Is there a best time of day to exercise?

Outdoor exercise is increasing popularity in the Philadelphia and surrounding areas.  With these new outdoor activities and the increase in heat during the summer months, when is the best time of day to exercise?

The best time to exercise for performance is around 6 pm, according to research on lung function, body rhythms, temperature, and hormone levels.

But morning is the best time to exercise if you want to stick with your exercise habit. Surveys show we are more likely to exercise at all if we do it first thing in the morning, before other distractions eat up our free time or give us an excuse to not exercise.

Morning Exercise – Pros and Cons

Pros:
• The majority of people who exercise consistently do so early in the day. It is easier to form the exercise habit through morning exercise.
• Fewer distractions and schedule interruptions.
• Can make time for exercise by getting up a bit earlier.
• Raises your heart rate and metabolism to burn more calories earlier in the day.
• Gives a feeling of physical energy for hours.
• Improves your mental acuity for hours.
• Cooler temperatures in summer.
Air pollution is lowest in the morning.
• The body adjusts to your exercise time, so if you are training for a morning sports event, train in the morning.

Cons:
Body temperature is at its lowest 1-3 hours before awakening, making morning a time of naturally lower energy and blood flow.
• Cold, stiff muscles may be more prone to injury – be sure to warm up well before doing a higher intensity workout, and do gentle stretching.
• If you do not enjoy morning exercise, you won’t easily form a habit by choosing a morning workout time.
• Because body temperature and hormones are higher in late afternoon, you probably get the same or better calorie-burning effects later in the day.

If you are looking for some great places to get physically involved – you might check out The Daily Grind, there are over 37 meeting groups around Conshohoken.  Christy Robinson is the co-owner and founder of the Daily Grind that was started in January of 2011.  You might also check out Platoon Fitness.  They have a variety of outdoor classes in different parts of the city.

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