Morning, Afternoon, or Evening: When is the Best Time to Run?

best time to run

When do you run? Morning, afternoon, or evening? Depending on your personal fitness goals, you may want to change up your running times.

Running at any time of the day has health benefits, but running at certain times during the day can produce different effects.

Keep reading to learn more about the differences between running in the morning, afternoon, or evening and when the best time to run is for you.

When Is the Best Time to Run?

Everyone is different, and their bodies reach differently to running. Trying different running times can help you reach your specific running goals. When running, listen to your body and follow your doctor’s recommendations.


Running in the morning may sound horrible or like a great way to start your day, depending on if you are a morning person or not. Either way, there are benefits specifically associated with running in the morning.

Doing your runs in the morning is a great way to energize and kick the early morning fog. When you wake up and take time to run in the morning, you have already accomplished something.

Running in the morning can help you feel better about yourself and can help improve your productivity for the rest of your day.

Running in the morning is also better than running during the afternoon or evening because it helps your body start burning fat early in the day.

Many runners choose to run in the morning because of things unrelated to your body. The weather is typically cooler during the morning, making your runs more comfortable and can help your overall performance.

Also, if you prefer to run indoors, there are usually fewer people at the gym in the morning. A morning run means more treadmills for you!

Another reason running in the morning is beneficial is that it can help you sleep. According to studies, running early in the morning improved people’s sleep quality and blood pressure during the night.


Running in the afternoon also has benefits. One specific benefit to running in the afternoon is that your muscles are already warmed up from moving around during the day, but they are not yet already exhausted.

This means that running in the afternoon may feel easier than in the morning or late evening, so you may be able to challenge yourself to run faster and harder.

Because you are more awake in the afternoon than in the morning or evening, there is also a smaller risk of injury. Your reflexes will be more alert, so your body will be able to react quicker to tripping or other dangers.

There is also more light outside in the afternoon than in the morning or evening. This can help you feel safer and see potential threats to avoid.

Another reason to run in the afternoon is that your lungs work better in the afternoon. According to research, people can take 15% to 20% more air in the late afternoon versus other times of the day.

Running during the afternoon also can give you a little “pick me up” during your day. If you feel the mid-afternoon slump coming, an afternoon run can help you reenergize.


Running during the evening also offers unique benefits. For many people, the best workout time is the evening instead of in the morning or afternoon because it helps them clear their heads and relax after a long day.

An intense evening run can also help you fall asleep.

Depleting your built-up energy before trying to sleep can help you fall asleep faster and regulate your circadian rhythm. Make sure to give yourself time to shower and relax after your evening run to calm down fully.

When you run in the late evening, it also feels easier. Because of a phenomenon called optic flow, you feel like you are running faster in the evening. This can help you mentally on your runs and push yourself to run better.

Improve Your Mental and Physical Health Through Running

Regardless of what the best time to exercise is for you, there are major health benefits. Running helps lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. It helps strengthen your muscles and bones.

Also, running helps you burn calories and maintain a healthy weight.

Running regularly can even help lower your risk of getting certain types of cancer. It also helps lower the risk of getting neurological diseases like Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.

Running also helps improve your mental health. It can help reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. It can also help improve your memory and ability to focus.

Running is also a positive way to relieve stress, which can help you both mentally and physically.

It also can produce an effect called a “runner’s high.” Although scientists are unsure if the “runner’s high” is caused by a rush of endorphins in our bodies or by endocannabinoids in our bodies, many runners feel blissful after a long run.

The hippocampus, the part of the brain that is responsible for learning and memory, is larger in people who exercise regularly. This can help you multitask better.

Learn More About Being Healthy

The best time to run for you depends on personal preference and what your fitness goals are. No matter what time you run, you will experience long-term and short-term health benefits.

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