When is the best time to exercise? – BBC REEL

In a study of 51 healthy adolescents, those who ran 30 minutes in the morning three days a week reported improved sleep quality, mood and concentration during the day, as well as decreased daytime sleepiness, compared to the control group (who did not engage in any running).
Research considering the effects of circadian cortisol—the usual fluctuation of your body’s cortisol level—on habit formation shows that cortisol plays an important and well-documented role in developing and maintaining a healthy habit. Since you tend to have a higher concentration of cortisol in the morning, exercising at this time might help make working out a stronger habit. Indeed, morning exercisers in a 2017 study in Health Psychology achieved consistency with a stretching routine nearly 50 days sooner than those who stretched in the evening[1].
Research also suggests morning workouts can curb appetite throughout the day. A small study from Brigham Young University compared food intake and brain responses to food images in a group of 35 women. Those who completed 45 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise in the morning had a lower response to food images and didn’t consume extra calories during the day to make up for the calories burned during exercise[2].Evening workouts can also help you maximize your workout performance. When looking at anaerobic output, such as peak power and jump performance, some studies show evening workouts yield better results. A 2020 review looked at 44 studies that examined the time of day differences on short-duration maximal exercise. All but two found better performance outcomes in the afternoon[3]. This difference may be due to a better ability to concentrate, more fuel reserves from eating during the day and/or more time to warm up before exercising.A 2019 study found exercising vigorously less than an hour before bedtime can increase arousal, delay sleep and disturb sleep quality[4]. To avoid this reaction, aim to work out in the early evening to give your body ample time to unwind before bedtime.
Overall, it all comes down to how well you perform mentally and physically in the evenings and what time you go to bed. If you’re naturally a morning person, forcing yourself to exercise in the evening and delaying bedtime may not work for you. Meanwhile, others might find they only have time to exercise after their young children go to bed, so if that’s the time that keeps you consistent, it’s much better than not working out at all. While there are some drawbacks to evening workouts, any activity you perform consistently is your best choice.Morning exercise may have an edge when it comes to benefits like fewer distractions, increased productivity throughout the day and habit formation, but evening exercise might be better if you’re looking to improve your performance.