Dr Susan Baxter
What is the BEST time of the day to exercise?
Updated: Mar 2
Well my young padawan, the answer all depends on your goals!
First things first, showing up is paramount. If your aim is to get there in the first place, well any time is better than no time whatsoever 🙂 Don't sweat the small stuff if these times do not suit you!
Goal: weight loss
In the morning! A study in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise found that women were more physically active throughout the day, craved less food (in the form of googling food porn), and made healthier choices when they started their day with exercise. I have some ideas of great exercises here.
Tip: eat something prior. Though fasted-state (aka no food for breakfast before your workout), burns a greater percentage of calories from fat than you do when you do eat, you aren’t able to exercise as intensely. You will also likely burn fewer calories—including those from fat throughout the day because you couldn’t work as hard. Check my post on
If you would like the extra oomph to boost your performance, research published in the journal Chronobiology International found that enzyme activity and muscular function increase and peak from about 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Do remember that if you plan to compete in the morning for your event, you might want to change to the morning as you get closer to competition day. (So that the body and mind can adjust).
Goal: to get there!
Life is stressful enough without the stress of trying to go for a workout. If you plan on working out after work, have your gym bag packed so that you can head straight to the gym? Pack a healthy snack to have on your way from work to the gym, and then you are less likely to have a home diversion (where it is easier to stay).
Or if you just cannot face working out after work, it might be time to try the morning. It may not be your first preference, but think about what makes it hard to get up and address these issues. If it is cold, put the heater on a schedule so it will have heated your room before you wake up. Lay your clothes out the night before. Have breakfast ready to eat, and a snack in the car for after the gym.
Now get to it and do it! 🙂
If you like what you read, I do have a series of Ebooks you can find here. I have designed these to inform and educate with real no-nonsense information about how to live a sustainably healthy life long term. It is the tool kit and knowledge that you need to make your own informed decisions for long-term health.
And if you'd like to chat more about what specifically will suit you and your goals as well as your life, let's chat! Thank you for reading.