A number of articles have appeared in the fitness media recently concerning the best time of the day for exercise.  The worry is, of course, that if there is an optimum part of the day for physical activity and you’re not working out at that time, you might be missing out on important fitness or health benefits.

So, is there a best time of the day to train?  Recent and current research suggests that there is no clear-cut answer to that question.

There is evidence to indicate that working out in the morning is beneficial.  Studies have shown that it can be conducive to a good night’s sleep (ie deep and restorative sleep) and help reduce blood pressure.  From the perspective of consistency, there is also an advantage in exercising before other pressures on your time begin to interfere.

However, despite findings like those outlined above, there is no need for those who prefer working out later in the day to feel concerned.  There is plenty of evidence to support the theory that the best time to exercise is when you feel most like doing it.  The logic is simple – if you’re in the mood to work out at a certain time then you are most likely to stick to it and push yourself harder, thereby deriving the optimum benefit from your fitness activities.

Another factor to bear in mind is your glycogen levels (energy storage).  Exercise or physical tasks deplete your supply and you recharge it by taking in carbohydrates.  You’ll be able to work harder and longer if your glycogen level is full, so it is worth examining your eating habits when trying to determine the best time for exercise.  Failing that, if your workout time is fixed, you can adjust your food intake to suit.