FITNESS

What is the Best Time to Work Out?

The best time to work out? Your body and your metabolism do not care! Your body will burn the same amount of calories whether you kick start your day with a workout or snooze better because you worked out at night. The best time of the day to work out is when you WILL work out.

So how do you properly prepare your body for working out at 5 a.m. or 9 p.m.?

First Thing in the Morning

Research shows early morning exercise creates the best habits. There are little to no interruptions.

Should I eat before a morning workout?

Unless you’re planning on a high-intensity workout at least 50 minutes in length, you should have enough glycogen stored in your body to fuel your workout. If you work out for more than 50 minutes, I recommend eating half an apple to help you get through the workout. Then, if you use intermittent fasting you can have your first full meal during your 8-hour window.

It’s a myth that you need breakfast immediately when you wake up, or that it helps with weight loss. In fact, extending your fast a couple hours into your day can help your body dig into your fat stores and boost weight loss. My advice? Drink a cup of water immediately upon waking up. This should curb cravings and give your body the hydration and energy you need to start your day. And simply eat breakfast within a few hours of waking.

Late Morning

After the kids are off to school and you have had breakfast is probably one of the best times for your body to work out. Between breakfast and lunch your body has plenty of energy to complete that workout!

Late Afternoon

For all moms that fall off the bandwagon about this time of day (I used to do it!), this could be the best time for you.  Just like late morning, it is one of the best times for your body to work out.  Your lunch is settled and glycogen stores are full of energy.  It also helps get rid of that afternoon slump.

Evening

This is different for all moms, and is dependent on your sleep schedule (or lack thereof). And the research is mixed. Overall exercise will help you sleep better, but for some, revving that heart rate right before bed keeps their eyes open for too long. For me, I work out after the kids go to bed — it keeps me on good behavior at dinner and post-dinner!

Pregnant or breastfeeding? Make sure you eat a snack of protein and carbohydrates within the hour and stay well hydrated (apple with peanut butter, milk and a slice of bread, or yogurt and a few almonds). Check out pregnancy nutrition and breastfeeding nutrition.

No matter what time of day, if you carve out a just 15 minutes for yourself, you’ll gain energy and endorphins. Try our Daily 15 Workout! Choose one everyday or pick a few for the week.

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