According to Russell Pate, Ph.D., professor of exercise science in the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina in Columbia: “The best time of the day is when you will do it most consistently, because the benefits of physical activity are tightly linked to the amount you do on a consistent basis.”
The most productive workout time depends on the following factors:
- time of day
- type of physical activity
- social setting
“It’s not just what time, but what activity, with whom and where,” says Pate. “This mix of factors for people come together to result in being consistent.”
It Really Is Up To You
As Pete suggests, everybody’s different and different people will have different preferences and predispositions when it comes to responding to a workout.
Some people like to exercise with a partner and this social part is more important than the time of day, while some people prefer the solitude – “the chance to get away”, says Pete.
The Big Picture
Although most trainers will tell you that the best time to work out is early in the morning so you can get your metabolism revving, Pete suggests it is actually best to focus on your overall results, rather than daily.
“Are there differences in working out at different times of the day? Maybe. But those differences would be minor compared to the overall effect of doing it consistently,” says Pate.
“If you’re not a morning person, it does no good for you to try to get up at 5 in the morning to work out. Try to stack as many cards on your side of the table as possible by doing what’s most likely to work for you.”
All in all – the converse is: “don’t make it as hard as it doesn’t have to be.”
Enjoying your workout sessions is key, people!