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Fitness Tips: What is the Best Time of Day to Exercise?

Fitday Editor

Though there are a number of fitness tips that can help you achieve a great workout, one of the most inquired about regards the time of day you should exercise. While there is not one specific rule to choosing a time of day to exercise, the points covered here can vary in importance for you.

Consider Your Work Schedule

One of the first steps that you must take in order to determine what time of day is best for exercise for you is to evaluate your work schedule. Say that you work from 6:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Conservatively speaking, you probably have to get up at least around 5:00 in order to get to work on time. If this sounds like you, the best time for exercise for you is probably in the afternoon after you get off work--it would be almost impossible to exercise before you leave in the morning. In contrast, if you work from noon to 8:00 p.m., a morning workout may be great.

Consider the Weather

Go back to the example of the person who has the work schedule from 6:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Theoretically, this person could exercise at any time between 2:00 p.m. and when he or she goes to bed at night. However, you must also take weater patterns into consideration. For example, during summer months, the person should avoid exercising during periods of extreme heat, and therefore should schedule their exercise for later in the evening. In contrast, during cold winter months, the person should exercise when the sun is still up, in order to prevent possible hypothermia. The same goes for the person with the later schedule--during the summer, he or she could wait to do their exercise until after work. But in the colder winter months, they should do it in the late morning for best results.

Consider Your Own Preferences

Some people have no trouble waking up early in the morning for exercise, while others prefer to do it as late as possible. Research has found that early birds typically see better results when they exercise early in the day, while night owls tend to fare better when they postpone their exercise to later hours.

Changes in Metabolic Rate

It is important to consider your own metabolic rate when choosing a great time to exercise. Research has found that those who prefer waking up early in the morning typically start their days with a high metabolic rate that slowly decreases over the course of the day. In contrast, night owls have metabolisms that may take a while to get going, but then steadily increase over the course of the day. Studies have suggested that exercising during the time of day when your metabolism is most active can help to improve athletic performance, and may actually stimulate weight loss goals.

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