When is the best time of day to workout? Is it better to exercise in the morning or the evening? This is a question that comes up time and time again and it seems to be a debate that never seems to get settled.
The truth is, it’s personal! When it comes down to it, the answer is simple, the best time to work out is whenever you can do it. The benefits of exercise come with consistency which is why it’s so important to find a regular slot in your schedule that works for you.
Read on to discover the pros and cons of morning vs evening exercise to help you find the best time to workout for you.
For a lot of people, getting exercise done and out of the way early in the day is the best way of helping them stay consistent and on track. Putting exercise off until later in the day can create too many opportunities for other priorities to creep up on you and distract you from doing the workout you intended.
Another benefit of working out in the morning is that it sets a great foundation to help you make healthier choices throughout the day. You might find that you are more likely to want to build upon the great start you’ve had and eat well for the remainder of the day after you’ve had a great morning session.
Depending on our circadian rhythms, some of us are wired to feel more energetic later in the day. If that sounds like you then working out in the morning may not work so well for you as you’re less likely to enjoy it. If you’re not enjoying your workouts then you’re less likely to stay consistent. Another reason to avoid a morning workout is if you tend to feel stiff in the mornings after you’ve woken up, feeling stiff during a workout can compromise movement.
Studies have shown that people may have more power and strength during early evening workouts compared with morning workouts. In fact, a study published in the Journal Of Sports Sciences found that participants who exercised between 4 and 8pm had a better grip strength, vertical jump and even reaction time compared to when they exercised at other times of day.
Working out in the late afternoon or early evening has also been associated with lower stress levels and improved anaerobic performance.
As I mentioned earlier, you may find that it’s more difficult to stick to a set schedule as other demands creep into your day that may prevent you from fitting your workout in.
Also, if you exercise in the evening you may find that it keeps your core temperature elevated for longer and therefore delay the transition, during sleep, to the restorative deep sleep phase.
The bottom line? The best time of day to workout comes down to being consistent and getting into a routine that aligns with your long-term fitness goals. Find a schedule that works for you as well as the motivation to keep it consistent, the more consistent you are the easier and more quickly you’ll form an unbreakable fitness routine and crush your goals.
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