The best time to work out is a debate that has good arguments for all sides. Some fitness experts believe that working out early in the morning is ideal because it jump-starts your metabolism so you’ll burn more calories throughout the day. Others insist that late afternoon is the best time because research shows that the optimal time to exercise is when our body temperature is at its highest, which for most people is from 2 to 5 pm. The fact is both arguments are right but….the best time to work out is when you have time to do it.
Morning workout benefits – if you are a busy person then early morning might be best for you. For many working moms, you have a jammed-packed day and it ends with helping your kids with their homework, taking them to soccer practice or piano lessons, cooking dinner, washing a load of clothes and/or packing lunches for the next day. After that’s done, it’s time for bed so trying to fit in a workout is difficult. The benefit of an early morning workout is that you’re up at a time when no one else is and you get in your exercise before your busy schedule begins. The only conflict you have at that time of morning is sleep (and sleep is important so you’ll need to go to bed a bit earlier). If you’re not a morning person, then it will take a week or two or three to get used to getting up before dawn, but after a while your body will adjust and you’ll reap the benefits of those early workouts.
Lunchtime workout benefits – if you workout with co-workers, it can help improve consistency by giving you a person or two to keep you accountable and by giving you a set time that you designate to workout. It can also be fun if your co-workers keep you company. If you’re having fun then you’re more likely to stick with it (and who doesn’t want to have fun?)
Evening benefits – for many people, your body temperature is at its highest. Because of this, your endurance is greater and you’re at less risk of injury since the muscles are warm. Also, for some people it’s convenient to leave work and go straight to the gym (even better if your work place has an on-site gym).
Most importantly is to find the time that works best for you and a time that you’ll stick with. However, keep in mind that exercising or eating too late can interfere with sleep.