I have been asked many times if there is a better time to work out. Which is better morning or night? There’s research to support working out at both times of the day, so how are you supposed to know what to do.
I personally feel that there’s no one easy answer. Just think about it, there’s so many different ways to work out, and we’re all designed differently. So much depends on your personal preference and your schedule.
There’s so much to consider. Are you working out at home? What does your day look like? If working out outside, will the weather allow it in the evening?
Sometimes the way you workout might feel better at certain times of the day. Maybe yoga feels better at night while running helps prepare you for your day.
So if trying to figure out what’s the best time for you to workout, here are some things to consider.
- Consistency: If you are struggling with being consistent with your workout schedule, then morning workouts might be the best fit for you. It can be hard finding time during the day, if you never know how late you have to work or if most days you have events scheduled after work then scheduling a workout is most likely not going to happen. Waking up earlier might suck, but your workout is done and dusted. There’s seldom any major obstacles to overcome first thing in the morning (besides just pulling yourself out of bed) so set that alarm and get going.
- Your Body is Rested: Sleep allows your body to recover and recharge from your busy day. Muscles are repaired overnight in your sleep, so they should be ready to go in the morning. Of course this all depends on your quality of sleep. Are you getting enough? Is it actually good sleep? Make sure you’re going to bed early enough to ensure that you’re rested enough to workout first thing.
- Energy Levels may Crash: Some of us just aren’t morning people. Maybe if that workout class was 30 minutes later you would feel more energized. No matter how hard you try, sometimes a late night happens or you just don’t sleep well. There will be times that when that alarm goes off the last thing you want to do is get out of bed, much less work out. Everybody is different. This is where individual preferences come in to play. You may not be giving 100% to a morning workout, or you find that by early afternoon you have no energy at all. It may take just getting used to waking up earlier, or it may not be doing you much good to workout early.
- More Awake and Ready to go: Yes the body might be more rested in the morning, but you might be more mentally prepared to workout in the evening. In general your body is more awake from your day, and you have (hopefully) eaten properly and enough during the day. Some people feel like they have more energy at the end of the day as opposed to first thing in the morning.
- Destress: If working out first thing, then chances are that you may not be as stressed. However, come evening you may be stressed from your day. Something could have upset you. Your workload could have doubled unexpectedly. Exercise is one of the best ways to release stress and blow off some steam. After a long day it may be just what you need. Plus exercise releases endorphin, so that can’t hurt.
There is no right or wrong. One time of day is not necessarily better than the other. It all depends on your personal preference, your lifestyle, and your body. I think it’s more important to remember to just work out. If you find a way to make working out part of your life, whether it’s in the morning or at night, that’s so much more important than the time of day.