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Is morning the best time of day to work out?

Alternating between hard and easy running days can boost your performance faster.

DARRYL DYCK/The Globe and Mail

The question: I've heard that to lose weight the best time to work out is in the morning. Is that true? It's just not realistic for me to work out first thing.

The answer: The best time to train is whenever you can commit to training on a regular basis. If working out in the morning doesn't mesh with your schedule, you will just end up skipping your workout, and any potential benefits won't matter.

Figure out when you can realistically fit exercise into your life and put it into your schedule. Try to convince yourself that the workouts are non-negotiable. Don't think, "Will I workout?" Think, "When will I workout?" Don't enter into the "should I workout?" internal debate. Make your workout a priority!

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Next, remember that exercise is not the only important variable to consider when you are trying to lose weight. The amount of sleep you are getting, your stress levels and your nutrition all contribute to weight loss.

You can workout every morning of your life and still not lose weight if you are eating unhealthily and rewarding yourself for training with extra treats. In the past, I have fallen into the trap of believing I deserve to eat everything because I am training for a marathon, and ending up actually gaining weight while training.

I have read research stating that our hormone levels in the morning make it in an ideal time to train, but that doesn't mean I aim to run at 4 a.m. before work – I would just end up skipping most of my workouts.

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