Well…this depends on your goal – if you are looking to lose weight, then 4 am, if you are looking to bulk up then 6:30 am…
JUST KIDDING! The very best, most effective time to exercise during the day is WHENEVER THE HECK YOU ARE WILLING AND ABLE TO FIT IT IN. Yes, a morning workout will boost your metabolism for the day, but an evening workout will boost your metabolism for the night. Now I know some people will read this and say “NOOOOOOO!!!! You must exercise first thing in the morning prior to eating breakfast so that your metabolism stays elevated during the day (insert Seinfeld’s trademarked ‘yada yada’ here)” but seriously the difference in metabolism really isn’t that greatly significant. I can honestly tell you it is certainly not enough for me to get my lazy butt out of bed any earlier than I have to.
If you absolutely dislike getting up early, and you are told that you must work out first thing in the morning to make any sort of change, would you do it? Sure you would. For a week, maybe two? Maybe even a month if you’re really diligent, but most people will revert back to not getting up early and will feel guilty and sabotaged and learn to resent morning workouts. Likewise if you are a morning person and someone tells you not to workout before breakfast – it’s simply setting you up for guilt and failure – which incidentally I feel have NO part in active, healthy living.
Some caveats to this advice would be if exercise tends to keep you up at night (it’s worth experimenting with because while people assume exercise will always keep you up at night, some people – like myself – find it actually makes them sleep better) then you will want to do it earlier in the day. Also if you are a type 1 diabetic and have a high blood glucose reading with some ketones…you definitely do not want to do any activity except take your insulin and drink water until your levels are under control.
That being said, the key to reaching any goal is consistency, so better to do it at 9:30 pm (as long as it doesn’t cause insomnia) than not at all!
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