When it comes to moving your body in some way, shape or form, there are perks to morning and nighttime workouts. So what’s the actual BEST time of day to exercise that’s backed by science?
For most people finding the time to workout at all is the biggest challenge. Juggling jobs, families, household responsibilities, running errands, etc. take priority; which ultimately puts your health on the back burner.
So where does a workout fit into your busy schedule and what is the best time of day to exercise? Should you wake up before dawn or work up a sweat before bed? This is the burning question.
Since both morning and evening exercise have their benefits and their negatives, what’s most important is NOT how many calories you’ve burned, but instead how you feel from exercise and making it happen.
The moral of the story is the BEST time to exercise is whenever you can!
The majority of us don’t have schedules that allow for lengthy workouts and time to make healthy meals everyday. So if the only time you have to exercise is first thing in the morning, then that is best for you. But if you find that you have an extra 20 minutes at the end of each day to squeeze in a workout, then that will be your best time.
What’s most important is that you exercise, period. And do it consistently because that is what’s most positively impactful on your health. People who make a commitment to exercise weekly, monthly, yearly, have the better fitness results for the long term. And when you commit to let’s say a morning routine, your mind and body will adapt.
So what are the benefits of morning workouts?
- You get it done before you get busy.
- Less excuses.
- Improved sleep cycle because the habit makes you more alert in morning and enables you to fall asleep more deeply at night.
- Potential to burn more fat because you’re exercising on an empty stomach.
- Research suggests morning exercise makes you more productive throughout the day.
- Another finding is getting that workout in first thing will boost your mood for hours following the exercise.
And what are the benefits of evening workouts?
- Your body is awake and stretched enabling for the potential of better physical performance versus when you first wake up.
- It’s much easier to get into the workout since your body is already warmed up, although you should always stretch beforehand.
- Your hormones are working harder in the evening; which gives you the potential for better strength and gaining more muscle.
- Evening workouts can relieve your daily stresses, calm you, and help you sleep better; which will positively affect your overall health.
- Exercising at night can be a great replacement for unhealthy habits such as eating more than you should, drinking alcohol or staring at a screen.
- An evening workout, like going for a walk after dinner to burn off those calories, or going to a yoga class after work, can also be a fantastic way to get more social and be more consistent.