Advertisement

When Should You Exercise?

When Should You Exercise?

Our experts share how you can get the best results—on your schedule.

Mark Wahlberg, Jennifer Aniston and The Rock all get up in the wee hours to do their daily exercise routine. And while plenty of research supports the added benefits of rising with or before the sun to sweat (it may lower blood pressure and it definitely provides an endorphin boost that puts you in the right mood for the day), research suggests short, intense bursts of exercise in the evening are also beneficial.

A small study published in Experimental Physiology tracked 11 middle-aged men who tried out a 30-minute routine of six 1-minute, high-intensity cycling sprints with 4-minute periods of rest. They completed these exercises in the morning (6 to 7 a.m.), afternoon (2 to 4 p.m.) and evening (7 to 9 p.m.). The researchers wanted to see how the timing of exercise could impact sleep and appetite, so they measured these variables through hormone levels in blood and various sleep tests.

Due to its small and limited sample of participants, the study had some limitations. However, it does provide insight into the type of exercise that you can do if the only time you have to work out is in the evening.

Turns out high-intensity evening exercise didn’t disrupt participants’ sleep and it reduced their hunger, measured by the level of ghrelin, the appetite-stimulating hormone. So if you’re only able to find time late in the day to work out, you might try this kind of high-intensity interval training. And remember—get at least 75 minutes of vigorous exercise per week for cardiovascular benefits.

Get Your Stand-up Routine Together
Get Your Stand-up Routine Together
George Carlin had a classic stand-up routine about bad drivers: The car in front of him had its turn signal on for miles and miles. Then he realized t...
Read More
How do I get my dream body?
National Academy of Sports MedicineNational Academy of Sports Medicine
There is no substitute for well planned, focused, consistent hard work. If you want to achieve your ...
More Answers
Ditch the Gym and Try These 10 Outdoor Activities
Ditch the Gym and Try These 10 Outdoor ActivitiesDitch the Gym and Try These 10 Outdoor ActivitiesDitch the Gym and Try These 10 Outdoor ActivitiesDitch the Gym and Try These 10 Outdoor Activities
Have fun in the sun this summer. It may even help you drop a few pounds.
Start Slideshow
Beth Oliver & Darren Treasure: The Mind/Body Connection
Beth Oliver & Darren Treasure: The Mind/Body Connection