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The Best Time of Day to Workout

Morning, noon or night?

What is the best time of day to hit your workout? Is there a better time to workout in terms of output potential or motivation? 

Interestingly, and in a rather anticlimactic sense (I know right, we were just getting going!) the science here is fairly inconclusive, and the overarching conclusion is that doing any form of physical activity at any point in the day is going to be supremely beneficial to your overall health.

Pro's and Con's - Finding Your Best Fit

So our initial question now becomes more a list of pro's and con's for each time of day. 

The important take-away here though is that when you workout is largely immaterial, its the fact that you do workout at  all that is going to have the largest impact on your overall good health. 

Morning Workouts:

PROS

  • Timing. We rarely have too much scheduled first thing in the morning, getting up and getting moving first thing is great. You can't procrastinate, and very little can get in your way from a scheduling perspective. 
  • Good vibes. Working out naturally makes you feel positive, optimistic and lets you achieve anything the day throws your way.  What a great way to start the day!
  • Nutrition. Your brain will often have it that by making your health your first priority of the day, that you'll continue to make smart nutritional decisions throughout the day. After all you wouldn't want to unwind all that good effort you've just put in.

CONS/PRE-CAUTIONS

  • That alarm clock. Waking up early can be tough, especially if you're not naturally a "morning person".
  •  Warming Up. Your body generally hasn't had time to prepare for anything too intense just yet, so take a little longer to warm up.

Midday Workouts:

We salute you midday workout crew! 

PROS

  • Efficiency. If you can slot your workout into the middle of your day you're obviously clearing either end of your day. That's efficient!
  • Optimal nutritional balance.  Whilst getting your nutrition right in the morning prior and post a workout in terms of what, and when to eat can take a little trial and error; exercising at midday ensures you have at least one meal under your belt. 

CONS AND CONSIDERATIONS

  • Timing. Sometimes life can get in the way a little here, and appointments, meetings, kids, and family can spill over into precious workout time. Organisation is key. Share your intentions with those around you, and prioritise time to exercise. 

Evening Workouts:

PROS

  • Goodbye stress! What better way is there to unwind than let the day's frustration's fly in your workout!?
  • Energy. The jury's still out on this one, but some folk find they are at their energetic best in the evening after they've got the day out the way!

CONS/CONSIDERATIONS

  • Sleep. Ever put yourself through a tough routine and then found it hard to sleep? The easiest way around this is to try and avoid intense levels of activity 1-2 hours before bedtime.  Here Yoga makes a great workout. 
  • Consistency. If your day is going to blow out, it will blow out at the end of the day. Overruns, tight deadlines, and commitments on the personal and professional front can definitely get in the way here. The key here is to stay motivated. Reward yourself for doing your workout. Make it a habit. 

Do whatever works...

Staying active is the key, and find opportunities to exercise throughout the day. 

Stay flexible when your plan gets up-turned, and ultimately do whatever suits your lifestyle. There is no conclusive evidence that there is a 'best time' to exercise. 

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