Morning Versus Evening – When is The Best Time to Work Out?
When it comes to our workout, is it the early bird who catches the worm? Or is the night owl prowling for peak fitness? There has long been debate about how exercise at opposite ends of the day benefits our body. As a personal trainer, I see clients at all hours with a vast range of fitness levels and fitness goals. It is therefore difficult to analyse performance as a constant against time of day. Here I look at the available resources to establish whether we should be working out at dusk or dawn.
Morning Motivation - How Exercising Early Benefits the Body
The pre-work workout: those on the outside wouldn’t want to contemplate it; the people who do it live by it. To feel so strongly in favour of the morning exercise session, there must be some science and psychology behind it.
Start the Day as a Champion
Whilst the rest of the world begins to roll out of bed, the friends of morning fitness have worked up a serious sweat and accomplished something great. In the same field, by working out in the morning, you can use the endorphins released during exercise to fuel a positive approach to the rest of the day and take on any challenges thrown your way. Cognitive capabilities and level of focus are also activated and improved by a morning workout.
Enhance Your Metabolism
Not matter the time of day, post-workout will see our body experience a metabolic boost. However, unlike the evening where we would then go to sleep, our bodies may benefit further from the increased metabolic rate throughout the day whilst we continue to consume calories. Reports seem to agree that we may burn up to 20% more fat during and after a morning workout than if we wait until the evening. Not only that, studies suggest we’re far more likely to eat healthily throughout the day after a morning session since we want it to have meant something. An evening work out may have the weaker ones amongst us grabbing for the unhealthy snacks because we think “it’s fine, I’ll work it off later”.
The Final Argument
Your evenings are free to do with as you wish.
Night Time, Right Time? What A Late Session Does For Our Fitness
The post-work workout: for a lot of people it is their only option and it absolutely works for them. An evening or night time workout comes with its own benefits for the body.
We are Physically Prepped for Exercise
Throughout the day our body becomes gradually warmer and reaches the optimum
temperature for exercise in the evening. That means the muscles are more flexible and less likely to see injury since they have to some extent been “warming up” all day.
A Great Way to Unwind
For some, an evening workout is the best way to rid the body and the mind of daytime stresses. In the same fashion as in a morning workout, the released hormones enable us to feel happier and more relaxed post-exercise, thereby enabling us to sleep easy.
From a very practical perspective, during your night time workout, it is unlikely that you have somewhere to rush off to since you’ve already finished work. You can therefore workout for longer and harder because you won’t need to reserve your energy for the day.
Ultimately, we should be working out whenever best suits our schedule – and our body clock. For some, even with the mornings brightening by the day, an extra-early alarm will only end in accidental head-lolling at the work desk. For others, the evening is a sacred time for relaxing with friends or family. The most important thing is that we make time for cardiac activity to keep our body and mind in check. It is the best method for stress relief and the best routine, whenever planned, to induce a deep sleep.
If you need another person to instil some motivation into your fitness regime, or want a workout plan tailored to your personal fitness goals, get in touch for a free consultation.