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Morning vs. Evening Workouts

Morning vs. Evening Workouts: The Best Time to Exercise

, by FLOW Admin, 4 min reading time

Choosing the best time to exercise is a common dilemma for many fitness enthusiasts. This blog explores the benefits and drawbacks of exercising in the morning versus the evening, helping you decide which might suit your lifestyle and fitness goals better.

Morning Workouts: Pros and Cons

Pros of Morning Exercise

Boosted Metabolism: Exercising in the morning can jumpstart your metabolism, leading to more calories burned throughout the day.

Enhanced Consistency: People who work out in the morning are less likely to skip exercises due to scheduling conflicts.

Healthier Lifestyle Choices: Those who start their day with a workout are more likely to make health-conscious decisions, such as choosing healthier foods and opting for stairs.

Improved Mood: Engaging in physical activity can significantly elevate your mood and happiness levels. This is partly because exercise reduces cortisol levels, which not only boosts your mood and energy but also encourages a positive start to your day, making you less prone to stress.

Sleep Quality: Exercising early can improve your sleep quality. Studies indicate that people exercising at 7 a.m. tend to have better sleep patterns, including earlier sleep times, more deep sleep, and fewer nighttime awakenings.

Managing Blood Pressure: Morning workouts can be effective in managing blood pressure, with notable reductions seen in individuals who exercise early in the day.

Cons of Morning Exercise

Energy Levels: For some, mornings come with lower energy levels, which can make exercising feel more challenging.

Physical Stiffness: After waking, the body can be less flexible due to overnight immobility, making morning workouts potentially more challenging and raising the risk of injuries. It's important to warm up properly to elevate your body temperature, enhance blood flow, and energise your muscles, reducing the chance of sprains and strains.

Evening Workouts: Pros and Cons

Pros of Evening Exercise

Peak Performance: Recent studies highlight that muscle strength follows a circadian rhythm, peaking in the afternoon and evening, which suggests that workouts during these times might leverage natural increases in strength and endurance. Additionally, body temperatures are naturally higher later in the day, improving muscle flexibility and decreasing the risk of injuries such as sprains and strains.

Stress Relief: Evening workouts can serve as a great way to decompress after a stressful day, helping to clear your mind and relax.

Cons of Evening Exercise

Potential Disruption to Sleep: Engaging in high-intensity exercise, particularly too soon before bed, might spike your energy levels and lead to difficulties falling asleep. Choose low to moderate intensity exercises like yoga or a brisk walk.

Crowded Gyms: Evening times are typically peak hours at many gyms, which might lead to crowded facilities and longer waits for equipment.

Scheduling Conflicts: Evening plans can often interfere with workout routines, making consistency a challenge for some.

Conclusion

Both morning and evening workouts have their unique advantages and drawbacks. The key to long-term fitness success is finding a time that aligns with your body's rhythms and your personal schedule. Experiment with different times to see what feels best for you, and remember, the most important factor is consistency, no matter the time of day.

FAQs

How long should I wait after a morning workout before eating breakfast to maximise fat burning?

To maximise fat burning after a morning workout, it's generally recommended to wait about 30 to 45 minutes before eating. This allows your body to continue using fat as its primary fuel source for a little longer before carbohydrates are introduced.

Are there specific types of exercises that are more effective in the morning versus the evening?

Regarding specific exercises, strength training can be particularly effective in the evening when your body's core temperature is higher, which may enhance muscle function and strength. Conversely, some find cardiovascular activities like running or cycling easier in the morning due to the psychological boost it provides.

How can someone transition from being an evening exerciser to a morning one, especially if they struggle with morning energy levels?

For transitioning from evening to morning workouts, start by gradually shifting your workout time earlier each day or start with light exercises in the morning to acclimate your body. Additionally, ensure a good night's sleep and perhaps consider a small, energising pre-workout snack like a banana or a handful of nuts to help overcome low energy levels in the morning.


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