The best answer is ANYTIME you can fit it in your schedule! Because I know some people will want a more thorough answer than just that, read along for some pro’s and con’s about working out at different times of the day.
Some people are morning people and ready to lace up their gym shoes at the crack of dawn while others aren’t truly ready to hit the gym before noon. Finding the perfect time to exercise is a lot about personal preference. Remember exercising is supposed to feel good, and entering the gym with a can-do and ready-to-work attitude can really make a difference in the quality of workout completed! So let’s talk about the advantages of both afternoon and morning workouts.
Morning Workout Advantages
Morning workouts can be easier to keep a consistent routine. Afternoons and evenings are more likely to conflict with other events, plus after a full day of work your willpower to actually go to the gym can be disrupted.
Getting a workout in first thing in the morning may help you get a more sound sleep at night. Research also shows that people can burn up to 20% more body fat exercising on an empty stomach which is much easier to do first thing in the morning than in the afternoon or evening. Plus working out in the morning can allow the fuel (food) you intake later in the day to be not only used as a source of energy, but it can be used to replenish your body from your morning workout.
Morning workouts can also improve your physical and mental energy for the rest of the day, kind of like a natural cup of coffee! Studies have shown to improve focus and mental abilities throughout the day.
Afternoon Workout Advantages
Your body’s core temperature can affect the quality of exercise. A cold body leaves muscles stiff, inefficient, and susceptible to sprains, whereas higher body temperatures leave muscles more flexible. Body temperature typically increases throughout the day, so muscle strength and endurance may peak in the late afternoon, when body temperature is highest. The afternoon is also when reaction time is quickest and heart rate and blood pressure are lowest, all of which combine to improve performance and reduce the overall likelihood of injury.
Just find a time that works for you, even if it can’t be the same time every single day. Remember ANY workout is better than NO workout!