What is The Best Time During The Day To Exercise?


Exercising. We all do some form of exercise everyday, or at least we should. But for many it’s not “if”, it’s “when”, as in “when is the best time to exercise”? The truth is that there’s no reliable evidence to suggest that calories are burned more efficiently at certain times of day. But the time of day can influence how you feel when you exercise.

What is Your Circadian Rhythm?
We all have what is called our body’s circadian rhythm (aka: body clock), which can determine whether you’re a night owl, an early bird, or something in between. For better or worse, there’s not much you can do to change this.

The circadian rhythm is your own “body clock,” or 24-hour cycle (i.e. circadian rhythm), that can be affected by light or darkness, which can make our bodies think it is time to sleep or wake up. Our circadian rhythm is a 24-hour body clock which controls your bodily functions such as:

  • Sleeping
  • Waking
  • Body Temperature
  • Balance of Body Fluids
  • Blood Pressure
  • Hormone Levels
  • Heart Rate


Our circadian rhythm is governed by the 24-hour pattern of the earth’s rotation. Using your body clock as a guide to when to go for a walk or hit the gym can seem like a good idea, but you will also have to keep in mind other important factors such as family and work schedules, when or where you would like to workout (gym, outdoors, etc), or a friend’s availability to workout with you.

All of these factors can play a very important role in your body’s readiness or willingness to exercise. With all that the your circadian rhythms can do, you can see how and why some people prefer to exercise at times that others may not find quite so acceptable or enjoyable.

Different Types of Exercisers

Morning Exercisers
Many people (myself included) are morning exercisers. This means that we enjoy and prefer to exercise first thing in the morning. Morning exercisers often exercise in the morning for the following reasons:

  • The best time of their day.
  • More quiet (whether at home or in a gym).
  • It’s just too stressful to exercise after work.
  • They love that morning burst of energy.
  • Able to focus (better mental clarity).
  • It actually gets done.
  • You don’t have to think about it later on.
  • Nothing like working out when the sun is rising.

Mid-Day or Afternoon Exercisers
Midday or Afternoon Exercisers often exercise during the mid-day or afternoon for the following reasons:

  • They’re working out with a co-worker.
  • The have little ones and this is the best time of day for them.
  • They’re not morning or evening exercisers.
  • They’re able to workout on their lunch breaks.
  • They have more energy during the midday
  • Gyms tend to be less busy during this time of day.

Evening or Night Exercisers
Evening or Night Exercisers often exercise during the these times of day for the following reasons:

  • They have the luxury of time.
  • The gyms are not as crowded.
  • You’re able to sleep more soundly.
  • It’s often easier to find someone to workout with you.
  • Classes are easier to get into.
  • They don’t have to worry about time (i.e. getting to work, picking up the kids) as much.

best-time-to-exerciseOnce you know your personal times and rhythm, these factors will come together and your workouts as well as your results will improve greatly. Now there are possible downsides once you know your rhythm when it comes to your workouts.

Personal Trainers: If you have or want a personal trainer, often times personal trainers start training their clients in the morning as we also have families.Solution: If you’re an evening exerciser and your favorite trainer is not there or unavailable during the time(s) that you would like, you may have to modify your schedule or find another trainer. But first speak with the trainer and discuss that you’d like to train with them. Most trainers will try their very best to accommodate your time(s).

Gym Classes: Your favorite Zumba, Yoga, circuit workout class or instructor does not teach during your favorite times. Solution: Try out another instructor, or a different class as you may be surprised at how awesome the other instructors are and how much fun you’ll have in their classes also.

Gym Hours: You want to workout at 4:00 am, but your gym doesn’t open until 5:30 am. Well, that’s a tough one, as you can’t expect to have the gym staff open their doors sooner. Solution: Try to find a gym with hours that can accommodate your schedule and is also close to where you prefer to exercise at (work or home). You can also start with a warm-up and some gentle stretching at home before heading to the gym, which can also save you time.

Now that you’re armed with all this fabulous knowledge on how to determine your best times to exercise, you have no excuse to get out there and get the results that you want and deserve!

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About Author

Lisa Lorraine Taylor

I’ve been in the fitness, health and nutrition field for over 18 years and have been certified for 18 years. I live in the beautiful city of Ocean Beach, California. My goal is to assist and reach people who are ready to make a positive change in their lives by providing various types of fitness programs. See my profile page for more information!

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