What time do you like to exercise?

What the timings of your exercise mean for your health

With most of us working from home again, we have a lot more flexibility over when we work out. But some evidence suggests that there is an ideal time to exercise. One Spanish study published in 2020 found a correlation between exercising between 8am and 10am and a reduction in the risk of certain types of cancer.

Another consideration is when you feel best. In one study, published in the Journal of Sports Science, researchers found that test subjects were able to work harder in the evening.

What about the morning? Some trainers suggest that fasted workouts are better if your goal is fat loss, suggesting that early AM might be best if you’re looking to shed some lockdown pounds, but there’s little scientific evidence to back up that speculation. More promising is that a morning workout might stop you snacking; research from Brigham Young University suggests that 45 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous exercise in the morning is more likely to reduce your appetite than build it up.

A general rule of thumb might be if you’re aiming to actually get better at working out, it makes more sense to save it for lunchtime or the afternoon. If you’re looking to make positive changes in the rest of your life – by feeling less stressed, more productive, or shifting some weight – earlier in the day is probably fine and might be beneficial.

By Jack Rear, Health Writer