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Morning vs. evening workouts

So getting fit is one of your new year’s resolutions? Here’s a would you rather question just for you. Would you rather work out in the morning or in the evening?

For those who answered, “It really doesn’t matter – a workout is a workout” you’ll be quite surprised that there is a fine line between the two. Here’s a quick look into morning vs evening workouts so you can decide which between the two works best for you.

Morning workouts

Morning workouts are great because once you do it, it’s no longer a thing-to-do. You can go about your day without having to think about working out after a gruelling day at work. So what are the advantages if you work out in the morning? Here are just a few:

  • You increase your energy in the afternoon. Morning workout activates your body. It pumps up the oxygen and nutrients to your body, giving you that extra energy boost that’ll keep you going throughout the day. What a way to start your day, right?
  • It helps your body burn fat more effectively. Our metabolism is way more active in the morning. This is because our growth hormone and cortisol, both components of metabolism, naturally see elevated levels in the morning compared to the evening. This means you burn fat a lot faster and can help you lose weight.
  • You are likely to be more consistent. While this is intuitive, it is backed by research. A study made by Reuters Health revealed that “68 percent of participants reported a consistent workout time, and nearly half of these people were early-morning exercisers.” The same research attributes this because morning workouts are “easily regimented” like brushing one’s teeth. It quickly becomes a habit because you “get to do it before life gets in the way.”

It doesn’t mean, however, that everything is rosy when it comes to morning workouts. You have to grapple with things when it comes to sweating it out in the early morning hours.

  • It’s tough to be motivated. Why will you change into your activewear and begin sweating it out when you can still curl up and get more zzz’s? Yes. That’s the thing with morning workouts. Getting motivated to start can be a drag.
  • You have stiffer muscles and joints. After holding your position while you sleep, you may end up with more rigid muscles and joints. Just getting them to loosen up is already a workout in itself.
  • Earlier burnout and fatigue. Instead of being energised throughout the day, you might end up feeling worn-out after a morning workout. This means a decrease of energy which may affect your performance throughout the day.

Evening workouts

While morning workouts seem to be a promising proposition, don’t discount evening workouts just yet. Here are some evening workout pros that you should consider:

  • You have more flexible muscles and joints. Since you’ve moved about throughout the day, chances are your muscles and joints have loosened up. You’re ready for a gruelling day at the gym!
  • You have more energy to exercise. Research after research shows that you work out harder and longer when you exercise in the evening. A study made by the England’s University of Birmingham that supports this assertion was featured in Self magazine. Said research shows that people can go up to 20 percent longer in the evening and higher intensity.
  • You have an outlet of stress release. What better way to release all the stress and tension throughout the day than to sweat it out? Such release not only helps you achieve physical strength but improves your mental health as well!

As with morning workouts, there is a downside if you decide to work out in the evening:

  • It makes it harder to fall asleep. Since your brain and body are activated after hours of pumping iron, winding down can be quite the struggle. This would make falling asleep a tad harder to do than on regular days.
  • You may have limited options. Gyms may be packed to the brim if you workout after working hours and jogging may not be an option minus daylight. This gives you limited choices when you intend to work out in the evening.
  • It is easier to call off the session. How many times have you called off the session simply because life gets in the way? You may have a sudden meeting, or you feel tired after a long day at work, or there’s an impromptu get-together with family and friends. Whichever it is, evening workouts tend to be more easily called off as compared to morning workouts.

Now that you know morning vs evening workouts, which between the two do you prefer? It actually boils down to CONSISTENCY. Find the most convenient time that works for you and stick with it. When you make working out a habit, it becomes a lot easier to maintain over time.

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