You know that feeling you get when you’re on your way to the gym and it’s raining, and you’re just not sure if you should go? That’s the feeling we want to help you avoid.
We know that exercise is important for weight loss, but when it comes to finding the best time for exercise for weight loss, sometimes it can feel like a guessing game. We want you to know that with our guide, we’ve got your back—whether you’re stuck in traffic or trying to make an early morning workout before work.
Right here on Buy and Slay, you are privy to a litany of relevant information on exercise time per day, exercise for weight loss at home, and so much more. Take out time to visit our catalog for more information on similar topics.
Best Time For Workout For Weight Loss
Some of us are “morning people” and some of us aren’t.
Those of us who are swear by morning exercise. For the rest of us, the thought of getting up an hour earlier than we absolutely have to sends shivers of panic down our spines!
Assuming those non-morning people among us can drag ourselves out of bed at an ungodly hour (especially in the middle of winter); there is another hurdle to be overcome – the thought of exercising on a totally empty stomach!
Putting this aside for a moment, there are some good reasons to exercise in the morning and also some very good reasons why it might not be a great idea.
Let’s have a look at each of these under the headings of pros and cons.
Morning exercise pros
Exercising in the morning can:
- Get our metabolisms off to a flying start helping us burn more calories throughout the day
- Promote more fat burning because our depleted glycogen stores force our bodies to turn to fat
- Produce endorphins that stimulates us and helps us get off to a positive start to the day
- Act like a cup of coffee and wake us up
- Help us exercise more consistently by minimizing distractions
- Can create time for exercise by forcing us to get up a bit earlier
- Improve energy levels for the rest of the day ahead
- Improve our mental sharpness for hours after
- Allow us to exercise unaffected by summer heat
- Minimize our exposure to air pollution exercising outside
- Make it easier to get on machines in the gym without waiting and when time limits don’t apply
Morning exercise cons
As well as having many positives, morning exercise also has some negatives.
Included in these are the facts that morning exercise can:
- Force us to workout with less than optimal energy levels
- Promote injuries by forcing us to workout with cold, stiff muscles
- If exercising before eating, muscle (as well as fat) can be used as a fuel source
- Make it difficult for us to form a habit for exercise (if we are not “morning people”)
- Put some of us at higher risk for heart attack (research suggests a generalized increased risk)
Contrary to the popular belief that exercising in the morning is best, some research shows that the ideal time to exercise from a physiological perspective is actually in the afternoon.
Let’s have a look at the pros and cons of working out in the afternoon.
Afternoon exercise pros
Exercising in the afternoon can:
- Increase exercise performance – our body temperature is ideal & muscles at peak strength
- Prevent injuries – our muscles are sufficiently warm and most of us are alert in the late afternoon
- Improve performance – the circadian rhythms in our brains are in an ideal state
- Expel our bodies of stress that has accumulated during the day
- Give us something to look forward to before relaxing in the evening
- Make exercise seem easier – studies show perceived exertion of exercise is lower late in the day
- Make exercise convenient – exercising during our lunch break for example
- Make it easier to “partner up” or find a workout partner
- Can help lower the amount of food we eat – by helping us to avoid large lunches for example
- Can help reduce the amount of food we feel like eating for dinner
- Help us maximize our fitness and muscle size and strength – research shows 3-7 pm is best
Afternoon exercise cons
As well as having many positives, afternoon exercise does have some potential negatives.
Among them, afternoon exercise can:
- Impose time limits which may not allow us to get in a full workout
- Conflict with distractions and other commitments that prevent us from exercising at all
- Research suggests lung function is worst at noon which could affect our aerobic performance
- Gyms are usually at their busiest around 5 to 6pm making it hard to get on equipment
- Gyms sometimes have 20 minute time limits on aerobics equipment during the afternoon
For some of us the evening is the ideal time to exercise.
According to some research studies on lung function, body rhythms, temperature and hormone levels, the best time to exercise is around 6 pm.
Here are some pros and cons of working out in the evening.
