Workout Schedules: The Best Time of Day to Exercise in Winter

Workout Schedules: The Best Time of Day to Exercise in Winter

Did you know that winter brings colder temperatures and shorter daylight hours? Which can make it challenging to stay motivated and maintain a consistent exercise routine. However, finding the right time of day to exercise can greatly impact your energy levels, performance, and overall enjoyment of physical activity during the winter season. In this article, we will explore the options of exercising in the early morning, at lunchtime, in the evenings, and at night, and discuss how to determine what works best for you.

Early Morning Workout

Exercising in the early morning has its advantages, especially during winter. Here are some key benefits to consider.

Workout Consistency 

Starting your day with a workout ensures that other commitments won’t interfere with your exercise routine. It sets a positive tone for the rest of the day and helps build consistency.

Boost in energy and mood. 

Morning workouts can help jumpstart your energy levels and improve your mood for the day. The hormones released during exercise can provide a natural energy boost and positively impact your mental well-being.

Increased fat burning 

Morning workouts on an empty stomach can potentially increase fat burning since glycogen stores are lower when you wake up. This can be beneficial if weight loss is one of your goals.

However, the following are considerations to keep in mind for early morning workouts in winter.

  1. Cold temperatures: Depending on where you live, the early morning may be colder during the winter months, making it harder to get out of bed and start exercising. Layer up with appropriate winter workout gear to help combat the cold.
  2. Dark mornings: Limited daylight in winter means you may need to exercise in the dark. Safety precautions such as reflective clothing, well-lit routes, and carrying a flashlight are essential.

Lunchtime Workout

Exercising during your lunch break offers unique advantages, particularly for those who struggle with early mornings or evenings. Consider the following benefits.

Mid-day energy boost 

A lunchtime workout can boost your energy levels, combat mid-day slumps, and improve focus and productivity for the rest of the afternoon.

Break from work 

Physical activity during lunch provides a mental and physical break from work, reducing stress to promote a healthier work-life balance.

Availability of facilities

Many workplaces have on-site gyms or nearby fitness centers that make it convenient to fit in a workout during lunch.

However, lunchtime workouts also have potential challenges such as the following.

  1. Time constraints: Depending on the length of your lunch break, you may have limited time for a workout and shower afterwards. Efficient workouts or activities that don’t require a lot of preparation can be beneficial.
  2. Scheduling conflicts: Lunchtime workouts may clash with meetings or other work-related obligations. Planning and communicating your workout schedule in advance can help overcome these conflicts.

Evening Workout

Exercising in the evenings has its perks, especially for individuals who prefer to wind down their day with physical activity. Consider the following advantages.

Stress relief 

Evening workouts can provide a release of accumulated stress and tension from the day, promoting relaxation and better sleep quality.

Increased flexibility 

With the work day behind you, you may have more time to dedicate to longer or detailed workout sessions in the evenings.

Social opportunities 

Group fitness classes or recreational sports leagues often offer evening sessions, providing opportunities for social interaction and accountability.

However, these are potential drawbacks to evening workouts that you must consider.

  1. Fatigue and motivation: After a long day, it can be difficult to find the energy and motivation to exercise. Preparing a well-balanced meal and allowing some time to unwind before your workout can help overcome fatigue.
  2. Disruptions and distractions: Evening workouts may be susceptible to interruptions, such as unexpected work demands, family commitments, or social events. Planning your workouts in advance and setting boundaries can help reduce disruptions.

Figuring Out What Works Best For You

Determining the best time of day to exercise in winter ultimately depends on your individual preferences, schedule, and energy levels. Here are some strategies to help you find your optimal workout schedule.

  1. Assess your energy levels: Pay attention to when you feel most energised and motivated. Experiment with different workout times to identify the period when you perform best.
  2. Consider your daily commitments: Evaluate your daily schedule and identify time slots that offer the least amount of conflicts or interruptions. Prioritise self-care and plan your dedicated workout time.
  3. Listen to your body: Tune in to how your body responds to exercise at different times of the day. Notice any variations in energy, focus, or performance. This self-awareness will help you identify your ideal workout window.
  4. Flexibility and adaptability: Be open to adjusting your workout schedule as needed. Life circumstances may change, and adapting to new routines will ensure you can consistently incorporate exercise into your winter days.

The best time of day to exercise in winter varies from person to person, depending on individual preferences and circumstances. Whether you choose early mornings, lunchtime, or evenings the most important factor is finding a workout schedule that aligns with your energy levels, supports consistency, and enhances your overall well-being. Listen to your body, speak to your healthcare practitioner, experiment with different options, and remember that the key to successful winter workouts lies in finding a routine that you enjoy and can sustain throughout the season.


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