Best Time to Exercise According to Science

By Western Berks Physical Therapy on May 20th, 2019

Best Time to Exercise

Research has consistently shown that exercise produces a number of benefits, ranging from improved mood to better strength and cardiovascular health. But, what is the best time to exercise according to science?

One study found that your body’s ability to perform peaks in the afternoon. Your body temperature increases throughout the day, optimizing your muscle function and strength, enzyme activity, and endurance for performance. Between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m., your body temperature is at its highest. This may mean you’ll be exercising during the window of time your body is most ready, potentially making it the most effective time of day to work out.

Anthony Hackney, a professor in the department of exercise and sport science at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, says if he had to pick a best time to exercise, morning would win. Early workouts make the most of your biology and psychology, potentially leading to better results and adherence over time. But there’s really no bad time to exercise, Hackney reiterates, and the most important thing is finding the time to do so, whenever works for you.

While some people find that a morning workout fits into their schedule and keeps them energized for the rest of the day. Others prefer working out in the afternoon or evening, when they find it helps reduce stress and tension after a long workday. So what time is best to exercise? While the science and studies seem contradictory, one thing is clear: fitting exercise into your day is the top priority, regardless of the time you choose to do it.

When starting a new exercise program, start by finding a time of day that works for you and that fits your schedule, and then stick to it. By keeping your workout regime consistent at the same time every day, you will begin making even greater training gains.

There are a number of components for a healthy, balanced exercise routine. A good place to start is to define the goals you hope to achieve through exercise. These goals might relate to improving the function of a specific area of the body after injury or illness. Other goals include weight loss, increased strength, better fitness for sports or improved heart health.

Rather than trying to sort through all of the information, and misinformation, available about exercise, contact Western Berks Physical Therapy today. Share your health goals and concerns with your physical therapist so they can formulate a fitness plan you can perform at the time of day best suited to your schedule and needs. With exercise providing significant benefits, the most important thing is simply to get moving, whatever time of day you choose to work out! Thirty or more minutes a day of exercise will encourage a strong, healthy body and improved well-being.

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  • EmaratForex says:

    It may seem obvious, but sleeping too late has a tendency to shrink exercise time. For every hour that you hit snooze past 7:m, there’s a significant drop in physical activity. And being less active means worse sleep in the night ahead—a negative cycle.That’s one more reason to commit to a regular bedtime that allows you to get the sleep that you need—and get up energized to work out the next day.

    • MarieNelson says:

      Great point! Thanks for your comment. We can’t agree more that a good nights sleep and a consistent one is key to your overall well being (not to mention helping you stick to your exercise routine)