Time always seems to top the list of excuses when it comes to skipping a scheduled workout. Maybe you hit the snooze button a few too many times, or a meeting ran late and overlapped with that barre workout you had scheduled. Or maybe you just couldn't fit in a quick run. So you might be wondering: When's the best time of day to work out? Does it matter?
"Not necessarily," said Jessica Smithgall, owner and trainer at DEFINE Atlanta. More than anything, it's about fitting in the kind of exercise you want at a time that makes sense for you. "Mornings are great to start the day off energized, fire up your metabolism and get your workout out of the way."
But there's no reason to write off a workout just because you're not a morning person.
"Evening workouts are highly effective at calming the mind and reducing insomnia," she saids, citing courses like DEFINE's "body" and "mind" barre and yoga classes, which are popular with students in the evenings. The most important thing about the time of your workout is that you schedule it at all.
"The best way to lose weight is through consistency," said Smithgall. "You should choose a workout time that you can stick to. Also, keep in mind that weight loss is dependent on variables such as diet, stress, hormones, and sleep patterns."
Maintaining a consistent workout schedule can seem like a daunting task—after all, isn't that what we'd all ideally strive for? But Smithgall said there are several small habits you can adopt to make gym time happen and hold yourself accountable.
"Schedule your workouts on your calendar and register for classes in advance. Also, plan your workouts with friends," she said. "Working out with friends will not only motivate you and hold you accountable for your workouts, but it will also allow you to fit in time to laugh, socialize and have fun."