The best time to exercise? When you can do it consistently

There are benefits attached to early workouts, as well as reasons to consider other times of the day.

There are categories of early birds and night owls, just as there are individuals who prefer morning workouts to evening exercise, and vice versa. Which is best?

TIME in February cited The Physiological Society’s 2019-published study determining morning is best: ”… exercising at 7 a.m. may shift your body clock earlier, meaning you’ll feel more alert in the morning and get tired earlier in the evening, potentially priming you to get enough rest to wake up and do the same thing the next day.”

But there are additional benefits attached to early workouts, as well as reasons to consider other times of the day.

Morning
– Easier to stick to a routine.
– As the day goes on, unexpected distractions could derail a workout, suggested American Heart Association.
– Added TIME, “A morning sweat may also lead to better mental health and productivity throughout the day, since exercise is great for reducing stress.”

Midday to afternoon
– May get a higher-intensity workout because food has been consumed for fuel.
– Exercise between 1 and 4 p.m. may ward off an afternoon slump.
– Afternoon exercising could burn 10 percent more calories.

Evening
Over time, according to the TIME report, working out in the evenings could also reduce levels of the hunger-stimulating hormone ghrelin, resulting in possible weight loss and at least better management of weight.

However, physicians with Harvard Medical School encourage individuals not to get hung up on time of day. Drs. Hope Ricciotti and Hye-Chun Hur, for a January 2018 Harvard Women’s Health Watch interview, maintained: “There really is no best time of day to get that workout done, just the best time for you. Pick a time that allows you to follow through on your exercise plans consistently, and ideally to get at least two hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or an hour and 15 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity” a week.

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