There are positives and negatives to working out any time of day. But to find your best time to exercise, ask yourself these four questions.
Do those energetic early morning people at the gym make you want to roll over in bed and hit snooze? Or are you happily getting your leg day on before breakfast?
If you’re not getting as far in your workouts as you’d like, try changing up the time you exercise. Ask these four questions when trying to decide when to work out:
When Do You Have the Most Energy?
The best time to hit the gym is when your energy is at its highest. If you have a surplus of energy in the morning, set your alarm. But if early bird workouts have you taking midday power naps or running out for an afternoon coffee, get your rest and work out later. Pushing through a workout low on energy will reduce your output. Schedule accordingly.
Do You Have a Packed and Sometimes Inconsistent Schedule?
Even with a fluctuating schedule, try to prioritize workouts by creating better scheduling boundaries. Working out instead of going to every work event is establishing priorities. Just in case, always have a gym bag packed and square off time when a window opens in your schedule. If night workouts don’t work, get up early when you know that time is yours. Even if your normal 60 minutes gets reduced to 30, a workout is a workout. Just use your time well.
Trying to Lose Weight?
Put simply, if you’re trying to lose weight it’s more about consistency than anything. However, if you want to lose weight, exercising first thing may keep your metabolism up longer throughout the day. This can be a result of Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC). EPOC, or “afterburn,” is the amount of oxygen needed to return your body to a state of homeostasis. During this process your metabolism can burn extra calories post-workout.
Want to Build Strength?
If your strength goals are above average, get your workouts in at night. Lifting causes micro-tears in your muscle tissue. Those muscle tears require rest to repair them into strong, lean muscle. Plus, you’ll already have had an adequate amount of nutrition throughout the day to power through that evening workout.
When you’re trying to decide when to work out, consider your goals, energy level and schedule. Create better boundaries but also make use of your time. You can achieve your desired goals just by scheduling your workouts at the right time for you!
Lisa Payne is a freelance writer and editor specializing in health, fitness, and travel. She stems from a background in television, playwriting, and personal training. Always on the go, follow her on social media or check out her website at lisapaynefitness.com.