- For most people, body temperature and hormone levels peak at 6 pm
- Muscles are warm and flexible
- Some of us are able to workout harder late in the day because the perceived exertion is lower
- Can help regulate the amount of food we feel like eating for dinner
- Late evenings don’t typically have the level of disruptions or distractions as other times of the day
- Exercising at the gym is often easier later in the evening when other members have gone home
- Late evening workouts can de-stress us and help us turn off our brain after a day of stimulation
- Exercising at night can make us more relaxed and tired facilitating a better night’s sleep
- Distractions and conflicting commitments are more likely in the evening than in the mornings
- Exercising late at night may energize some of us making it difficult to get off to sleep
- Exercising outside at night is obviously more dangerous than during the morning or afternoon
- During summer, evenings are the hottest part of the day making it uncomfortable to exercise
- Night exercise doesn’t enjoy the “afterburn” effect – our metabolism drops when we fall asleep
The bottom line
When it comes to exercise, the bottom line is that it is more important that we workout than when we workout.
If we can’t workout in the morning, or don’t want to but can workout in the afternoon or evening, we should do it.
Consistency is one of the most important considerations when it comes to when we work out.
If we consistently exercise at the same time each day, our ‘internal clock’ will adjust in time so that we have the energy and become mentally and physical ready to workout.
This point is particularly important if we are training for a specific event.
If we are training for a fun run that is going to start at 7.30 in the morning, it is a good idea to do most of our training at this time too.
If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it. If you currently have an exercise time and routine that is working for you, stick with it.
The time of day may make a difference for intense exercise, but for something like an easy walk, the difference between working out in the morning, afternoon or evening is likely to be negligible at best.
Exercise Time Per Day
One of the most common questions that exercisers ask is: “how long should I work out?” The answer to this question depends on your goals and current health status. While following minimum guidelines for physical activity can help to maintain health and combat the negative impacts of a sedentary lifestyle, it takes more effort to lose weight and get fit. In addition, an individual’s current level of fitness will also determine how much they should exercise each day.
When people wonder how long they should be exercising they may hope the answer is less versus more. In fact, the recent health and fitness trend is to do shorter workouts for weight loss. But this fad might not always be effective for everyone—whether you’re trying to lose weight or improve your level of fitness.
The best method to determine how long you should work out shouldn’t be based on fitness trends. Of course, you can (and should) still include short workouts on rotation in your schedule. But you will also have to do some cardiovascular workouts that are a little bit longer if you want to lose weight and stay healthy.
According to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), you should exercise for 150–250 minutes per week to lose weight. The organization also suggests that more exercise provides better results.
If you want to keep the weight off for good, the ACSM prescribes a minimum of 250 minutes of moderate to high-intensity exercise per week.
To meet the ACSM guideline, you could simply exercise for 40 minutes every day. But that workout schedule could get boring, which may cause you to quit your program. In addition, to lose weight effectively you need to exercise at different intensity levels. This requires that you adjust your workout duration to accommodate the various workloads. It’s also helpful to keep track of your daily calorie needs for weight loss. This calculator can provide you with an estimate.
Muscle mass decreases with age, which stresses the importance of regular resistance training. Strength training builds stronger muscles and bones to support the joints and prevent fractures and can even be beneficial for managing arthritis.
In addition to cultivating a regular strength training regimen, it’s important to make sure that you’re still incorporating enough cardiovascular activity to maintain or improve your current level of aerobic fitness.
Switching up your workout routines and workout lengths can help stave off boredom and help you stay motivated. But be sure to carve out time for rest and recovery days to avoid injury or burnout.
A 2016 review and meta-analysis published in Sports Medicine suggests that strength training at least two days a week can effectively build and strengthen muscle. Some experts recommend three days or more, however.
The American Heart Association (AHA) has physical activity recommendations for basic health maintenance for adults and children in the United States. Here’s a close look at some of the AHA’s advice.
- Adults: Americans aged 18 and older should get at least 150 minutes of heart-pumping moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes of higher-intensity cardiovascular activity (or some combination of both) each week. The AHA also recommends incorporating strength and resistance training at least two days per week.
