The Best Time of Day to Workout

by Jen on November 30, 2012

I’ve been experimenting lately.

And I’m not talking about science experiments here.

I’m talking about the time of day I workout.

As you all know, I LOVE fitness.  I workout every day, for at least 30 minutes, with one of those days being a low impact workout such as walking or an activity with my kids.

After having 3 kids, it was hard to find the time to workout.  I would try to do it when they were napping, but as you know, kids don’t always nap when YOU want them to.  One would wake up crying or one would sit in his room, take off his diaper, and smear poop all over the room (no joke!)  So exercising during naptime just wasn’t working for me.  But eliminating my workout was not an option, so I knew I needed to schedule it in somewhere, but where?

morning-workout

Turns out, the best time of day for me was the morning.

*YAWN*

I know what you’re thinking…why on earth would you want to get up so early to workout?

It’s not that I wanted to, it’s because I HAD to.  If I didn’t do it in the morning, before everyone woke up, it wouldn’t get done.  I’m not going to lie, at first, it was tough dragging my butt to the basement to exercise.  But after just 2 weeks, my body got used to it, and I actually looked forward to it.

Here are some reasons I LOVE working out early in the morning:

  1. I get 1 FULL HOUR to MYSELF!  Everyone else is sleeping, so no one disturbs me.
  2. Exercising in the morning gives me energy for the whole day.
  3. I get my workout done.  I no longer have to wonder when I’m going to fit it in.

But besides my own personal reasons, here are some other reasons to workout before the sun comes up:

  1. Morning exercisers are more likely to stick to their workouts.
  2. Morning exercisers sleep better at night, which in turn decreases your stress and anxiety, lowers your blood pressure, and helps you lose weight.
  3. You burn more fat exercising in the morning because you body uses it’s fat as fuel instead of relying on carbohydrates from food.

am-exercise

Okay, so you’re thinking, “But Jen, I HATE getting up early, can’t I workout at a different time of day?”

Of course you can.  As long as you’re exercising every day, it doesn’t matter what time of day you workout.  There are even benefits to working out in the afternoons:

  • afternoon exercisers tend to perform better during their workouts
  • afternoon exercisers may be less prone to injury because their bodies are warmer (which means if you workout in the morning, it’s crucial to do some warm-up exercises before hitting it hard!)

Back to my experimenting…

When my boys started school this year, I tried different workout times to see which would work best.  I tried the afternoons.  That was horrible.  I could barely make it through a workout, I felt so weighed down by what I had eaten during the day.  I also tried mid mornings.  I actually really liked that time, but it just didn’t work for me.  My whole morning was taken up by my workout and then showering and getting 2 of my boys ready for afternoon school.  It ended up being too stressful.

So today, I’m back to my early morning workouts and I love it.

What time of day do you prefer to workout?  Have you tried exercising in the early morning?

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Nicole November 30, 2012 at 12:07 pm

I have been consistently working out in the mornings since September and it has been GREAT…especially with just all over function during the day and being able to sleep better at night. I notice I complete more of my to do list than before 🙂
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2 Jen November 30, 2012 at 4:02 pm

I totally agree about getting things DONE! You don’t have that “must exercise” hanging over your head all day 😉

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3 Sara November 30, 2012 at 6:05 pm

I’m an evening worker outer… I have a hard enough time getting out of bed early for work let alone working out… so I tend to work out at the end of my day… its a great way to shut down my brain and refresh after a long day in the lab… but it’s also (I must admit) way to easy to skip a work out at the end of a super busy day!
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4 Jen December 2, 2012 at 12:56 pm

You gotta do what works for you..as long as you can commit to it, your evening workouts are fine 🙂

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5 Suzie Salmon January 1, 2013 at 5:52 pm

I like working out mid-morning, but I don’t have small kids at home. I need to eat before I work out and allow some time for it to digest…at least that’s what I tell myself…it’s probably the need for a cup or two of coffee before I do anything else.

LOVE your blog!!!
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6 Jen January 2, 2013 at 8:41 am

I agree, mid-morning workouts are great because you have some energy from breakfast! HAHA…coffee is a MUST 😉 Thanks so much for your nice comment, glad you enjoy my little blog!

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