Best Time of Day to Workout

Exercise has been shown to help you sleep better, but for many people, the opposite is true if you do a high-intensity activity close to bedtime. Why? Your body temperature decreases toward the end of the day, signaling your body to shift into sleep mode. High-intensity activities, like running or interval training, turn up your body temp for up to five hours, interfering with that bedtime transition. If you still feel like moving your body, try a lower-intensity activity like yoga or stretching, which can help you unwind. Save the vigorous activities for the morning or afternoon. Morning workouts in particular offer these benefits:

  • You’re less likely to skip your workout since it’s already done.

  • If exercising outdoors, sunlight exposure can help regulate your circadian rhythm and set your sleep/wake cycle.

  • Exercising on an empty stomach (in a fasted state) may help you burn more fat.

  • Your cognitive function and energy levels may improve while you’re at work, as exercise drives oxygen and nutrients to the brain.

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