Does The Time of Day You Exercise Matter?

You may have heard many things in the media lately about the time of day that you work out.  Some people prefer to get their exercise out of the way first thing in the morning, while others like to head to the gym after work to relieve some stress.  If you think that the time of day you decide to exercise is irrelevant, your body may disagree with you.

Whatever your fitness and health goals are, when you work out can have a greater effect than you might think.  For some goals, it actually is more effective to exercise at a certain time, whereas for others it might not be as important.  Check out these fitness goals and what time of the day works best with them.

Lose WeightRunning

If you are looking to lose some extra pounds, you might want to exercise first thing in the morning.  Recent research shows that people who work out first thing in the morning tend to stick to workout routines more so than those who do not work out in the AM.  When we make healthy choices early in the day, we are more likely to stay on that same path and continue to make healthy choices throughout the day.

Get Stronger

If you’re looking to get stronger more than you are trying to lose weight, you may want to shift your workouts to the late afternoon or early evening.  During this time of the day, your testosterone levels are more likely to be at their peak, and your body temperature is most likely at its highest.  This will create for a better muscle building atmosphere.  In a 2012 study, specific athletes were measure by their performances.  Researchers found that they athletes performed best on tests of endurance and speed at 5pm in the evening.

Improve Sleep Quality

Exercise is a great way to improve your sleep and prevent insomnia.  If you are specifically working out to accomplish better sleep, you may want to exercise right after you wake up in the morning.  According to the National Sleep Foundation, exercising first thing in the morning can help improve your sleep quality.  Morning exercise can help to lower blood pressure and rev up your body’s internal wake and sleep clocks.  Also it’s especially good for outdoor workouts because being exposed to natural light early in the morning can help improve mood and exercise quality.


Always consult your chiropractor or primary care physician for all your health related advice.

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Image Credit: Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Potomac U11 Soccer 2013-2014

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