So what is the best time to work out? No, seriously, what’s the best time to work out? That’s one of the most common questions I get as a health coach, group exercise instructor, personal trainer, and endurance athlete. It typically comes from people new to the habit of being more physically active. They are looking for the easiest and fastest way to exercise and at the same time achieve their goals of becoming more fit, losing weight, or looking better. They simply want more bang for their buck in the gym.
After 10 years in this field, I usually give them a tempered answer — it depends on your schedule, energy level, and even motivation. Some people are more energetic in the morning, while others struggle out of bed. You know your body the best, so it’s up to you to determine when your body is most capable of performing an effective workout. Whether you choose morning or evening makes no difference in calories burned. Getting a consistent workout in is more important than getting a perfect workout at the perfect time of the day.
So step back and look at some pros and cons of working out in the morning versus in the evenings. This might help you with creating a good routine.
- Can create a devoted time for exercise in the day.
- Can make distraction-free exercise by not letting you procrastinate.
- Improve mood.
- Improve energy levels the rest of the day,
- Improve mental sharpness for hours after.
- Can create a positive mindset for the rest of the day.
- Can be difficult to wake up early and sacrifice sleep.
- Can increase risk of injury if going right into the activity without warming up properly.
- Can face low energy level because of not eating yet.
- Can save you time the rest of the day by not having to exercise after work.
- Well fueled because of having eaten at least one meal.
- Good stress reliever.
- Can allow you to be more focused and productive when you return to work.
- May face time limits that prevent getting in a full workout .
- Will have to precisely plan the day to make sure you fit in a workout and also lunch.
- Gym might be busy with other people also fitting in a midday workout.
- Being sweaty and having to go back to work, or having to allow extra time for a shower and grooming.
- Warm and flexible muscles so you are more physically prepared.
- Great for relieving stress.
- Body is fueled from the food eaten throughout the day, resulting in higher energy levels.
- Can make you more relaxed and tired in the evening, allowing a better night’s sleep.
- No hunger during your workout.
- If exercise involves high-intensity training, make sure you don’t push yourself within 1-2 hours before bed or it can disrupt your sleep. Yoga or stretching exercises can help with winding down the busy day.
- People tend to put off working out until the last minute of the evening, and some might end up not being able to make it to the gym before it closes.
What’s your favorite time of day to workout? Let us know in the comments below!