April 21st, 2015
Clients regularly ask us what time of day they should exercise. Our response is always: “whenever you’ll do it”. You should work with, instead of against, your regular habits and natural tendencies to fit it in when it’s the most convenient and enjoyable for you. But there are advantages to exercising at certain times of the day.
We’ll break down the advantages to working out during the morning, afternoon, and evening so you can decide which option works best for your schedule and goals.
What Time of Day Should I Exercise?
Exercising first thing flushes away fatigue, early morning stiffness, and mental and physical sluggishness. Many people feel a strong sense of calm and control after working out (thanks to the controlled output of adrenalin) which is a great way to start your day.
A morning workout will leave your metabolism revved up for several hours afterwards – a definite benefit if your goals include fat loss. In addition, science has proven that exercise increases the secretion of “peptide yy” – a chemical that triggers your brain to choose healthier and more nutritious foods. Enzyme yy is like hiring a security guard to keep you protected from junk food.
Working out in the afternoon can be a great choice, especially if you work at a desk job. It is very beneficial for your joints to move in the middle of a mostly sedentary day.
It can also help with mental focus and stress relief. Exercising mid-day improves circulation so you can expect to feel energized and productive in the afternoon.
Evening workouts promote a speedy metabolism later in the day and make it less likely that your body will store fat when you go to sleep. It also prevents eating at a time when many people lose their willpower and give in to snacking, which is a definite bonus if your goals include fat loss.
If strength building is your goal, evening workouts are an excellent choice. Certain hormones (like testosterone) peak late in the day, which makes it an excellent time to build strength. Also, it’s beneficial for muscle recovery if you go to bed within a couple of hours of your workout.
Evening workouts can also be a great stress reliever and precursor to a great night’s sleep.
Build Healthy Habits
If you need help building healthy habits and sticking to your workouts, look no further than a personal trainer. Working with a personal trainer will help you stay committed to your workouts, whether they’re in the morning, afternoon, or evening.
Here at Nielsen Fitness, we offer in-home and virtual workouts, and we have a team of experienced trainers available whenever you are. Contact us today to get started training and feel the benefits of exercise.
Updated on August 18, 2022.