets too hectic. The best way to figure out what works best for you is to experiment and to be open to change. And, keep in mind that you may need to break up your workout time in order to make it fit for you. Maybe a 10-15 minute session in the morning, afternoon and evening works better for your day. There are plenty of options!

As your life changes, your answer may to! I used to love working out in the evenings when I had a 8-6pm job because I just couldn't get up earlier.

And if you do decide that mornings work best for you, just make sure to roll your bedtime back early enough to ensure you are still logging in plenty of quality sleep. Otherwise your workout may not be doing as much good since not getting enough sleep can actually cause weight gain and could have a negative affect on your energy level and ability to complete your workout to the best of your ability.

Evening exercisers, pay attention to what kind of workouts work best for you. Some find that they can do a hardcore kickboxing classes even as late as an hour before bed and still sleep like a baby, others may find that pushing hard close to bedtime keeps them awake.

There really isn't a one-size-fits all answer to this question in my opinion. Instead, I encourage you to keep experimenting with your schedule and body's preferences to find the perfect fit for you.

What's most important isn't necessarily the timing, but rather the consistency, of your workouts.

Share your thoughts and opinions with us - when do you like to work out? Do you find the time of day makes a difference on your performance, sleep or energy level?

Got a question for me? Leave it in the comments below and I may answer it in an upcoming Q and A episode!

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