What is the best time of day to work out?

Dr. Mike Clark, DPT

The best time of day to workout is the time of day you feel energized and you will actually be able to make time to fit in your workout.  View this video to learn more!


Sadie Lincoln
Sadie Lincoln on behalf of barre3
When you work out is a matter of individual preference. There is no time of day that is the best (or worst) for a workout. What is important is that you pick a time that works for your schedule and energy levels, and allows you to be consistent. Take note of how you feel after you exercise and see if it is working for you. For example, if you are having a hard time getting to sleep at night, you might want to save your high-energy workouts (including deep back bends, which increase energy) for earlier in the day.
Bob Greene
Bob Greene on behalf of The Best Life
Many people wonder when they should exercise: For example, is there a bigger benefit from working out in the morning versus the evening, or vice versa? The simple answer is: Exercise is exercise - there's no physiological difference when it comes to timing. Still, there are a few things to consider when planning your workout.

A Plus for P.M. Workouts
Late afternoon or evening workouts can be easier on your body. By the end of the day, all your muscles are warmed up and contract more efficiently, and your joints are better lubricated. And some people find it's just easier to hit the gym after work; in many cases, there's no way to squeeze it in during the pre-work rush. Just be careful about exercising too close to bedtime; a late-night workout can interfere with sleep.

The A.M. advantage
If you have a choice, I'd recommend working out in the morning for a couple of reasons. First, morning exercise helps you burn calories at a higher rate all day long. Plus, a.m. exercisers are more likely to stick with their program: Studies show there's a 75 percent greater adherence rate for early birds. When you knock off your workout first thing, there's less of a chance of life (i.e. a sick child at school, a meeting that ran late) getting in the way. I also find that morning exercisers try to continue their good work all day long, by turning down unhealthy treats or making an effort to move more. They might reason, 'Hey, I worked so hard this morning. Why blow all that for a cupcake?' Or, 'I still feel so energetic. Maybe I'll take the stairs.' Finally, getting sweaty early in the day can also help you sleep better.

Of course, the ultimate factor in deciding when to squeeze in your workouts is when it's convenient for you. Ideally, you want to find a time that you'll stick with. Once you get into a groove, you'll find that you can get an effective workout, including a warm up and cool down, in about 30 minutes. So pencil in some gym time and make it an appointment you can't miss - no matter what time it is!
The best time of day to work out is whatever time works for you. You may hear conflicting opinions on whether there is a certain time of day that will yield more benefit, but working out any time is better than worrying about when you do it. Some people prefer to exercise in the morning because it energizes them for the day. Some people like to work out in the morning because it gets it out of the way first thing. Working out at lunch or right after work may fit into your schedule better. Just pick the time that fits into your schedule best and stick with it.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Watch this video to learn more from Dr. Mehmet Oz about working out.

Anytime you have the time is the best time for a work out.  What's more important is that you actually make the time to work out and stay consistent with it for maximum result.
Anytime time of day is good for you to workout.  There is no special time that helps you get better results.  Really you want to workout when you feel the best and what gives you the best energy.  As for myself I am not a morning person so the afternoon or evenings work best for me.  You can always do a trial and error and see how you feel at different times of the day.  Bottom line just as long as you stay committed to what you are doing you will see the best results.

The best time of day to work out is a matter of personal preference. Choose a time during which you are energetic and won’t be interrupted. For some people, this will be early in the morning, for others, the middle of the day, and for the rest in the late afternoon or early evening. Try to set aside an hour, daily, to exercise.

Is it better to exercise in the morning, or later in the day? Let your circadian rhythms be your guide.

In the afternoon or early evening, your core temperature is warmer. A warm core makes your muscles and joints more supple, which helps you avoid strains and sprains. That makes afternoon or early evening ideal for exercises that tap your muscles, like strength training, stretching, and interval workouts.

Mornings Are for Endurance: On the other hand, if endurance activities are more your speed, long brisk walks or bike rides, morning may be better. Your body's core is cooler early in the day, which can make endurance activities seem less tiring. And there is less risk of overheating. But a good warm-up will be key, since your muscles are likely to be stiffer in the a.m.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.