Best time to exercise
What’s the best time of day to exercise… it depends on you.

By: Body - Physical Training - 5/1/2017

​Is there a time of day that's best for exercise?  The answer to this question is:  It depends on you.  Simply put, the best time of day to exercise is the time when you can maintain a consistent exercise routine—which is not necessarily the same time for everyone.  Exercising at a consistent time each day can also provide training adaptations.  For example, if you work out at noon every day, your body will adapt to perform at its best at noon.

No matter the time, pick a time when you enjoy exercising, so that you keep up with it and develop a routine.  Here are a few tips to keep in mind about the best time to fit exercise into your schedule.

Morning - It might be easiest to stick with a consistent exercise regimen by beginning your day with a workout.  As the day goes on, things can come up that will deter your plans to work out later, and motivation often fades as the day progresses.  However, since your body and muscle temperatures are lower in the morning, it's especially important to warm up properly before exercising in the morning.

Afternoon - Optimal adaptations to weight training seem to occur in late afternoon.  Levels of hormones such as testosterone (which is important for muscle growth in both men and women) and cortisol (which is important for regulating metabolism and controlling blood pressure) seem to be at an ideal ratio later in the day.  For some people—because hormone levels vary from person to person—lifting weights later in the day also might be more beneficial because their testosterone can respond better to resistance exercises. 

Evening - A big factor to keep in mind about exercising in the evening is how it will affect your sleep.  Some people can exercise right before bed and have no trouble falling asleep.  For others, exercise right before bed can make it difficult to fall asleep and get a good night's rest.  There are lots of factors that can affect your sleep; one is that exercise tends to raise body temperature.  And for many people, higher body temperature is invigorating and inhibits sleep onset.  Experiment to see what works for you.

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