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New Study Reveals: The Optimal Time of Day for Exercise

a split clock showing evening and morning side


For years, the debate on the "best" time to exercise has raged on. Early risers swear by morning workouts, while night owls find their groove after work. But what does science say? A new study sheds light on this topic, revealing a surprising finding about the optimal timing for exercise, particularly for those living with obesity.

Person jogging evening

1. Evening Workouts Linked to Greater Health Benefits (For People with Obesity):

The research, published in ScienceDaily: tracked the physical activity patterns of over 30,000 people for nearly eight years. The results suggest that for individuals with obesity, engaging in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) – think brisk walking, jogging, or cycling – primarily in the evening (between 6 pm and midnight) is linked to the greatest health benefits.

Man doing exercise

2. Frequency Trumps Timing (For Everyone):

While the study highlights a potential benefit to evening workouts for those with obesity, it's important to remember that consistency is key. Regardless of the time of day, engaging in regular physical activity is crucial for overall health and well-being. The study emphasizes that the frequency of MVPA sessions is more important than the specific time.

A split image showing man doing exercise morning and evening

3. Finding Your Fitness Fit:

The "best" time to exercise ultimately depends on your individual preferences and lifestyle. Here's a breakdown of potential benefits based on workout timing:

  • Morning: May boost energy levels and focus throughout the day, kickstarting your metabolism, and setting a positive tone.
  • Afternoon: Can provide a mid-day energy boost and help combat fatigue.
  • Evening: May improve sleep quality for some and allow for more flexibility after work commitments.

A person waking up refreshed and energized, stretching in the morning sunlight with a cup of coffee.

4. Listen to Your Body:

Pay attention to your body's natural rhythms. Are you a morning person with boundless energy upon waking? Perhaps a pre-work sweat session is ideal. Do you find afternoons sluggish? A midday pick-me-up workout could be the answer. The key is to choose a time that you're most likely to stick with consistently.

A person engaging in a high-intensity workout, sweat glistening on their skin as they push their physical limits.

5. Experiment and Discover:

Don't be afraid to experiment and find what works best for you. Try different workout times and observe how your body responds in terms of energy levels, sleep quality, and overall performance.

A split-screen image showing someone exercising in the morning and someone else exercising in the evening,


Remember: While this new study offers valuable insights, it's just one piece of the puzzle. The most significant factor is finding an exercise routine you enjoy and can stick with over the long term. So, lace up your shoes, listen to your body, and discover the optimal workout time for a healthier, happier you!

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