The Best Time to Exercise is the Afternoon...?
Katelyn Sander

The Best Time to Exercise is the Afternoon...?

Living Well...together, while apart

For some of us – the answer is a resounding YES. 

YES, if it fits into your schedule.
YES, if that’s when your favourite class is.
YES, if you really enjoy working out then.

Also – it turns out – a powerful YES for men at risk for developing insulin resistance.

A recent study found that men at a high risk of Type II diabetes, who exercised in the afternoon, improved their metabolic health significantly more compared to similar men who exercised in the morning.

It turns out humans have two types of biological clocks: A central clock located in the hypothalamus which responds to dark and light cycles and a peripheral molecular clock that is regulated by patterns of feeding, fasting, and exercise. Ideally these two clocks synch. We fast and rest during darkness and feast and exercise during the day. A desynchronization of these two clocks is known to contribute to insulin resistance. 

Specifically, the cells in your muscles, fat, and liver start to ignore the signal that the hormone insulin is trying to send out: to grab the glucose out of your blood stream and put it into your cells. Glucose can’t be used for fuel until it enters your cells, and having high blood sugar for extended periods of time causes damage to organs, nerves, and blood vessels. 

Exercise at ANY time of day – aerobic, high intensity, and resistance type training – is incredibly powerful, as it exerts an immediate impact lowering blood sugar levels, and will often contribute to higher insulin sensitivity for hours and even a few days afterwards. Regular physical activity supports the maintenance of more moderate blood sugar levels, and – especially if combined with other lifestyle factors to support healthy weight and body composition – can significantly reduce risk of developing Type II Diabetes.

The men in the study cited performed 30 minutes of aerobic training – cycling at 70% of their maximum workload – twice a week. They also did strength training once a week performing 3 sets of 10 repetitions of a series of 8 exercises targeting the large muscle groups in the body. Half the subjects exercised in the morning. Half in the afternoon. Check out the Trainer Moves today for our own version of an effective, simple 8 exercise series.

The group that exercised in the afternoon demonstrated significantly greater improvements in insulin sensitivity in the skeletal and adipose muscle tissues. They also showed better improvements in fasting plasma glucose levels, and benefitted from a greater decrease in fat mass.

Evidence in humans on the power of exercise timing and metabolic adaptations is relatively scare. And this study was relatively small.

Still, if you’re looking for more bang for your buck – or perhaps you’ve been working out regularly in the morning but not seeing the results you’d hoped for – perhaps switching to an afternoon workout is worth a shot.

Additional Sources:

Today’s Inspiration

“Started out this morning feeling so polite
I always though a fish could not be caught who wouldn't bite
But you've got some bait a waitin' and I think I might try nibbling
A little afternoon delight” – Starland Vocal Band

Today’s Live Workouts

Happy Monday! Ready to get moving to start your week off right? We’ve got TWO classes on the schedule for today!


Join Robert S today for a Total Body Conditioning workout! Challenge your cardio and strengthen your muscles from head to toe with this incredibly effective no-nonsense bodyweight training.

No equipment needed today.

Join Robert at 12:00pm (30 minutes) from your own living room.

Click here to join the workout.

Meeting ID: 864 5295 2847
Password: 991724


Join Robert Y today for our new Yoga Fusion workout! A combination of hatha, ashtanga, and kudalini yoga techniques. This class will engage your muscles, open your joints, calm your mind, and lift your spirits. (All levels)

No equipment needed today.

Join Robert at 5:15pm (45 minutes) from your own living room.

Click here to join the workout.

Meeting ID: 899 4248 0739
Password: 624126


Click here to view our weekly schedule.

If you have questions about our virtual live workouts, please reach out to Lauren.

Today’s Trainer Moves

Spring has sprung! Meg’s back with her own version of a wonderful, effective, simple 8 exercise series.

For questions about today’s Trainer Moves, you can connect directly with Meg here.

Today’s Bite

Easy Crunchy Asian Slaw

A simple, healthy recipe for Asian Slaw – easy and crunchy, this vegan slaw can be made ahead of time and is delicious alongside salmon, tofu, or chicken, or even stuffed into tacos, topped onto burgers, or added to buddha bowls. A great way to add more veggies into your everyday meals.

Download the recipe here.


  • 1 lb shredded veggies (your choice of cabbage, carrots, bell pepper, snow peas, broccoli slaw, brussels sprouts, etc.), roughly 6-7 cups
  • 3 scallions, sliced
  • 1 cup cilantro or Italian parsley or mint, chopped
  • Toasted sesame seeds (optional, for garnish)
  • Roasted, crushed peanuts or cashews (optional, for garnish)

For Asian Slaw Dressing

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 3 tbsp honey, brown rice syrup, maple, or agave
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce (or gluten-free alternative like Braggs or Coconut Amino Acids)
  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced (use a garlic press)
  • 1 tbsp ginger, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp chili flakes or chili paste (optional)


  • Toss slaw ingredients together in a large bowl. Add cilantro and scallions.
  • Whisk Asian Slaw Dressing ingredients together in a small bowl.
  • Pour dressing into slaw and toss well.
  • Garnish with sesame seeds and/or nuts.


Do you have a “Something of the Day” you’d like us to share?! Email Meg.

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