- Children: For kids aged 3–5, the AHA states that this group should be very active throughout the day. Children aged 6-17 are advised to get at least 60 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity cardiovascular exercise per day, with vigorous intensity at least three days per week. Strength-training activities for this age group should be at least three days a week, gradually increasing with frequency and intensity over time.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that only around 22.9% of U.S. adults aged 18–64 meet the minimum guidelines for physical activity each week.
To reap the health benefits of regular exercise, the AHA suggests that adults gradually increase the amount and intensity of exercise to reach a goal of 300 minutes (5 hours) of physical activity per week.
To incorporate more heart-pumping physical activity into your daily life, the AHA recommends first and foremost being less sedentary whenever possible. Even light activity such as getting up and going for a short walk or performing gentle stretching can help offset the risks associated with too much sitting, according to the AHA. In addition, the AHA suggests the following activities:
- Ballroom or social dancing
- Brisk walking (at least 2.5 miles per hour)
- Biking slower than 10 mph
- Doubles tennis
- Water aerobics
- Aerobic dancing
- Cycling 10 mph or faster
- Jumping rope
- Hiking (uphill or with a heavy backpack)
- Singles tennis
- Swimming laps
- Rigorous yardwork
While getting enough exercise is crucial for maintaining and improving health, staying hydrated and getting proper nutrition is just as important. For advice on following a healthy, balanced diet, refer to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s 2020–2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
How Long to Work Out Each Day
If you are healthy enough for vigorous exercise, your workout program should include hard, high-intensity days, easy days to recover, and moderate days when you build endurance, improve heart health, and burn fat. Each of these workout goals requires a different exercise duration.
How long you should exercise every day depends on the specific workouts you choose and your personal health and fitness goals. But in general, you’ll want to incorporate a mix of the following each week.
Short-Workout Days (20-30 minutes)
High-intensity intervals (HIIT) workouts need to be short. Why? Because your body simply can’t work very hard for a long period of time. If you find that you can complete high-intensity drills for an hour or longer, you’re probably not working hard enough.
HIIT workouts should last 20–30 minutes and feel very hard. Keep in mind, however, that you burn more calories from EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption), also known as “the afterburn,” if you structure high-intensity workouts properly.
Measure workout intensity with a heart rate monitor and make sure you reach your target heart rate for the session. If you are well-rested going into the workout, you’ll find it easier to work hard enough to reach that goal.
Easier Recovery Days (30-45 minutes)
The purpose of an easy day workout is to allow your body and your mind to rest. Of course, you could sit on the couch to recover as well. But an active recovery helps to increase your body’s range of motion, decreases your stress level, and increases your daily caloric burn.
Active recovery is simply a low-intensity movement that increases the range of motion in your joints. For many people, an easy walk or a leisurely swim is a good active recovery exercise. Some yoga classes (restorative yoga, for example) are another smart option. An easy active recovery workout can last 30–45 minutes.
Long Moderate Workout Days (45-90 minutes)
Most of your workouts during the week will fall into the moderate category. These workouts burn more calories than a recovery day, but still allow your body to recover and prepare for high-intensity workout days.
However, because your body isn’t working as hard on moderate workout days, you need to exercise for a longer period of time to burn enough calories to lose weight. Try to make these sessions last 45 minutes or longer.
If possible, schedule one long workout, 75 minutes or more, during the week. This longer session challenges you mentally and builds cardiovascular endurance.
Exercise For Weight Loss At Home
Exercise is essential for your overall health. Good health and weight loss are interrelated. If a person has a higher body mass index, then they are prone to several disorders like hypertension, diabetes, cholesterol, and other cardiovascular problems. Exercise becomes also very crucial for the effective management of these conditions. If you are diagnosed with diabetes, you can try out these exercises for diabetes to keep your blood sugar levels in check.
Two important factors that need to be considered to lose weight are exercise and dieting. The balance between the two is very important. In your everyday routine, if you follow your diet and skip exercise or work out intensely and not follow your diet then you will see your body behaving very differently.
