When Is the Best Time to Exercise?

Morning Perks

It's sometimes easier to keep a morning workout routine consistent. Afternoon and evening workouts are more likely to conflict with other responsibilities as the day progresses. Plus a full day's work can take a serious toll on willpower—which can overcome any gym-goer's best intentions.

More From Greatist: 10 Tips to Become a Morning Exerciser

Morning workouts might also be a good option for stress-free snoozing. Since exercise increases heart rate and body temperature, working out too late in the evening (generally after 8 p.m.) may disrupt sleep, while one study showed that working out at 7 a.m. (compared to 1 p.m. or 7 p.m.) may help people sleep more soundly at night.

Finally, one study found that 45 minutes of moderate morning exercise (like walking briskly on the treadmill) helped curb appetite directly after working out. Research also shows that people can burn up to 20 percent more body fat exercising on an empty stomach—much easier to do first thing in the a.m. than at night.

More From Greatist: The Surprising Science Behind Sleep and Exercise

The Bottom Line

In the end, it's most important to find a realistic, consistent workout schedule, no matter what the time. If working out in the morning is best for your schedule, just make sure to warm up muscles that might be cold and tight from sleep. And to keep afternoon workouts consistent, treat them as unbreakable appointments, find a workout buddy, and keep a gym bag in the car or office to minimize excuses.

More: 4 Warm-Ups for a Better Workout

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Greatist.com

Greatist is one of the fastest-growing fitness, health and happiness media start-ups. Check out more health and fitness news, tips, healthy recipes, expert opinion, and fun times at Greatist.com.
Greatist is one of the fastest-growing fitness, health and happiness media start-ups. Check out more health and fitness news, tips, healthy recipes, expert opinion, and fun times at Greatist.com.

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