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Exercising in the afternoon is the best time for optimal results

At about 3 p.m. some of your hormone levels peak, making this an optimal time period for weight loss. Also, the late afternoon is a good time to achieve high performance. At this time, flexibility, strength, endurance, and the ability to handle pain are at their highest. Working out at this time may also improve your sleep patterns. Just a half-hour of exercise will help you go to sleep faster and more soundly. However, try to leave at least two hours between your workout and your bedtime. Exercise right before bed can keep you awake and start a damaging cycle of exhaustion.

Depending on your needs and goals, the morning can also be a good time for exercise. It can have an energizing effect by increasing your heartbeat and your alertness. Another plus-air pollution levels are typically at their daily low in the morning. Note however, that you should take extra time to warm up muscles and stretch in order to prevent injury.

In the end, though, the best time to exercise is the time that is most conducive to you sticking with an exercise schedule. Ultimately, being active is more important than the time of day.

Tue. Jan 16, 11:57am

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It has been my experience that any time you exercise is the "best time."

Tuesday, January 16, 2007, 3:31 PM

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for me it's in the early morning. each person will have a different "best time" depending on their lifestyle, job requirements, family obligations, etc. the OP's posting as a fact that afternoon is best is deceiving and plain wrong, in my opinion.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007, 3:39 PM

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I find, in terms of performance (if I'm timing my run and really trying for a PR, for instance) that afternoon IS the best time. Makes me wonder why races are always in the morning.

But in terms of just getting out and doing it, putting in the miles and not competing, before work and after work are a lot better, lol!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007, 3:42 PM

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If 3pm is "peak performance" time, then why is that the most popular time for the folks in my office to scramble for coffee and sugary things to wake them up and get them through the rest of the afternoon? I'm not buying this.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007, 3:44 PM

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I am not the original poster, but I have a career in the athletic field and scientifically this IS when your body is at its optimal performance level.

This does NOT mean that this is the best time for everyone to workout, but it does mean that you are more likely to do better at a mile run at 3pm than at 5am.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007, 4:59 PM

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as a pastry chef, my working hours were 3am to 11 am. as a chef, my hours were 10 am to 8 pm. it seems clear that my optimal performance time would change between these kinds of working hours. am i to understand that no matter what time a person gets up, and regardless of their activities, that 3 pm is still better than 5 am? it makes no sense. this may be true when applied to a specific group of people who have relatively the same lifestyle and keep basically the same hours, but no way is this believable without referring to a set group of people. it's way too general and i see no evidence of anything scientifically researched.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007, 9:27 AM

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so if i live on the east coast and 3 pm is the best time for me to exercise and then i move to the west coast, do i still exercise at 3 pm east-coast-time or adjust my schedule for 3 pm west-coast-time? silly.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007, 9:29 AM

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that is a good question. any answer?

Wednesday, January 17, 2007, 4:09 PM

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Some people clearly like arguing for the sake of it.

The OP's post is interesting. Obviously 3pm applies to someone who wakes up at a "normal" time.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007, 4:47 PM

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what is a normal time? 6am? 8am? interesting, maybe. accurate, no.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007, 4:55 PM

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