Is there a “best” time of day to run, or a time when you can get the most benefit out of your running from a fitness standpoint?
I am asked this question frequently; people want to make sure that they are going to get the maximum gain from the effort that they put into exercise, and I get it! They want to get the most fitness benefit from the amount of effort that they are putting in to their exercise.
Is there a best time of day? The answer to this that may surprise you, but makes a lot of sense (and has some good science behind it as well). Before getting to that though, lets take a look at what is typically listed as the “best” time of day. I’ll also tell you what is my best time of day, and the reasons for that.
Many people have heard that morning (first thing!) is the best time to exercise, and ask about that.
There are a few reasons why morning is a good choice:
- You will get a metabolic boost early in the day
- By doing it first, there’s not much less opportunity to let the busy-ness of the day crowd it out of your schedule
- If you run before eating anything, you are starting out from a fasting state, so you are more likely to get some fat burning effect from your running
- Your running will likely curb your hunger somewhat and may help you with portion control at breakfast
There are also a few reasons why running first thing in the morning may not be the best:
- Mornings are already rushed for most people, you may be tempted to skip your run if you’re short on time
- Some people have motivation problems just getting up in the morning – adding running just gives them another poor excuse to hit the snooze, and then they never end up “getting to it later” in the day
- Your body has been inactive all night, so you are not as limber and stretched as you are later in the day
- Since you are in the process of waking up, you not run as hard or push your workout like you would later in the day
Overall, the morning is a good time to run. Although it will not work out well for some people, and it is not what I would call “THE BEST” time to run, the morning does provide a couple of advantages and unique benefits. For some people it is the best time to run – and they should make that their set or scheduled time to run.
In an upcoming post I’ll tell you my favorite time of day for running, and what factors affect and can change that. If you have questions about running or anything related to a healthy lifestyle, I’d love to hear from you. Use the form below for any feedback.