The Best Time of Day to Work Out

There are plenty of debates about the best time of day to work out. Some say it’s best to work out first thing in the morning, others mid day, and then there are those that swear by late night sessions that send them straight into a deep sleep.

So when is the best time to hit the gym?

Talking strictly in terms of scheduling, there are pros and cons to different time frames.

Are you a morning person?  If you answered yes, then AM sessions might be worth exploring. Depending on when your first classes are, the early morning might be just what you need in terms of motivating yourself to sweat. Working out in the morning is an instant energy boost and helps jumpstart your day. You could potentially go to your first class having literally run circles around your classmates! However, timing really is everything. If you have class at 8, and the gym on your campus opens at 7— unless you have superman speed, and feel loosely about showering—you may need to opt for a later time.

So how do you feel about mid day? Do you have gaps in schedule? Some spare time to play around with? Some college co-eds are partial to naps whenever they have free moment—and that’s not entirely a bad idea, considering you need to give your hardworking body a rest every once and a while! But if you’re all napped out, and you have an hour to work with, why not mull over your assignment for your 2:00 class on the elliptical machines? No one says you have to power race on level 10, just do a casual session warming up your joints and getting your blood pumping. If you don’t need to primp excessively for class, this midday boost could give you the upper hand in your afternoon classes, and help fight off the urge to let your lids get heavy. I find it difficult to stay alert during afternoon lectures. A little workout to spice up your schedule and warm up your routine may be just the ticket!

What if you are booked solid from sun up to sun down? No problem. Maybe you’re an evening workout warrior. You may have to line up for equipment—everyone’s schedule is a little freer in the pm and students may have a workout on the brain just like you!  Working out during the evening can be relaxing and a nice way to wind down after a busy day of classes. You can de-stress while running on the treadmill, or lifting weights. After a good workout and a healthy dinner you will be set to start your homework, go out, or just relax and watch a movie. I’ve found that after a good workout and moving around, I feel the most productive and confident—like I could run another few miles! I don’t know if I would even put my money where my mouth is on that, but it sure feels good when you know you just worked hard and made it through the day.

Although there are different debates about when it’s best to work out, when you’re in college, the most important thing is just finding the time to work out! It’s not really a question on when, but more of a question of how to fit it in. My best advice is to schedule gym time into your planner or agenda. What works for me is seeing the word “gym” stare up at me from the pages. It’s already written so I know I have to go or unless I’ll have to scribble it out and feel bad for not going. By blocking the idea of working out into your day, you won’t be struggling with how to fit it in, but rather, finding the best time to make it happen. Working out is healthy and a great way to de-stress in college. So don’t worry about the when’s and just make sure you get out and move around—every time is a good time to get our your feet and get some exercise!


I’m reading A Pocket Guide to Writing History


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