The Best Time of Day to Exercise

Best Time of Day to Exercise | Dr. Ali Ghahary

Exercise is something that Dr. Ali Ghahary recommends all patients do if they are physically able. Regardless of your age, keeping fit can provide great benefits to both your physical and mental health, therefore increasing your quality of life.

The time of day you choose to exercise is important. For many working Canadians, getting in 30 to 60 minutes of cardio – be it going for a walk/run, swimming, or to a gym – is best done in the mornings, and this is something that many healthcare professionals, including Dr. Ali Ghahary, would agree with.

When you exercise in the mornings you build up metabolism – meaning when you eat a meal (breakfast, for example), your body not only uses that food as energy, but it can also replenish your energy levels and store some of it for later use throughout the day. To help wake the mind, many individuals will also choose exercise in the mornings vs. a cup of coffee. In fact, studies have show morning exercise to be as much as 10% more effective then caffeine when it comes to cognitive abilities. You’re also more likely to stick to a routine by working out in the mornings as opposed to afternoons. The day can be filled with many distractions – such as appointments, hanging out with friends, or other unexpected events – making you less likely to stick to a regular exercise routine.

As much as the time of day you choose to exercise is important, the time of day in which you choose not to exercise is also just as crucial.

While you can certainly exercise whenever you want, doctors recommend avoiding evening exercise if possible – especially if it’s strenuous. Since working out can boost your energy/adrenaline, evening exercise is more likely to keep you awake, tossing and turning, and you’ll have had an overall terrible night’s rest, leaving you feeling tired the next day. If you absolutely insist on working out in the evening then that’s perfectly fine – there’s nothing seriously harmful about exercising at night – and for some, especially those who work night shifts or unusual hours, evening exercise is all they’re able to do – but just remember it takes anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes for your heart rate to return to normal, meaning you’ll want to have finished working out at least an hour before going to bed.

Click here for more exercise tips from Dr. Ali Ghahary.