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Is it best to jog in the morning or evening?

Many people jog to stay in shape or to maintain a base fitness level. For those who want to optimise their workout's effectiveness, is it best to jog in the morning or evening?

In general it depends on the individual, and what they want to get out of their run. As with other aspects of life, there are morning people and night people. Some runners feel invigorated and ready to face the day after a jog. Others feel soporific and ready for a long soak in the bath and a relaxing book.

Morning jogs

Morning jogs can help with alertness, and also be a useful stimulus to get you out of bed a little earlier. They offer a virtuous start to the day and get the metabolism working.

Evening running can be less of an effort though, and there is medical evidence to suggest that this is down to warmer body temperature making it easier to perform athletic feats.There is anecdotal evidence of distance runners finding they run faster times in evening sessions, and find it less effort to reach optimum speed.

Dr. Roberto Refinetti, quoted in Running Times, stressed the importance or circadian rhythms on athletic performance. "You can improve your ability to do something simply by selecting the right time of day to do it," he said.

Each person's circadian rhythms will differ, although they are affected by amounts of daylight, social contact and meal times. As yet it is an inexact science, and an individual is best-equipped to choose the right time for them. In short, run when it feels best, and it doesn't always have to hurt.

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