Is there a perfect time to work out? Science seems to think so

Are you a morning person when it comes to exercise? - Westend61 / Getty
When do you usually exercise? Now that we've all spent nearly a year in our pants-optional new reality, your answer might as well be "first thing in the morning," "right after my 11am work call," or "whenever I need to work something off." Stress over the new hell world we all live in ”- but is there actually a correct answer?
Some new evidence suggests this. For example, a Spanish study published in 2020 found a correlation between exercising between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. and a reduction in the risk of certain types of cancer, leading the study's authors to conclude that the positive effects of early exercise on breast cancer risk may have links for estrogen or melatonin production (with prostate cancer the risk also decreased, although less statistically significant). On the other hand, the differences between the case study group and the controls were small and could be correlated. For example, because people who make time to exercise early in the day are likely to display other healthy behaviors as well. Is there anything else to think about?
Another consideration is when exactly you feel best. In a study published in the Journal of Sports Science, the researchers found that test subjects were able to work harder in the evenings, so there's a chance that even if you turn up the Rocky playlist first thing in the morning, you're not actually giving yours Best.
World records are often set in the afternoon and many serious athletes leave their training session by mid-morning as a whole host of biological processes take a while to get online. Other studies suggest that your reaction time is fastest in the afternoon and evening, which can be important for HIIT workouts, speed training, or skill-based workouts.
What about the morning Some coaches suggest that training quickly is better if your goal is fat loss, suggesting early AM is best if you want to shed a few lockdown pounds, but there is little scientific evidence to support this Support speculation. More promising, you may be more able to stick to an omelette than go for a toast after a big workout. Research from Brigham Young University suggests that 45 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise in the morning is more likely to decrease, than increase, your appetite. Much shorter workouts can also get you ready for the day - University of Georgia researchers found that sedentary, otherwise healthy adults who did only 20 minutes of light to moderate aerobic exercise for six consecutive days three days a week for weeks reported an increase in energy levels and felt less tired.
So a general rule of thumb might be, if you actually want to exercise better - shift more weight, run faster, or jump larger logs in a single set - it makes more sense to save them for lunch or your afternoon break. If you want to make positive changes in the rest of your life - by feeling less stressed, more productive, or shifting some weight - this is likely okay earlier in the day and can be beneficial.
The real truth, of course, is that the best workout is the one you will stick to on a regular basis - not the one that is scientifically advisable, but you will always skip it. Really, it's okay to get a workout at any time of the day: first thing in the morning when you feel like it, a couple of hours before bed if you can't adjust it at any other time, or 10 minutes before lunch if You want it I feel guilty about the Deliveroo you just ordered and the driver on the way.
One caveat: if you're looking to build a habit, it helps to choose a time slot that you can stick to at least every day: When you're consistently exhausted from a day of doom or at home when you get to school by 6pm If you want to work out at the clock, you should consider when the prospects for your day might be better. And if your answer to the question above was "Uh, I didn't," even if it's only a few minutes, start today. Any time is better than never and any amount is better than none.
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