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What Is The Best Time To Exercise?

By Dr. Nikita Toshi +2 more

So you hit the gym religiously every day. Somedays, you may go to the gym early in the morning before you start your day. Similarly, on other days, you can only make time for workouts in the evening. The rationale here being, since you are exercising for the same duration – be it morning or evening, your workout session will yield the same benefits. But did you know that the time of the day has a bearing on the efficacy of exercise? Read on to know more-

Best time to exercise

Why does the Time of the Day Matter?

The time of the day matters because your body changes throughout the day. Your body has its unique rhythm called the ‘circadian rhythm’. Your body temperature, metabolism rates, sleep patterns are all governed by your circadian clock. Similarly, the effect that exercise has on you always is influenced by your body’s natural rhythm. Exercising in the morning or the evening both has its own set of benefits. What works for others may not work for you. So with a little trial and error, you will have to figure out which is the best time to work out for you.

Working Out Early in The Morning –

You’ve been fasting throughout the night and your body is starved of fats. Your muscles have very little sugar. That is why your body will be forced to tap into its fat reserves. That is why you will burn more fats if you work out in the morning before you’ve had breakfast.

So if your goal is to lose weight, cut down on the fats, then work out in the morning to maximize fat loss.

It also kick-starts your metabolism, which stays elevated throughout the day. This means that not only do you burn fat throughout the day, but you also don’t have to worry about digestive problems.

But, if you are working out to improve your endurance or boost your strength or sculpt and build muscles, then you should not be exercising in the morning. These exercises require a lot of energy, which your body does not possess a first thing in the morning.

If you have diabetes or if your blood sugar levels frequently fluctuate, never workout on an empty stomach. You can exercise in the morning, but remember to eat a small but healthy snack before you get going.

Several research studies suggest that in terms of performing a consistent workout routine, people who exercise in the morning tend to do better. According to a study published in the Journal of Physiology, working out early in the morning, as early as 7 AM, may shift the body clock earlier. This means you will feel more energized and alert in the morning but get exhausted soon before the day ends, potentially priming you to get just enough rest to wake up and follow the same routine the next day. Exercising in the morning also leads to better productivity and improved mental health, as it reduces stress.

The best time to exercise is when you can fit it in. You’ve got to choose the time that fits your lifestyle best.
But if context matters.
“For someone needing to achieve an improvement in their risk for cardiometabolic disease, studies show an advantage to working out later in the day, especially for men.
If you’re more focused on building upper-body strength and power, you’ll probably get better results from training in the afternoon or evening.

Dr. M.G. Kartheeka, MBBS, MD

Working Out During the Late Afternoon –

Throughout the day, you’ve had a meal and snacks. That means you have the energy to spare and your body is high on cortisol and adrenaline. Your body will be capable of going through the motions of the most rigorous exercises. So if you are strength training or prepping yourself for a marathon or a trek, then this is the ideal time to exercise.

Moreover, an evening workout will help you with distress. When you exercise, it triggers the secretion of happiness hormones such as endorphins and serotonin, which relieve stress and prompt a feel-good factor.

Also Read: Benefits of Wall Sitting: A Comprehensive Research-Based Guide

Work Out After Dinner 

This may sound unappealing because after a tiring day working out will be the last thing on your mind. But working out after your dinner will relax all your aching muscles. It will help you vent all the extra energy. This means that you will be able to get a sound night’s sleep. On top of that, there are the usual benefits of losing weight and staying fit.

Understand your body – its requirements and patterns. Based on that as well as convenience, should you decide when is the best time to exercise.

Read More: 7 Health Benefits of Regular Exercise


While we can’t conclusively say when is the best time to exercise, what we do know is that it is important to start and continue your routine. Being consistent with your workouts, be it daily or multiple times a week, is of the utmost importance if you wish to see any visible progress. Creating a plan and making yourself stick to it is more likely to result in exercise becoming a habit for you. If you want to ensure that you adhere to regular exercise, be sure not to attempt extreme or complicated workout plans, the simpler it is the easier it will be to stick to. And regardless of whether your goal is to reduce weight or increase muscle mass, a healthy and appropriate diet is more important, without this no exercise will have much of an effect.

Disclaimer: The above information has been prepared by a qualified medical professional and may not represent the practices followed universally. The suggestions listed in this article constitute relatively common advice given to patients and since every patient is different, you are advised to consult your physician, if in doubt, before acting upon this information. Lupin Limited has only facilitated the distribution of this information to you in the interest of patient education and welfare.



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