What’s the best time of day to exercise - morning or evening? Everyone seems to have an opinion on this hot topic. To be honest, both exercising in the morning and evening have their benefits. One may work better than another depending on your current stage of life, commitments, and routines. If you’re trying to determine the best exercise schedule for you, check out the pros of working out both in the morning and evening to help you make the best decision for you!
3 Pros to Working Out in the Morning
1. Set the Tone for Your Day
Exercise is a great way to start your day. When you work out, your body releases natural chemicals called endorphins which decrease your perception of pain, as well as release positive feelings to carry you through your morning with a good attitude.
2. Motivates You to Be Healthier
Exercising in the morning predisposes your brain to make healthier choices throughout the course of your day. It’s a great way to put your well-being at the forefront of your thoughts and focus on other ways to practice self-care throughout your day - from treating yourself to a nourishing meal to being mindful about drinking more water.
3. Opens Up Your Schedule
Most people don’t find themselves overwhelmingly busy in the early morning as they often are in the evening between kids’ events, social schedules, and dinner plans with family or friends. For some, the morning is a more practical time to carve out the alone time for exercise.
3 Pros to Working Out in the Evening
1. Stress Relief
After a long day at work or school, it can feel great to blow off some steam in a sweaty workout session. If you’re feeling negative, down, frustrated, or stressed - take all of that negative energy and pour it into a killer workout! You’ll leave your workout feeling refreshed, rejuvenated, and a little better about the other challenges you faced throughout the day.
2. Fuel for Your Workouts
When you work out in the evening you have all day to properly fuel for your workout. Fueling properly with regular meals throughout the day, as well as a pre-workout snack will give you the energy you need to perform your best in all-out workouts like sprinting, vigorous cardio, HIIT sessions, or heavy weight lifting where your performance is a top priority.
3. Body is Primed for Exercise
Just like we need to regularly warm up before a workout, our bodies also take time to warm up and get primed for the day. One study even suggests your body’s ability to perform peaks in the afternoon (1). If you find yourself feeling not quite 100% in morning sessions, you may benefit from afternoon or evening sessions when your body is awake, alert, and ready to give your all!
What is the Best Time of Day to Work out?
When it comes to the time of day that’s best to exercise, there are no physiological differences that are more pressing than simply finding a time to work out that aligns with your long-term fitness goals and is something you can consistently commit to.
What really matters is that you find a time of day that works for you and stick to it. If you can find space in your routine to be consistent, you’ll see better results from your program, and that’s what really counts!
(1) “Different Effects of Heat Exposure Upon Exercise Performance in the Morning and Afternoon”. National Library of Medicine National Center for Biotechnology Information, 2010, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21029194/. Accessed 2 February, 2021.