When Is The Best Time of Day to Exercise?

This is a question I get asked all the time. As with most questions people ask me, they’ve ‘heard’ or ‘read’ about a new science that if you exercise at exactly 2.15pm your body miraculously triples its calorie burning ability. Well, I am going to give you the answer I give everyone who asks this question.

The best time of day to exercise is the time of day that is best for you. It is the time of day when you have the time, energy and motivation to give 100% to your workout.

I know we all have to drag ourselves to the spin room especially when it’s cold and dark, but if you are seriously forcing yourself at a time that just doesn’t suit you and you’re working half-arsed, then surely you’re not getting the benefits that you’ve been told you’ll receive by exercising at this time?

If you are working 9-5pm then have to pick the kids up from nursery and get them home, fed, bathed and in bed for when the husband gets home so you can try and nip to the gym for an 8pm class, are you really going to get there or are you going to collapse on the sofa with your feet on hubby’s lap and send your little one back up to bed for the eighth time?

If this is the case then a morning workout is best for you. If (like me) anything before 7am never stops feeling traumatic and it takes about 2 cups of coffee, eggs on toast and the clocks to pass 9am before you feel like a human being, then perhaps an evening workout is what you need.

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best time to exercise


The 9.30am classes are very popular in my gym because many mums come straight from the school run, get it done with then get on with their day or work from home/part time. Whether you have children, what your working hours are and whether you’re naturally a morning or evening person all contribute.

The same theory goes for which classes and instructors you like, which will also affect when you exercise. If you are quite a self motivated worker and hit the cardio room and weights with your iPod on, then you have more flexibility.

Again, I fall into the category of needing a class to keep me motivated even when I’m having my own workout. You get in, you’re locked in for 45 mins-1 hour with banging music and great atmosphere and then it’s over and you walk out feeling like a rock star. So if this is you then you’ll find the best time to workout is when you can get to these classes.

I’m sorry this isn’t some breaking new science for you to follow to the letter. I’m sorry that I repeat my usual mantra of finding what works best for you and sticking to it. But I’m afraid it is the truth!

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I'm a Personal Trainer, Fitness Instructor and Nutrition & Weight Loss Coach.
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