When is the best time to work out? Since most workdays begin in the morning and don’t end until late afternoon, the choice of when to exercise generally comes down to morning or night. Both have their own set of advantages and disadvantages. Read on to discover more about each option.
The morning workout is popular among those who desire a quick start to their day. Many people discover that exerting themselves as soon as they get up is a great way to get energized and focused before work -which can help boost productivity. Starting the day off with an accomplishment can also improve self-confidence. Physically, since working out boosts the metabolism, a morning workout can raise the rate at which calories are expended over the whole day.
Plus, after a day at the office, many people have absolutely no energy left for anything other than relaxation and sedentary activities If that sounds like you, morning is the time when you should opt to exercise. Pushing through late-day exhaustion -whether it’s physical or just mental -is often impossible. Summoning motivation in the morning is often easier.
It can also be easier to stay dedicated to a morning workout. Putting exercise first – before any other duties are undertaken – ensures that it will be completed. In contrast, those who wait may find the day is over before they know it, as distractions mount up. It can be harder to resist succumbing to excuses later in the day.
Sleep is critical to overall health, and exercising early is often friendlier to quality sleep than working out late, close to bedtime. This is because exercise energizes the body and raises the heart rate, both of which make it harder to relax and fall asleep.
But exercising at night has plenty going for it as well. For one thing, there are no time constraints. While in the morning you might have to hurry or cut your workout short to reach the office on time, the evening allows for the time needed for quality exercise.
Also, while in the morning the body is often depleted of energy, at night it is stocked with glycogen obtained from food consumed throughout the day. These energy reserves car raise performance and make it easier to get out the door. In contrast, morning exercisers are likelier to hit a wall during their workout, as the body exhausts its glycogen stores.
Some of the biggest advantages of night workouts result from the fact that body temperatures are generally higher at night. That’s because the body performs at its best when warm: reaction time is boosted, resting heart rate is lower, and muscles are stronger and more flexible (which also means injuries are less likely). To reach a similar state, morning exercisers will likely have to spend valuable time warming up before they exercise.
Another pro of the late-day workout is that exercise is one of the best ways to reduce the stress and tension that usually builds up over a long day of work. Mental strain and anxiety can often be greatly relieved by intense physical exertion – especially since exercise triggers the release of endorphins, the brain chemicals that
naturally raise mood.
So which workout option should you choose? Well, there’s really no wrong answer. Each person must decide for themselves which alternative suits them best. Ultimately, what matters most is simply that you do make time to work out -whether it’s in the AM. or the PM, it’s the exercise itself that is most crucial.