There’s really no wrong time to get exercise, except perhaps during a funeral. But certain times of day are better than others depending on your specific fitness goals.
Dr. Anthony Hackney, professor of exercise physiology and nutrition at UNC-Chapel Hill, says how you workout is more important than when. High intensity workouts yield greater results. However, some studies suggest that these peak exercise times may enhance those benefits:
- Best time for weight management: Morning. Working out first thing on an empty stomach may be more helpful with burning stored fat.
- Best time for intense training: Afternoon. By the afternoon, you’ve had time to eat a few times, raising blood sugar levels, which makes it easier to do more high intensity exercise.
- Best for stress management: Evening. Working out in the evening helps lower levels of the “stress” hormone cortisol and can lower levels of the hormone ghrelin, a.k.a the “hunger hormone.”
While those strategies might be worth trying, the most crucial thing is to make sure you’re getting some exercise every day. Anytime you workout it’s a positive, no matter what the clock says.