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What The Science Says About The Ideal Time of Day to Work Out


Like many other aspects of fitness, there’s no consistent agreement among the experts about when the best time of day to work out is. Well, we’ve got some new breakthroughs that might add to the confusion… but can also give you a solid beginning for making the right decision for your lifestyle. 

Deciding on the ideal time for your workout sessions can be a perplexing task, with health experts often debating whether morning or evening exercise yields the most benefits. While numerous studies have provided mixed findings, there seems to be a consensus among fitness professionals that the optimal time for working out varies based on individual preferences and body rhythms.

Is There a “Right” Time of Day to Work Out?

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According to Karolinska Institutet professor Juleen R. Zierath, timing plays a crucial role in maximizing the health benefits of exercise and maintaining the body’s energy balance. However, determining the most efficient workout time involves considering several factors unique to each individual.

Elle Wermuth, a Barry’s instructor in NYC, emphasizes the importance of selecting workout times that align with personal motivation levels. She advises individuals to prioritize exercising during periods when they feel most energized and motivated to ensure consistency and enjoyment.

The timing of exercise can influence the body differently due to its reliance on circadian rhythms, which regulate various biological processes. Research suggests that exercising in the morning on an empty stomach may boost metabolic rate and calorie burning during workouts. Additionally, moderate to vigorous exercise between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. appears to be most effective for weight loss.

Moreover, the benefits of morning workouts extend beyond physical health, as they allow individuals to start their day with a sense of accomplishment and increased productivity. However, some individuals, particularly “evening people,” may find it challenging to muster energy for early morning workouts.

A Different Time For Men and Women?

Interestingly, men and women may respond differently to workout times, with morning workouts being more beneficial for women aiming to lower blood pressure or reduce belly fat, while evening workouts may be preferable for women focusing on upper-body muscle gains or mood improvement. Conversely, men may experience greater fat-burning benefits from morning workouts but see improvements in blood pressure and fatigue reduction from evening sessions.

Despite these findings, fitness experts stress that the most crucial aspect of scheduling workouts is finding a time that fits into one’s lifestyle and fosters consistency. Mike Moreno, a certified personal trainer, emphasizes the importance of setting realistic expectations and prioritizing consistency in workout routines to achieve long-term health and fitness goals.

Ultimately, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to workout timing, and individuals should experiment to find the schedule that works best for them. Whether it’s morning, evening, or any time in between, the key is to keep moving and maintain a consistent exercise routine to reap the numerous benefits of physical activity.

When do you like to work out during the day? Why? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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