Exercise has many benefits attached to it along with weight loss. Exercise improves your mood, strengthens your bones, and reduces the risk of many chronic diseases. People tend to pull themselves out from exercise as they won’t have the time to hit the gym or even cannot afford to join a gym or personal trainers to guide them on their fitness journey.
7 Best Exercises to Lose Weight At Home
So, here we would like to suggest to you the 7 best and popular exercise programs that you can practice at home and make yourself stronger, fitter and healthier.
1. Aerobic Exercises
Walking is considered one of the best weight loss exercises. Walking at a fast pace is a great exercise for burning calories. An exercise program that puts minimal stress on your joints and can be incorporated into your day-to-day activities.
According to many studies, A 70-kg individual burns around 167 calories per 30 minutes of walking at a pace of 6.4 kph. It is also observed that an individual can reduce their body fat by an average of 1.5% and waist circumference by 2.8 cm by walking for 50-70 minutes 3 times per week.
Jogging and Running are considered to be the king of weight loss exercises. These exercises are total body integrated exercises. It will strengthen your legs and be very effective for belly fat. The major difference between running and jogging is the pace. Jogging is between 6 – 9 kph and running will be around 10 kph.
Running and Jogging will approximately help burn 372 calories per 30 minutes and 298 calories per 30 minutes respectively. The combination of these 3 exercises will certainly help improve your muscular strength and overall body weight to keep you fit and healthy.
Set aside 1 hour of your time and include these exercises in your routine.
- Start with walking exercise for 15 minutes.
- Increase your pace and start Jogging for the next 15 minutes.
- With a constant increase in pace, run for another 15 minutes.
- Reduce your pace and come back to jogging for 10 minutes.
- Relax your body and slow down your pace and walk for 5 minutes.
2. Skipping or Jumping Rope
Skipping exercise offers a complete body workout and helps increase your muscle strength, metabolism, and burn many calories in a short time.
Skipping exercise done regularly will bring in calmness and help to ease depression and anxiety. The workout also increases your heart rate which results in faster pumping of blood across your body to keep your heart in a better and healthy condition. Along with your heart, this exercise takes care of your lungs by keeping them functioning and healthy.
Everybody has a distinctive body and which makes the process obtain different results. Losing weight is nothing but burning more calories than you intake and skipping will surely help you do that. This form of exercise approximately burns calories close to 1300 per hour.
- On a flat surface, stand with your back straight.
- Make sure your feet are together and pointing straight.
- Keep your hand straight pointing downwards close to your thighs.
- Jump off the ground and let your rope pass under your feet and bring it back.
- Repeat these steps and increase your jumping speed constantly.
Plank Pose or Plank exercise is one of the most effective full-body workouts. The biggest advantage of Plank’s workout is it targets most of the major muscle groups in the body. It strengthens your muscles in the core, shoulder, arms, chest, back, and hips. Along with these benefits, Plank exercises help in quickly burning the excess fats and calories from the body.
A workout that seems to be a simple and easy one but it’s quite exhausting and intense. The plank exercise is a great example of the longer you workout the better will be your results. You need to focus on holding your plank position for a longer period to find quick and better results.
Plank exercise has different variations that target different muscle and body areas. Each variation is very helpful and keeps improving your core strength, body balance, endurance, and posture.
Plank Exercise Variations
The Standard Plank: It is also known as The Extended Arms Plank. This position is best suited for beginners who are looking forward to improving their core strength. This workout is great for improving metabolic activity and digestion. The forearm Plank variation is an identical version of the extended arms plank. The target areas of this workout are the core, arms, shoulders, and back.
The Mountain Climbers: Considered as one of the intense variations of plank workout. A full-body workout that burns excess calories and fat from the body. The targeted areas of this workout are the biceps, hamstring muscles, core, triceps, and chest.
- Get down into the Push-Up or Standard Plank Position.
- Now bend your right knee and pull it towards your chest.
- Push your right knee back to your initial position.
- Now bend your left knee and get it towards your chest.
- Push your left knee back to your initial position
- Continue the above steps around 20-25 times.
