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The Best Time to Exercise Is . . .

You Asked: When Is the Best Time to Exercise?

You're asking and I'm answering . . .

"Fit, I usually work out in the afternoon, but recently I worked out in the morning and it was tough but my boyfriend says it's better to work out in the morning. I am thinking about changing it up, but do you know when the best time is to exercise?"
Morning Molly

People always seem to want to know when the best time is to exercise, so to see my answer just


My first inclination is to always say, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." If you're happy with your current routine, and you're doing it, then there is no reason why you shouldn't keep working out in the afternoon. Now here's the good news: For optimal performance, you want your body temperature to be warm when you exercise (hence why I always stress "warming up") and body temperature is actually at its lowest in the morning, in contrast to late afternoon when body temperature reaches its peak. In fact it's been shown that exercise during these late-in-the-day hours produces better performance and more power — your boyfriend may want to check his facts.

That is not to say that if you currently work out in the morning that you should switch it up; you may just want to be sure to have an adequate warmup. Plus morning exercisers have been found to be more consistent in the long run.

So unless you're training for an event that is going to take place at a certain time of the day, the best time to work out, in my opinion, is the time that you'll actually do it.


larisa5656 larisa5656 9 years
As a college student, my workout times can vary. I mostly like to exercise in the morning because it gets me revved up for the day. However, when I have a huge test to study for or paper to finish, I'm more likely to spend those morning hours on my schoolwork and save working out for later. In general, i don't think the time of day matters so long as you actually do something.
behemoth_the_cat behemoth_the_cat 9 years
only morning works for me, BEFORE breakfast. I find that I'm much more efficient at working out on a COMPLETELY empty stomach, and I tend to crave healthier foods the entire day after exercising in the morning. Also, during the day I'm usually too busy and in the evenings i'm too tired to exercise.
THEQueen THEQueen 9 years
I could work out in the morning...IF I hadn't gone to bed yet... I'm a NIGHT person.
rpenner rpenner 9 years
I love my morning workouts. I would never get my butt to them gym after work. I just want to wind down from the day at that point. And going in the morning gives me lots of energy for the rest of the day. But I realize that the opposite is probably true for a lot of people. Any exercise is good exercise so you should just go whenever it works for you! Which seems to be the consensus here!
bootiecutie23 bootiecutie23 9 years
I prefer working out late afternoon/night. I've never been much of a morning person. I used to get up 5:30 to work out at 6, and I'd drag the rest of the day! At work by 9, about to pass out at 10! For some reason, working out has always made me sleepy, so I prefer to do it at night. That way I can come home, take a nice hot shower, curl into bed and sleep the night away!
bchicgrl bchicgrl 9 years
I used to love working out in the mornings, wish I could go back but it takes alot to get me outta bed in the am. I did good at the gym in the afternoon because the weather was cold and dreary now that it is getting nice i don't want be stuck inside a gym in the afternoon after work. heck, just yesterday i debated with myself on going to the gym and after about 20 mins the verdict was no. ha-ha. I do try and do some sort of outdoor sport in the pm though so i still get some sort of beneficial workout. I just need to retrain myself to get up in the morning again because the feeling after an am workout is the best, you have energy all day.
murdock99tx murdock99tx 9 years
There's no way in hell I would ever stick to a morning workout. Never have, never will. It just doesn't work for me! I'm too frickin' sleepy & empty-stomached, and it blows your whole morning, time-wise. I've always been able to stick to evening workouts, even right before bed; after the post-workout hot shower & stretching, my body is like putty - very very very heavy putty ready to sink into the ground (or bed), and I sleep like a baby afterwards. :) Then the next day my muscles feel goooooood! I always say, why add more crap to do in the morning, when you can get it done the night before. :) Kinda like laying out your clothes for the next day. Ahhhh... peaceful mornings... ahhhhh...
JaimeLeah526 JaimeLeah526 9 years
This is one I hear debated all the time. I say just work out whenever you're most likely to stick to it.
Soniabonya Soniabonya 9 years
since i started working out in the mornings i've been very consistent with getting my butt out of bed to make it to the gym. i found that when i tried putting it off to the afternoon it never got done, unless it was my pole dance class then i'd workout. but i'd just sit on the couch all afternoon after work.
Berlin Berlin 9 years
There is no best time to work out...there is just YOUR best time to work out:) Whatever works for you! I have a personal trainer that I love to go to in the mornings. BUT when I want to go to the gym on my own, I usually opt for around 6pm and later. I hate working out in the mid afternoon just b/c it is SOOO hot, and in my gym with floor to ceiling windows for aesthetic pleasure, the sun beating down on you will certainly get you going in the later hours (which is why you are waiting for machines and benches 6-8!). But if you like going at a certain time, then GO at that time! If you have to struggle to go at a different hour, then you won't get as good of a workout. But if you just need getting used to the time difference and can get an equally good workout, then just choose what you like best. If you like going at a certain hour, you'll push yourself harder and get a better workout if you go at the time suited for you.
Kellyim Kellyim 9 years
I definitely prefer to work out in the evening after work. I can usually last longer and move faster. However, I've learned that something always comes up to prevent me from going so I now always work out in the morning and I'm much more consistent. It does take me a ltitle longer to get into my routine, but once I warm up, I'm good to go. Sometimes I'll get in some extra strength training at home at night if I have the chance.
cereal_please cereal_please 9 years
My workout times are sporadic. I'll either workout at 10:30pm or 11:30am. I have noticed though that my night time workouts are much much better than my morning workouts.
Francoisehardly Francoisehardly 9 years
I think people should just stick to whenever is the best time for them. Better to exercise when you can than not do so at all.
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
So true ash!
ash_marisa ash_marisa 9 years
The best time to workout is whatever works for you and gets you to the gym :)
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 9 years
good to know...I couldn't imagine getting up any earlier for a better work-out then I am now!
Renees3 Renees3 9 years
I have heard that too Shlleybaby. Also heard that if you work out first thing in the morning, you're burning mostly fat, not just what you ate last.
yasume yasume 9 years
I am not saying there isn't some truth to what is being said. However, people ask me and I just long as you are doing something. That's what matters-not the time of day.
yasume yasume 9 years
My philosophy is to work out when it is best for you. I workout at 8pm because after work, making dinner and putting the kids down to sleep that's when I can do it. I am very motivated and dedicated to my work outs and believe me they are highly effective. I have lost close to 32 pounds and I love it.
shelleybaby32 shelleybaby32 9 years
I've heard that working out in the morning raises your metabolism and helps keep your metabolism up for the rest of the day...i am pretty sure i read that here on fitsugar. Any truth to that fit?
I love 6:30 am work outs. I have energy all day and can't make excuses for not exercising.
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