Do you workout in the morning or evening? I’m definitely an a.m. exerciser. For me, there’s no better way to start my day than with a sunrise hike or a morning interval class. If I get my workout in first thing, I’m less likely to get distracted or consumed by my busy day and skip my sweat session. But that’s just me. For a bigger-picture answer, I went to Julian Baez, Fitness Director with Core Concepts Personal Training at Mountainside Fitness in Gilbert. Julian not only has a BS in Exercise and Wellness from Arizona State University, he’s working towards his MS, with a focus on high intensity resistance and cardiovascular training.
Trainer Q&A: Julian Baez, Fitness Director with Core Concepts Personal Training at Mountainside Fitness
Q: What’s the best time to exercise?
A: Physiologically, researchers have not given us a clear answer; however, behavioral science has. In order to make a lifestyle change, individuals must seek consistency. A time of the day that works best for one particular person does not always work for others. Attributing positive emotions and experiences towards exercise will increase the compliance of an exercise program. The key is to stay consistent. Make exercise fit your lifestyle instead of allowing exercise to dictate your lifestyle. Create specific, measureable, attainable, realistic, and timely goals.
A review in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research by authors Chtourou and Souissi states that individuals benefit the most from training at particular times when they have a specific event they are working towards. For example, a marathon runner is competing between the hours of 7:00 am and 11:00 am. The most beneficial time for this particular person to train would be between these hours. When the time of an event/competition is unknown, resistance training should be performed in the morning to improve short-term maximal performances. This benefits the individual that is looking to execute exercises at maximum levels and improve morning performance; however, further research is needed to solidify these results. Research has only begun to see the tip of the iceberg.
There are many factors that play into daily performance. In general, individuals just want to be healthy and fit; therefore, exercise when it fits your lifestyle. If at all possible, conduct a self-study by exercising at different times of the day, track the progress, and determine when the best time to train is for you.