The Reverse Plank: This is a variation of the standard plank but done in a reverse manner. This workout is an excellent way to stretch your body. A workout that reduces unnecessary fats and calories from your body. It helps in strengthening your core, shoulders, back, chest, and gluteal muscles.
- Sit down and extend your legs in front of you.
- Place your hands behind your hips for your upper body support.
- Now lift your hips by straightening your hand and form a straight line with your body.
- Hold this position for 40-60 seconds.
- Repeat these steps and methods around 20-30 times.
4. Push-Ups and Pull-Ups
Push-ups are one of the most popular exercises and it is a workout that can be done at any time, anyplace, and by anyone. Push-ups exercise is very useful for weight loss as it pushes your body away from the ground and exerts energy which in turn burns calories.
Push-up exercises are good as it burns calories quickly and makes you focus on the larger muscles in your upper body. Push-up workout also focuses on your chest, shoulders, back, biceps, and triceps. Push up exercise will also strengthen your core muscles and make your body physically stable and healthy.
Push-ups help in building more lean muscles in our chest, shoulders, biceps, and triceps. If you keep practising push-ups for weeks or months or years, then you will build a great amount of muscle mass, and to maintain your muscle your body has to expend its calories.
- Look for anti-slippery and flat surfaces.
- Place your hands facing forward and slightly wider than your shoulder width.
- Set your feet together or slightly apart in a comfortable position. Initially, you can keep your feet further apart until you find a proper balance.
- Now bend your shoulders as low as possible towards the floor and push up back and straighten your arms.
- Repeat these steps for 15 reps and 3 sets.
Pull-ups focus on several muscle groups that burn more calories as multiple muscles like biceps, triceps, back and core are working together. This workout can aid you to get in shape, increasing your ability to burn fat and boosting your metabolism. To complete a pull-up it nearly takes 15 muscles and the primary muscles are your lats and biceps.
According to the study, doing a pull-up workout will help you burn nearly 10 calories per minute. It is recommended that at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity workout have to be done each week as cardio is one of the best ways to burn calories.
- Grip the pull-up bar with your arms fully stretched by standing straight.
- Now bend your knees and pull yourself until your chin clears the bar.
- Come back to your original position slowly.
- Repeat these steps for 15 reps and 4 sets.
Squat exercises are known as muscle strengthening exercises. The main aim of this exercise is to improve the lower part of the body. Squats help burn calories and prevent fat from accumulating in your lower part of the body. This exercise helps improve your mobility and also balance. A beginner should aim for 3 sets of 12-15 reps of at least one type of squat to expect better results.
- Stand straight with your feet wider than your hip width with toes facing front.
- By bending your knees and ankles push your hips back.
- Sit into a squat position by keeping your heels and toes on the ground.
- Keep your knees bent to a 90-degree angle and pose yourself parallel to the floor.
- Straighten your legs by pressing your heels and return to the standing position.
A popular strength training workout that strengthens and tones your lower body and improves overall fitness and athletic performance. Lunges mainly focus on strengthening your back, hips, and legs.
Lunges help in building lean muscle and reduce body fat. It is important to push yourself and include lunges in a high-intensity workout routine with the help of heavyweights. The single-leg movements involved in this workout stabilizes muscles to develop balance, stability, and coordination.
- Stand straight with your back and abs upright.
- Bend your knee by keeping your right leg in the front.
- Now, bend your knee until your right thigh is parallel to the ground and left one perpendicular.
- Keep your front knee above your heel.
- Come back and bring your feet together.
- Repeat the above steps with your left leg.
- 30 reps of alternate lunges are very helpful.
Along with exercises that need to be done at your place for weight loss. There are other factors and methods that can be helpful for weight management.
Yoga, a 5000-year-old transcription has proved to be an effective weight loss therapy. It is believed to be developed by Rishis and Brahmans and has 5 basic principles: Exercise, Diet, Breathing, Relaxation, and Meditation.
The combination of Yoga and healthy eating has proven beneficial as it helps to lose weight along with keeping your body and mind healthy. It also improves your mindfulness and relation with your body. You can also lower your blood sugar levels by practising yoga for diabetes.
