For many of us, we work out either in the mornings or the evenings. Have you ever wondered whether there’s a “best” time? We all know that the early bird catches the worm but fortunately for us, this doesn’t really ring true when it comes to exercise. There are, of course, some differences. These are mostly because of how our body temperature fluctuates throughout the day, but they are pretty negligible. Thus, there isn’t exactly a “best” time scientifically. What’s important is for us to find a timing that fits our schedule so we make gym a weekly (or daily) date.
Scroll down to find out the reasons why you should work out in the mornings or evenings and decide which motivates you more.
Why morning workouts are for you
1. You start the day on a high note
Exercise is like our body’s natural caffeine. It wakes our body up and releases endorphins so that we start our day on a good note. This means more smiles, a more positive and optimistic outlook and hence, less stress. And though as controversial as Rhonda Byrne’s The Secret can get, it does kind of make sense that if we think and feel good, it will translate into happier words and actions, more focused thoughts and decisions, and so, a happier day.
2. You are more likely to be consistent with your workouts
Working out in the morning means we get exercise off our to-do list first thing in the day. And as we plough through our day, which can be very trying, we know that we can head straight home after work and curl up in front of the television. There will be no dreading of a workout throughout the day, no fighting for your favourite spot at the back of the gym, no rushing for the toilets and mostly importantly, even if the day gets really bad, you know that you have accomplished at least one very important thing.
Morning workouts also free up our evenings so if anything crops up, we can tend to them without much worry. Unlike evening workouts which can be disrupted by “peer pressure” (Think: happy hour), we are more likely to make a habit out of our daily morning workouts.
3. You burn more calories and lose weight more easily
When we work out in the morning, we get our metabolism working too. And because it starts first thing in the morning, this means that we are burning calories as we go through our breakfast, lunch, tea time, dinner and supper, instead of when we are sleeping. This is known as the Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumptions (EPOC). Participants in a study showed that they burned 190 more calories in the 14 hours post-exercise, as compared to those who didn’t exercise.
Exercising on an empty stomach can also help us eliminate stored fat in our body, instead of incoming carbs. And because we work so hard in the morning, we are likely to be more conscious of our food choices throughout the day. Hello, toned and healthy body!
Undoubtedly, morning workouts have their flip side too. For instance, we have to wake up really early if we want a complete workout session. Don’t forget that we need to shower and prep for work after that. Can you imagine Monday mornings?
Also, our body is actually at its lowest temperature during the first three hours that we pull ourselves out from slumber. This means we need more time to properly warm our muscles up for an injury-free workout. Some of us are also not used to working out on an empty stomach. We might need to grab a quick protein bar, rest for a while, and then work out. Eeps, how much earlier do we need to get up? If this sounds like you, click next to find out why working out in the evenings isn’t so bad as well.