People always ask me when the best time to start working out is. For those who have never worked out before or for those who have never been “fully” committed to a fitness routine the “best” time of day is most often the hardest part to figure out. So when is the best time to start a workout routine; morning or night?
I am a wake up at the crack of dawn workout girl myself. I love the feeling of beating others to the gym and getting in a session before work so that I am ready to hit the office and crank out calls and emails while the majority of my team is cradling their coffee cups. Morning workouts are not great for everyone and there are various articles, studies, and blogs that boast on the benefits of both morning and afternoon workouts. When is the right time to workout?
The Perks of a Morning Workout
On the contrary, Shape.com talked about the 8 Health Benefits of Morning Workouts highlighting the ability to:
- Consume fewer unnecessary calories and ability to burn more fat
- Lower blood pressure
- Deeper, longer, and high-quality sleep
- Protection against diabetes and much more
I have found that the morning is great for me because it will keep me on a schedule. Every night before I hit the pillow, I make sure to prep my gym pack, gather my outfit, decide on my workout and prep my pre-workout. This way I have no excuses. Whereas in the afternoon, a long day at work and a glass of wine calling can often times cause we to skip the gym or only go in for a 15-minute quick session.
Washington Post wrote an article titled What is the best time of day to exercise? It’s not when you think, noting that strength and flexibility are the greatest in the late afternoon and perceived exertion (meaning how hard you feel that your body is working) is lowest.
Multiple articles even talked about the advantages afternoon workouts have on reducing stress and helping sleep. After a long day the office and stress that keeps building up on top whether it be from your boss, coworkers, or family, hitting the gym can be a great way to fight those stressors away. Following a hard session at the gym can then tire your body out and prime you for bed (says science, but I have found that it ramps up my endorphins and keeps me awake long into the night).
Ask your body and look at your schedule. We all know that there are highs and lows of energy throughout the day. There are ebbs and flows, if you have a lot of energy in the morning then this could be a great time to hit the gym and get your body revved and ready to go. Although it can also help beat the sluggish morning if you get in a quick workout then too.
I suggest that you try out different times of days. Test out when you feel the best at the gym, create a schedule and work around it. Keep yourself motivated to hit the gym every day (whether that is morning or night) and do not let yourself create excuses. In the end, you are the only one who can keep yourself accountable.