Have you ever wondered if you should be exercising in the morning or at night? You are not alone. The question of how and when to squeeze a workout into a busy schedule is something that many people have to consider. Given that most workdays begin in the morning and do not end until the afternoon, the options are usually limited to working out early in the morning or later in the evening.
A morning workout is a popular choice for people who want to start their day feeling energized and focused. Getting a difficult task—like a tough workout—out of the way first thing in the morning may give you the momentum you need to continue your day with boosted productivity.
Another important factor to consider is sleep quality. Sleep quality has critical influence on overall health, and can be disrupted by the surge of energy that often results from physical activity. Exercising in the A.M. will allow you to put an increase of energy to good use, rather than make it difficult for you to relax and fall asleep.
Prioritizing exercise before tackling any other responsibilities also makes it easier to stick to your workout regimen. You will not caught up in the distractions and post-work exhaustion that we all face if your workout happens before anything else.
Exercising in the morning may help you hit the gym more often, but you could also be sacrificing the quality of your workout. Evening workouts come without the time restraints of the morning, so you are less likely to have to hurry and cut your workout short when you do not have to shower and get to the office on time.
Energy levels can also dramatically effect the quality of your workout. While in the morning your body is likely depleted of energy from fasting all night, in the evening it is stocked with glycogen from the food you ate throughout the day. These energy reserves help prevent your body from exhausting itself and hitting a wall.
Body temperature is also generally higher at night, allowing your body to achieve optimal performance. Reaction time is boosted, resting heart rate is lower, and muscles are stronger and more flexible with an elevated temperature. This is possible to achieve in the morning, but it will require you to spend valuable time on an extended warm-up.
Another great aspect of a later workout is the reduction of tension that you may feel. If you find yourself taking work-related stress home with you, consider pushing your workout back to the evening. Mental strain and anxiety can be relieved by intense physical exertion, naturally elevating your mood and allowing you to better enjoy your off-hours.
So, the bottom line? There a lot of excellent reasons to choose a morning over a night workout, and vice versa. Focus on finding a place for consistent exercise in your life, whether that be in the morning or at night.