Is it better to exercise in the morning or at night?

Families, Food and Fitness January 27, 2009|Print
If your goal is to make exercise a habit, the best time to exercise is when you will do it. Some research indicates that those who exercise in the morning tend to be more consistent at exercising, but everyone is different. The key is to find the time of day that works best for you. You may even have to try working out at different times of the day to find the time that is right for you. Work out in the morning for a few weeks, then try noon, then early evening. Evaluate which time of day you enjoyed exercising the most, which made you feel the best afterward, and the quality of sleep you experienced the night following the exercise session. Some evidence suggests exercising at night may impair sleep. However, the research is mixed on the subject. The National Sleep Foundation has issued the following information and guidelines concerning sleep and exercise. "In general, exercising regularly makes it easier to fall asleep and contributes to sounder sleep. However, exercising sporadically or right before going to bed may make falling asleep more difficult. In addition to making us more alert, our body temperature rises during exercise and takes as much as 6 hours to drop. A cooler body temperature is associated with sleep onset. Finish your exercise at least 3 hours before bedtime. Late afternoon exercise is the perfect way to help you fall asleep at night."