Exercise can help many folks shed unwanted pounds, but in order to successfully maintain the weight loss, you may want to consider what time of day you're working out. According to recent research, hitting the gym at the same time each day may be key to staying in shape.
A July 2019 study, published in Obesity, analyzed 375 adults who have successfully maintained weight loss and who engage in moderate-to-vigorous workouts (such as jogging or playing tennis) and found that most of the participants reported consistency in the time that they exercised. Good news for early birds: Morning was the most common time for these super-slimmers to break a sweat.
But even if you're more of a night owl, don't think you need to get up at the crack of dawn to have a meaningful workout. Researchers found that simply being consistent in the timing of exercise was linked with higher physical activity levels — regardless of whether it happened in the morning, afternoon, or night.
"Our findings warrant future experimental research to determine whether promoting consistency in the time of day that planned and structured physical activity is performed can help individuals achieve and sustain higher levels of physical activity," said senior author Dale Bond, PhD, in a press release.
More research is also needed to what is best for folks who aren't used to regular exercise. First author Leah Schumacher, PhD, added: "It will also be important to determine whether there is a specific time of day that is more advantageous for individuals who have initial low physical activity levels to develop a physical activity habit."
For now, pinpoint a time that fits your schedule best and try to stick to it — you might be surprised to see how well it works out for you!