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Morning v. Night: When is the best time to workout?

Updated on 26. May. 2020

It seems that some people enjoy working out in the morning more than in the evening. They incorporate a daily routine of exercises or go for a run. Some love to start their day active, others enjoy a good workout after they have finished all their work for the day. But have you ever wondered if there is any scientific evidence about whether one time of the day is better than the other? It can be said that any exercise, no matter if in the morning or at night, is beneficial to your overall wellbeing. It balances not only our body but relieves stress and tensions, helping us to feel fitter and healthier.

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Morning Workouts 

Many people prefer morning workouts because they are done early and don’t have to worry about exercise during the day. Experts argue that a workout in the morning increases your energy levels, boosts metabolism, and burns more calories during the day. The Appalachian State University found that morning workouts are also beneficial to your sleep. In addition, it has been shown that morning workouts give you more consistent energy levels during the day1 and provide you with a rush of endorphins. Research shows that a workout before breakfast uses the energy from fat stores instead of carbs from food, which is great for weight loss.2 Other studies concluded that women tend to eat less for breakfast and make healthier food choices if they workout in the morning, and their days proved to be more active overall. Furthermore, if you workout first thing in the morning, your blood pressure can be lower throughout the day.3

First, it is important to remember that your muscles are cold after sleep, so you must include warm up exercises to wake the body up. 

When planning your day, you might also find it easier to fit a workout in the morning because evenings tend to have appointments or social obligations, where you want to meet up with friends or go out to dinner. This can easily spill-over into your workout plans. If you have already done your workout it in the morning, then you are free at night, which can help you maintain a workout routine and social life.4

Another great motivation for working out in the morning is that fitness centers tend to be less busy at that time of the day. They are usually the busiest between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. Less people workout in the morning, so you can enjoy a less crowded fitness center.5

If you start your day by doing something healthy, then psychologically, you will feel healthier. Consequently, you tend to make healthier life choices when it comes to food. 

Evening Workouts

On the other hand, most people prefer evening workouts, because they feel stronger and more flexible after a day of being active  and feel like they are less likely to be injured. The University of Chicago found that those who exercise in the evening are more likely to be fitter than the one’s that exercise in the morning. In fact, protein synthesis peaks in the evening and is very beneficial for your workout.

Not only you can enjoy a more relaxed morning but you can also start your day smoothly and increase your strength during the day to spend it at your workout at night. Our bodies are 20 percent more flexible later in the day because our muscles are more warmed up, which prevents injuries. As you have probably had breakfast and lunch, you are fueled up for your daily tasks and can use the energy for a more productive workout. Additionally, exercise can be very relieving after a long stressful day at work, because you can focus on physical exercise, feel your energy flowing, and burn some calories. After a workout, many feel more balanced and relieved.

Most people tend to hit the gym in the afternoon or evening. Hence, it is easier to find a workout buddy that you can exercise with. Working out with a friend makes it harder for you to skip a workout because you have accountability, and if you are into workout classes, most gyms offer a greater variety of classes in the evening.

Working out in the morning or evening can improve sleep. While some experts say that a high body temperature from your evening workout makes you fall into a deeper sleep, others are convinced that people who exercise in the evening have longer and deeper sleep than those who worked out in the morning.

Morning vs. Evening

As you can see that there are many benefits to working out both times of the day. Some might find it easier to get the workout done in the morning and others feel more energized for a workout at night. It is important to know what you want. Are you more of a morning person that likes to be productive early or do you feel more relieved when you exercise in the evening release all the stress from your day? Both times seem to have equal benefits that leave you to figure out which time fits best. If you are not sure what type you are, simply try to exercise in the morning for a week and see how you feel, then try your workout in the evening for a week and compare the differences, advantages, and disadvantages. Your body will tell you during the workout how you feel, where your strength level is, and how the rest of your day feels. 

If you are looking for some workout inspiration click here

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1. "Is It Better To Work Out In The Morning Or At Night?" Six Pack Blog. 6 Pack Fitness, 19 May 2016. Web.

2. Mudallal, Zainab. "There's A Big Difference Between Working Out In The Morning And At Night." Elite Daily. Elite Daily, 06 Aug. 2015. Web.

3. Birch, Jenna. "The Truth About What Time of Day You Should Work Out."Women's Health. Rodale Inc., 13 June 2014. Web.

4. Singh, Kyli. "Should You Work out in the Morning or Evening? An Investigation." The Huffington Post., 02 Nov. 2015. Web.

5. Cardiello, Jay. "The Best Time of Day to Work Out." Shape Magazine. Meredith Corporation, 28 Sept. 2012. Web.


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