Your chipper boss insists 5 am is the best time to exercise and fire-up your metabolism, and your neighbor swears by the intensity of his nightly kickboxing class. If you don’t work out first thing in the morning are you stymying your metabolism? If you exercise after dinner will it be impossible to fall asleep? When is the best time to exercise? Morning? Noon? Night?
Put simply, the best time to exercise is “when you exercise.” The fact of the matter is; exercise at any time of the day is great if you are getting enough sleep, eating a balanced diet and feeling encouraged to stick with your fitness plan.
The best time for a workout is when you are able to exercise safely and effectively. It is not when you are driving the carpool, knee-deep in filing tax returns or so tired you can’t keep your eyes open – even if that’s the time of day your friend or a miracle diet plan claims is most effective.
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The important thing is not when you workout, but that you do workout. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends adults exercise 150 minutes per week. Those minutes can be divided into 10 minute bouts or done for longer periods of time over the course of the week.
Find the Best Workout Time by Considering These 3 Factors
Although technology has changed and we hear beeps and tones instead of ticks and tocks, we all still have biological clocks. If you consistently shirk your natural rhythms to workout, chronic tiredness can prevent you from pushing hard in your training. Disregarding sleep needs can also increase stress hormone levels which can, in turn, stymie weight loss efforts. Chronic tiredness can lead to an increased risk of injury while working out.
2. The Type of Exercise You Enjoy
If ballroom dance classes are your passion or you’re a member of a softball league, tweaking your schedule to join the group workout makes sense. You’ll be more apt to stick with a workout if you enjoy it. And, studies show people who exercise with groups, teams or buddies are more likely to stick with exercise.
3. Your Athletic Goals
If you’re training for a specific competition, working out at the same time of day the event is scheduled can prepare your body to be ready to roll come competition day.
However, the bottom line is, don’t let time of day become an excuse to shirk your workout. Instead, adapt your training to suit the time of day when necessary. If it’s earlier than you’d like, make your warm-up a little longer to give joints time to lubricate and your mind time to defuzz. If it’s later than you want, take time to stretch and meditate in your cooldown so you’re not wired when your head hits the pillow.
At the end of the day (even if it’s the beginning of the day) anytime is a good for a workout!