Suppose it is often difficult to reconcile physical activity with daily commitments. In that case, running can be the ideal solution, as it allows you to fit it into your schedule without too much difficulty. Some people get up earlier in the morning, others take a few hours during their lunch break or prefer to run in the evening to relieve the day’s tension.
However, it is essential to know that the body reacts differently to physical activity, depending on the day. So what is the best time of day to go for a run?
Morning, evening or lunch break: what is the right time to run?
- Running in the morning:
At dawn, the body temperature is low, the spine needs to reactivate, the heart rate is at its lowest, and the muscles are still stiff. The joints are less responsive to prolonged physical exertion, so it is advisable to carry out activities that require low energy expenditure but high levels of coordination, concentration, and agility.
With its energy and warmth, the sun helps the body ‘awaken’ those biological functions that have been dormant during the night and to ‘resynchronise’ with its surroundings. Low-intensity activity in the early hours of the morning can take advantage of the large quantities of hormones produced, such as cortisol, noradrenaline, and adrenaline, which have a lipolytic, i.e., slimming, effect, as they help to burn fat stores. Running in the morning, or any other physical activity also reduces hunger and helps with slimming.
- Running in the afternoon :
Some people take advantage of their lunch break to go for a run. The muscles are much looser than when you just got up, and the body is more responsive. You can then opt for a more intense workout and then have the whole afternoon to work off the adrenaline accumulated during training.
Many sports doctors believe that the body performs best in the afternoon. It is precisely between 4 and 7 p.m. that endurance is at its peak, both in muscle power and lung capacity, and far enough away from lunch to avoid unpleasant digestive problems.
As a rule, you should wait at least 30 to 45 minutes if you have eaten a light snack and 1 to 2 hours if you have eaten a typical, somewhat heavy meal.
- Running in the evening:
Running after leaving the office allows you to relieve the stress accumulated during the day and free your mind. The only thing is to avoid sessions that are too physically demanding to set off additional stress hormones that could make it difficult to sleep.
There is no one time that is better than another, or rather, it depends on each person. Some people like to do it in the morning, prefer the afternoon and others in the evening. And it’s not just a matter of subjective preferences but also of external constraints: work, family, and commitments can condition you or force you to run only at certain times.
What is certain is that the day is long and you can choose the time that suits you best. Don’t like it early in the morning? Go for lunch. If you want to sleep in on Sunday, go for a run in the afternoon. After all, it is a very intimate and personal moment, and it is only fair to make it as perfect as possible, even when choosing the best time to do it.
As you know, running is not just a sporting activity in itself but above all a phase of the day which requires planning, space, and preparation. Not to be obsessive, but to make it as enjoyable as possible.