Along with weight loss as its benefit, Yoga has more benefits to offer such as:
- Improved Cardio Health
- Increased Muscle tone
- Balanced Metabolism
- Improved Respiration
- Increased Flexibility
- Stress Management
Yoga Poses are an integral part of weight reduction. Yoga poses focus mostly on improving concentration and building your muscle tone. Your body should get used to these poses to yield maximum benefits from yoga.
Some of the yoga poses that should be practised for weight loss are:
- Warrior Pose
- Triangle Pose
- Shoulder Pose
- Bridge Pose
- Bow Pose
- Plank Pose
- Downward Dog Pose
- Sun Salutation
Calories Burned With Different Exercises
Here is a quick guide on how many calories different exercises burn within what time. Note that these are just general figures and the actual amount will depend on a variety of factors like your weight, age, fitness level, the intensity of your workout and the amount of time you put into each exercise:
|Jogging/Running||372 to 700 calories per hour|
|Skipping Rope||500-1300 calories per hour depending on weight|
|Planking||Between 2-5 calories per minute (120-300 calories per hour)|
|Mountain Climbers Planks||650 – 700 calories per hour|
|Pull ups||1 calorie per pull up|
|Push ups||About 171 calories within 15 minutes (around 343 calories in 30 minutes)|
|Squats||19-44 calories per every 5 minutes (100-222 calories for every 25 minutes)|
|Lunges||90 calories per 15 minutes|
|Yoga||Between 180 and 460 calories per session (highly dependent on the type, intensity, duration of the session)|
Best time to exercise
Perhaps the best time to do your daily workout routine is early in the morning. The main reason behind this is that exercising on an empty stomach is the best way to burn stored fat. Even if you feel irritated by the early alarm clocks at first, it will slowly become a habit for you, a good one at that. Say, you wake up every day at 7 am in the morning. This way your biological clock shifts earlier, thereby making you tired quickly in the evening or night. This helps in maintaining the schedule diligently.
However, there have been studies that suggest that working out in the evening can be better as our bodies use lesser oxygen during that time, which may help enhance our performance and in turn lose weight. Nonetheless, the studies are quite limited and the majority of researchers direct towards morning as the favoured time to exercise if you want to lose weight at home.
Diet tips for weight loss
Follow these tips to make sure your weight loss programme at home is done properly:
- Do not fall prey to fad diets that promise results in a short amount of time.
- Beware of alluring weight loss pills and belts which may only give short term results.
- Starving yourself is certainly not the right answer as it can lead to other problems like acidity, nausea, etc.
1. Is it possible to lose weight with just exercise?
No, Weight loss is a combination of regular workouts and a proper diet. It is important to ensure you strictly follow both to achieve the desired results.
2. If I Sweat more during a workout, does that mean more fat is burned?
No, Sweat indicates your body’s ability to maintain its normal body temperature. Your body starts to store heat when you sweat so that you can experience cooling by evaporation.
3. How often should one work out to see results?
Work out regularly to get in good shape. It is advisable to work out at least 2-3 times a week rather than once in a while.
4. How many calories to consume in a day?
Calorie intake can be determined by multiplying your ideal body weight by 14. For example, If your body weight is around 135 pounds then you need to consume 1,890 (135*14) calories per day.
5. Can I lose weight in a week?
It is possible to lose a certain amount of weight in a week by maintaining a strict diet and working out dedicatedly and regularly. You may also try intermittent fasting and make conscious changes in your daily lifestyle like walk more often, to quickly lose weight.
6. Will I lose weight if I stop eating?
Weight loss is all about the calories you intake and the calories you burn. When you stop eating, the calorie intake goes down. As a result, you will go into a calorie deficit state and lose weight. However, this is not a healthy option. You must watch your calorie intake but eating is important to stay healthy.
7. What food should I avoid to lose weight?
Any foods with high carbohydrates and fats should be avoided if you want to lose weight. These include french fries, potato chips, white bread, pastries, cookies and sugary drinks.