When Is The Best Time To Workout?
Getting in a workout any time of the day is what’s most important, however, there are benefits that pertain to certain times of day. The most important thing to keep in mind is balance and listening to your body.
Exercise scientists say working out at different times of the day may provide different health and performance perks. For example, you may get a better night’s rest if you wake up for an early run or hit a new personal record if you lift in the evening.
Below, we have broken down the various health benefits of exercising in the morning, afternoon, and evening.
Many people enjoy getting a jump-start to their day by waking up early and getting a workout in. Working out in the morning provides numerous benefits that may be worth alarm clock dread.
- Better sleep: A 2014 study published in Vascular Health Risk Management found that those who worked out in the morning reported a deeper sleep on average, when compared to working out in the afternoon or at night.
- Anxiety Relief: Exercise helps burn off adrenaline which is the stress-fueled hormone that triggers our fight-or-flight response. Working out first thing in the morning means these mood-regulating hormones are kept in check as we start our day.
- Lower Blood Pressure: A 2014 study published in Vascular Health Risk Management examined 20 people with borderline hypertension, or elevated blood pressure. It found that working out in the morning reduced the participants' blood pressure more than if they worked out later in the day.
For many, afternoon workouts work best due to the hormone shift that happens throughout the day. Our metabolisms tend to be in full gear in the afternoon which give people the boost they need to get through a workout. Here are a few of the benefits.
- Metabolism Boost: Muscles process energy more efficiently when your metabolism is high. Your body temperature is also higher, which is linked to increased strength. This may be the best time to beat your personal record.
- Energy Levels: Those who tend to sleep in later will find that they have higher levels of energy in the afternoon, providing a better time to work out.
Many people find that they are most efficient after the sun goes down. As far as working out goes, you may be able to get many of the same benefits as exercising earlier in the day as you do at night.
- Endurance: A 2019 study published in Cell Metabolism found that people use less oxygen during an evening workout compared to other times of the day. Lower oxygen consumption means a lower heart rate — making exercise feel less intense.
- Reduce Stress: A research analysis published in 2008 in the Journal of Sports Psychology backs up claims that exercise relieves stress. It found that a single workout can reduce anxiety. Anxiety often exacerbates sleeping troubles or insomnia, so relieving stress at the end of the day may help you sleep better.
- Improve Sleep: Exercises that involve stretching, yoga, and even deep breathing can alter brain activity to induce a relaxation response, and a calm, peaceful state of mind that will help you prep for sleep.
Overall, there is no one perfect time to workout and each person is different. The most beneficial thing you can do is pay attention to what feels best based on your environment, circadian rhythms, and preference.