We’ve all heard that the early bird catches the worm, but are morning workouts really better than evening workouts?
The truth is, everyone has their preferences. But, if you’re still undecided about which is best, let’s go over the benefits and drawbacks of both morning and evening workouts to help you figure out when to schedule your next session.
Benefits & Drawbacks of Morning Workouts
For early birds, working out first thing in the morning just makes sense. But what are the actual benefits of a morning workout? Are there any downsides?
Let’s go over both the positives and negatives of exercising in the morning.
More Likely to Get It Done
First of all, morning workouts are effective because you’re probably more likely to do them. The truth is, if you put off your exercise until later in the day, chances are your to-do list will take over, and you’ll end up skipping your evening workout altogether.
So, by doing your workout in the morning, there’s usually a greater chance that you’ll exercise more consistently because it’s the first thing on your schedule.
Encourages Healthier Choices
Another benefit of morning workouts is the ripple effect they tend to have on the rest of your day. After a sweaty morning session at the gym, you’re less likely to reach for a greasy cheeseburger at lunch.
In other words, morning workouts encourage healthier choices throughout the day, leading to more significant results for your health and fitness.
However, there is a downside to morning workouts, and it’s the fact that you’ll need a solid warmup in the early hours. Your joints are significantly stiffer in the morning, and if you don’t take the time to do a proper warmup, you could be at risk of injury.
While everyone should be warming up no matter what time of day you exercise, morning workouts require a lot more attention in this regard.
Bonus: Benefits of Outdoor Workouts
But, before we move on, let’s talk about the added bonus of being able to exercise outdoors when you do your workouts in the morning.
Benefits of outdoor workouts include:
- More to see and experience, which means you’re likely to exercise for longer versus being bored on a treadmill
- Access to natural vitamin D from the sun
- Fresh air to help take you away from the daily grind and stressors of the world
- Being in nature has been shown to improve your mood and reduce stress
Benefits & Drawbacks of Evening Workouts
Now, it’s time to explore some of the features and drawbacks of evening workouts for anyone who might be more of a night owl by nature.
To start, your body naturally performs better in the afternoon and evening. Throughout the day, which optimizes your muscle function, strength, enzyme activity, and endurance.
So, it’s safe to say that you’re both less prone to injury and likely to complete a more challenging workout if you exercise in the evening.
Quicker Reaction Times
In addition to better performance, you also have quicker reaction times in the afternoon and evening than you do in the morning.
So, for workouts like HIIT circuits or kickboxing workouts that require coordination and quick reactions, evening workouts might be a better bet.
Harder to Wind Down for Sleep
The main downside of evening workouts is the fact that they can disrupt your sleep. Since your core temperature remains elevated after a workout, it can interrupt those all-important phases of sleep, negatively affecting many other aspects of your health.
Plus, since workouts are known to give you an energy boost, you’ll likely have a more challenging time falling asleep after an evening workout compared to a morning sweat sesh.
Morning vs Evening Workouts: Which is best?
All things considered, the best time to work out is when you prefer to work out.
Believe it or not, it is an actual phenomenon that some people operate best in the mornings while others are their best at night. So, listen to your body and your unique energy levels.
The real goal is to work out consistently. And however you can do that, whether you schedule your exercise in the morning or the evening, is what matters most!