This Is The Best Time Of Day To Work Out

Fitness fans will have a firm opinion on when the right time to exercise will be. For some, mornings are best because there is a sense that exercise on an empty stomach can be a way to kick your metabolism into gear. But for fitness fanatics who don't enjoy getting up early, evenings are best, particularly if dragging yourself out of bed before the sun comes up is a shortcut to having a really bad, unproductive day.

Unfortunately for night owls, science does say there is a good time to work out, and that's during the morning when you hit the gym on an empty stomach. "In the early morning hours, you have a hormonal profile that would predispose you to better metabolism of fat," Anthony Hackney, professor of exercise and sport science at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill tells Time. Because people have higher levels of hormones related to metabolism in the morning, Hackney says a morning workout can actually help you lose weight.

It is easier to stick to a morning routine

Women's Health also says you're more likely to stick with a workout if you make it part of your routine. "Morning exercisers tend to have better adherence in the long run," says Stephen Ball, Ph.D., a professor of exercise physiology and nutrition at the University of Missouri. "Life usually doesn't get in the way as much at this time." 

There is also the added bonus contributed by research which shows that people who exercise in the morning experience diminished appetite during the day — another factor that contributes to weight loss.

The American Heart Association, though, says the timing of a workout is not as important as what it is you do and how consistent you do it, because physical activity can only be good for you if you do it on a regular basis. It suggests doing a wide range of physical activities you enjoy, such as walking, running or jogging; swimming; biking; dancing or playing a sport; strength training; yoga and pilates; or kickboxing and Tai Chi — in short, anything that gets you on your feet and moving.