Give Your Exercise Routine a Boost

Exercising at the right time of the day is highly beneficial, and here's how:

boost your exercise

Photo by: Ben Goldstein/Studio D

When is the best time to exercise? The short answer: “It really boils down to what works for you, regularly and consistently,” says Jessica Matthews, MS, an exercise physiologist and spokesperson for the American Council on Exercise. That said, there are times when being strategic pays off. Here, the best time to…


Form a habit? Morning! According to one study, 75 percent of morning exercisers stuck with their routines, as compared to only 25 percent of evening exercisers. Plus, “you start your day off with a high burn, and get your energy up and metabolism running,” says Jenn Burke, Fitness Manager for Crunch Gyms in Los Angeles.

Boost your brain? Midday! If you hit a mental roadblock at work, walk away from it—literally. Not only will breaking for a brisk 5 to 10 minute walk relieve stess and boost your mood, but it can also have other surprising benefits. “Research shows that midday exercises results in improved mental sharpness, better time management and increased productivity,” says Matthews.

Try a challenging new workout? Late afternoon! Don’t quit lunchtime Zumba if that’s what works for you, but next time you’re considering upping the intensity (say, with a boot camp DVD), try it around 4 or 5 p.m., says Matthews. Your body temperature is at its highest, which studies have shown will boost your workout. Your muscles are also more flexible, your strength at its peak, and your perceived exertion is at a low (so exercise actually feels easier).


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