When is the best time to exercise?

Morning workouts boost your metabolism. Evening exercise affects your sleep. Sorting the facts from the myths about when to exercise can be challenging. Here we discuss what time of day is truly best to fit in a workout.

Morning workouts

There is truth to the fact that morning exercise helps to boost your metabolism and helps your body burn calories during the day. Research also shows that individuals who workout in the morning are more likely to remain consistent with their workout schedule. Morning workouts ensure you stick to your designated time and aren’t given the shove as competing commitments pop up throughout the day. In saying that, if you did not gain a good night’s sleep, it is very easy to press the snooze button and miss your workout for the day!

Evening workouts

Working out in the evening does not interfere with your sleep regardless of what you may have heard. Exercise raises your heart rate and temperature which doctors say will not impact your sleeping habits. If you’ve had a busy or stressful day, working out in the evening can help to relieve some of that tension and help your mind de-stress. Evening workouts are also great for socialising, especially if you find group exercise classes or working out with partners key in maintaining motivation.

So which is best?

The truth is everyone’s different and there’s no one time that suits everyone. In order to achieve your fitness goals, you need to listen to your body and develop a consistent routine that works for YOU. Consistency is vital in maintaining and improving fitness levels. So regardless of what time you exercise, the most important thing is to ensure you will stick to your regime. If you’re not a morning person, avoid morning workouts! If you’re too tired in the evenings, try a morning workout. If you have an hour lunch break, fit in a midday session. I’ll say it again, do what is right for you and your lifestyle to maintain a consistent workout schedule.

If you’re not partial to sweating it out at the gym for hours each week, you can easily work exercise into your daily routine in other ways. Government guidelines are for adults to accumulate 150 to 300 minutes (2 ½ to 5 hours) of moderate intensity physical activity or 75 to 150 minutes (1 ¼ to 2 ½ hours) of vigorous intensity physical activity each week. This may seem daunting but it’s actually a lot easier than you think. For instance, a morning brisk walk (10 mins), lunchtime brisk walk (10 mins) and evening brisk walk (10 mins) accumulates 30 minutes for the day. If you do this every weekday you have already reached your 150 minutes for the week – easy!

Final thought

It has been proven that individuals with random exercise habits are least likely to stick to their fitness goals over time. Similarly, individuals who have a clearly defined schedule and stick to the same times each week, are more likely to stick to their routine and achieve their goals. Regardless of whether you workout out in the morning, middle of the day or evening, scheduling your exercise each week will make it much easier to make exercise a healthy habit.