Exercise More Effectively: The Optimal Time Of Day For Exercise

Work is stressful, your schedule is full to bursting and you should do some exercise in between. But when is the best time of day for a particularly effective workout?


Exercise is better than no exercise at all – no matter what time of day it is! So if you can’t reconcile it with your working hours other than going to train in the early morning or late evening hours, then you should just stick to it! However, if you are more flexible with your schedule, it might be worth considering moving your training to the time of day when your body is at its most efficient.

Respect Your Body Clock

Early riser or late riser? Whether you are a so-called owl or larch is down to your genes. If you can hardly get up in the morning, you shouldn’t torture yourself with an early sports session. Those who are dog-tired in the evening should rather use the morning hours for a workout and relax on the couch in the evening. Both morning and evening exercise are actually extreme times for the body. Because it would be most efficient at a different time.

Morning Exercise

Morning exercise has advantages and disadvantages. Sure, you have to get up earlier – certainly an insurmountable disadvantage for many. On the other hand, you have already done your training for the day and can relax in the evening. The circulatory system also benefits from morning exercise. But should you exercise before or after breakfast? There is no clear answer to this question: if you exercise before breakfast, you do not have enough strength to do a real power workout. So it’s better to train gently, also to avoid injuries. After breakfast, your energy reserves would be replenished, but unfortunately, you don’t like to train on a full stomach. The best solution might be an intermediate solution: a few bites of banana will give you a boost, then you can treat yourself to a more substantial breakfast after the sports session.

Evening Exercise

Gyms are increasingly open 24 hours a day. Many people take advantage of this offer and go to the gym in the evening after 9 pm. As with morning exercise, you have to weigh up the advantages and disadvantages. Basically, you are more fit late in the evening than early in the morning, but after 9 o’clock in the evening your circulatory system adjusts to the night’s rest and that’s it for an effective sports session. However, if you train after 9 pm, you will upset your body’s sleep rhythm and risk a sleepless night. If there is no other way, you should do quiet sports like yoga or Pilates. Only real owls, who stay awake late anyway, can also step on the gas and be active in the evening.

Sport Is Most Effective At This Time

If you can somehow manage it, you should exercise between 4:00 and 7:00 pm. At this time, the body is at full speed. You have the necessary strength to complete a strenuous workout. Studies have shown that muscle growth is promoted most when you train at these times. The risk of injury is lower than when you drag yourself tired to training and you also have more strength to complete a longer sports session.

Hormones also help: Cortisol levels are elevated in the morning. This allows us to work with extra concentration, but reduces muscle growth. In the late afternoon, testosterone levels rise, which is beneficial for muscle growth.

Sport is also most pleasant for the psyche at this time of day: if you work out directly after a stressful day at the office, you can switch off wonderfully. The back and neck muscles, which are tense from sitting for so long, are also happy to get some exercise. After such a workout, the quality of sleep is also noticeably better and you wake up refreshed the next morning.


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