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The Best Time of Day to Work Out

Main image for The Best Time of Day to Work Out blog post.

Listen, we totally understand. Every schedule is completely different, and a workout is a workout, regardless of the time of day that it happens. We admire your commitment to your fitness in the midst of your incredibly busy schedule— in fact, we built our brand around helping people just like you who need a little bit of extra leeway with their workout sessions and their location and time. But we’re sure some of you are curious as to what the optimal time of day is to get your workout in— if there even IS one.

There are pros and cons to working out at different times of the day. Let’s take a look at a few:

Early Bird:

Waking up early for your workout can be good for you as long as you’re getting enough sleep beforehand. Sleep deprivation increases levels of a hormone called leptin, which causes you to crave foods that aren’t good for you, and also reduces your alertness. Imagine those mornings where you’ve accidentally put your milk in the cereal cupboard and amplify that to your workout, and you have the potential for injury. If you’re one who loves the rise and grind routine, just be sure you’re getting ample sleep! While you might be in a time crunch to get your workout in before you head to your 8 to 5, you’ll be that much more energized as you begin your day. You might even be able to skip the coffee!

The Lunch Break Speed Round:

In the midst of your workday, you might find that getting your workout in during your lunch break is your best (or only) option. We think this is an incredible way to commit to your fitness— but there are a few things to know first. Be sure that you don’t eat just before your workout (give yourself at least an hour to digest). The best thing to do would be to eat after your workout, to replenish your energy and nutrients and avoid any reflux that may come along with eating prior. Working out during the middle of the day like this is also a great way to break up your day and burn off stress, as well as boost your mood (or ditch a negative one that came courtesy of a bad morning).

Evening Exercise:

Exercising during the evening can be a great way to unwind after a long day— although it takes a bit more commitment and energy than relaxing on the couch watching Survivor or Will & Grace reruns. While there has been some research to suggest that working out at night can be a poor influence on your health (some say it leads to insomnia), other studies have shown the opposite: that exercising before bedtime can help you get even better sleep. One of the great benefits, though, is that you have all the time in the world— as long as you have the energy. Unlike working out early in the morning or during your lunch break, the only time crunch you have is getting to bed at a somewhat reasonable hour (which we still highly recommend, as sleep is fundamental to good health). And because you have more time to exercise, you also have more time to socialize with those you work out with (in contrast to grouchy morning sweaters who just aren’t morning people).

The Take-Away:

There’s no absolutely correct answer as to what the best time of day to work out is. The best time of day for your workout depends on how you feel about working out at a specific time of day, and what works best with your schedule— really! As long as you can find a time of day that works for you that you can commit to, you’re doing just fine, and you’ll reap the benefits of regular exercise no matter the hour. Keep pushing through that routine and continue to be an inspiration to those around you.

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