Best Time to Exercise

Should I exercise in the morning?

Or should I exercise in the evening? And which is superior? This question has been debated in the fitness community for decades.

Perfect timing isn’t clear-cut since there are benefits to working out at various times throughout the day, though studies are starting to favor a morning routine.

Burn More Fat With Morning Workout

If you’re looking to burn more fat, then a morning workout before breakfast is the way to go.

A study published in the Journal of Physiology shows that exercising in a ‘fasted state’ engages our body to burn more fat. Insulin [whose job is to helps move sugar into the cells of your body, where it is used as fuel to make energy] is elevated after eating.

Additionally, cortisol [whose job is to break down the appropriate tissue based on what other hormones are around] will attack muscle.


However, if you are fasted insulin is low, cortisol is high, and the cortisol will then go after the body fat reserve.

Supporting studies published in the journal of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise have shown an increase in physical activity throughout the day after exercising in the morning.

High intensity exercise revs the metabolism; therefore hitting the gym in the A.M will have you burning more calories during the day instead of at night while asleep.

My preference for the time I exercise has very little to do with research and studies, and everything to do with life experience.

As a Fitness professional I am up before the sun most days of the week. I am not a morning person so working out in the morning was not a viable option for me, or so I thought.

Working-out in The Evening

When I saved my workout for the afternoon or evening maintaining a consistent routine seemed almost impossible.

Being a mother, wife, and professional, it seemed that there was always something that got in the way. With life’s distractions and exhaustion growing by the end of the day, it proved to be difficult to stay on track.

Being over 30 I don’t have the luxury of skipping a workout.

With the lack of consistency my physical fitness started to pay the price; losing strength, muscle “tone”, and just overall feeling unhealthy.

I finally decided to give the morning thing a try, though it wasn’t easy. After training with a 6 am client, who wants to spend an hour working on themselves? I didn’t.

Getting started was the hardest part but once I did I felt the benefits almost instantly.

For the first time I felt like a “morning person”, as silly as that sounds. I felt alive, awake, I even found myself singing some mornings.

Morning Workout Routine

Taking on a morning routine was one of the best things I have ever done for myself. I have been able to stay consistent and maintain a healthy life style.

My morning workout also sets the tone for my day, I feel happier, less stressed, more energized, and the benefits didn’t stop there.

 I slept better than I had before.

A recent study at Appalachian State University found that morning workouts are best if you want a better night’s sleep.

The sleep changes that occur with morning exercise can alter our bodies mentally and physically, according to Scott Collier, PhD, the leading author of the study and assistant professor in the Department of Health, Leisure and Exercise Science at Appalachian State University.

“The better you sleep, the better it is for your body,” explains Dr. Collier. “It increases your cardio health, decreases stress and anxiety, helps you maintain your weight and lowers your blood pressure. Plus the more time spent in deep sleep, the more time your body has to repair itself.” 

So whether it’s because morning workouts are superior for burning fat or you just can’t seem to find the time later on in the day, give a morning workout a try… It can change your life.


  • Proeyen, K. Van, K. Szlufcik, H. Nielens, K. Pelgrim, L. Deldicque, M. Hesselink, P. P. Van Veldhoven, and P. Hespel. "Training in the Fasted State Improves Glucose Tolerance during Fat-rich Diet." The Journal of Physiology 588.21 (2010): 4289-302. Web.
  • "News." BYU Study Says Exercise May Reduce Motivation for Food. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, Sept. 2012. Web.
  • "University News." Early Morning Exercise Is Best for Reducing Blood Pressure and Improving Sleep » News Archive » Appalachian State. N.p., 13 June 2011. Web.

Are you a morning person? Do you enjoy working out in the morning or do you prefere working out in the evening? Leave us comment below to let us know. We'd love to hear from you.


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