What’s the Best Time of Day to Exercise?

Morning, afternoon, evening—when do you think is the best time of day to work out?


Morning, afternoon, evening—when do you think is the best time of day to work out? Some people wouldn’t think of giving up their 6 a.m. jog because it gets their day going. Others swear by a long walk after dinner to relieve the stress of the day. Which is best?

The answer to that question is a simple one—whatever works best for you. The best time of day to exercise is when you’ll do it most consistently, because the key to getting all the benefits of physical activity is to do it on a regular basis. Everybody has different preferences. If you’re not a morning person, you may not be able to keep forcing yourself to get up at 5 a.m. to work out. But if you enjoy working out at the gym after work because it helps you wind down, that would be the best time for you.

The American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) a week of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes (1 hour and 15 minutes) a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity. And you don’t have to get it all at once! So if you’ve been putting off exercise because you can’t devote a chunk of time to it each day, break it up. You could walk for 10 minutes in the morning (park at the back of the parking lot where you work), another 10 minutes at lunch, and then another 10 minutes back to your car after work. You’ve just completed 30 minutes of physical activity!

As you can see, whether you exercise in the morning, afternoon or evening—or all three—it’s all good, as long as you can stay consistent. When you find a physical activity schedule that works for you, that’s the best time to exercise.

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