There’s an old saying, “The early bird always gets the worm,” but does that apply for workouts as well? Does the early trainee always get the gains?
Are there any advantages of working out in the morning as opposed to the evening? Some will argue that working out in the morning is better as it gets the juices flowing and provides the fuel and energy needed to tackle the oncoming Day. On the other hand, advocates of evening training believe a good workout at night is a great way to wind down and relieve stress received from the daily hustle and bustle.
There are many reasons why someone would choose one over the other. Rather it’s a result of convenience, scheduling, training class availability, gym option times, daycare, or optimum bodily response times, people choose the time of exercise based on their personal needs and desires.
While research and studies support all viewpoints, you should pick a workout that aligns with your schedule and fitness goals.
Working out is an essential part of my life, and hopefully yours too. We feel healthier and happier when working out on a consistent basis. Some have found mornings to be the best time of the Day for my workout. I’ll start with the pros of working out in the morning and end with the cons, which are minimal.
After your workout, you can shower, get ready at the gym and go off to work without feeling rushed. No rushing after work to get to the gym and cram in a workout before rushing home to make dinner, take care of the family, etc.
1. The mornings tend to be the best time to go to the gym when no one’s there. Now, I don’t mean at peak morning time around 7:00 a.m., but if you go a little earlier than that, I have found gyms aren’t as busy. You have a better chance of getting the equipment you want immediately, rather than having to wait until someone else is done.
2. You get a burst of energy for the rest of the Day. Working out gives you an immediate feeling of strength first thing in the morning, and it stays with you all Day.
3. You build friendships with other morning workout people. This may sound silly, but I’ve found this to be true time and again. When people work out in the morning, they are definitely dedicated to coming to the gym (not to take anything away from afternoon workout people). Typically the same people workout day after Day in the morning and you can help support each other regularly.
4. Child-care options. I don’t know if this is true for every gym, but at mine, there is child-care in the morning hours, so I have a safe place for my daughter while I exercise. That is a huge bonus for any gym facility.
5. You get motivated early. Since you workout early, you are already awake and ready to tackle the rest of the Day. There is no trudging around in the morning trying to get ready. You are up and out the door first thing.
6. If you workout in the morning and get it over with, you aren’t dreading a workout all Day until the evening, especially if you’ve had a hard day at work and just feel like going home. Your exercise is already done, and you can unwind any other way you want too.
7. Afternoon and evening functions don’t have to be missed or cut short because you feel guilty about missing a workout. If you complete the workout early, you are available later for other functions.
1. You have to be organized. For some people, this may not be a con, or maybe it is a blessing in disguise. But you must make sure your workout clothes are clean and accessible immediately, so you don’t waste time searching for them and stressing yourself out in the morning.
2. You must be on time if you are doing an early morning workout class, such as aerobics or kick-boxing.
Evening workouts can be the perfect exercise solution for many people who have busy daytime schedules. Work responsibilities, parenting, and the morning rush may make it difficult for some to find the time for exercise during the daytime hours. Evening workouts at the gym can be a positive alternative for those who want to begin or maintain an exercise routine and make the time to add some physical fitness to the end of long or busy days. There are definite benefits of evening workouts at the gym, as well as points to consider, before planning evening workouts. The pros of working out during the evening at the gym will always outweigh the cons for people who would otherwise not have the time to get in some daily physical fitness. There are, however, a few cons to consider before planning a week of evenings at the gym.
1. Exercise is Good for You, Any time of Day
Evening workouts can be just as healthy as an early morning visit to the gym. Though some may benefit more from the morning burst of energy that comes from a morning workout, evening workouts can provide the added energy at the end of a long day to get through the evening routine. Many people have difficulty finding the time for a workout, and evenings are ideal for those who work during the Day and have free time in the evenings.
2. Better Sleep
Evening workouts can add to the end of the Day by preparing you for good sleep. Workouts in the evening will invigorate at first and then slowly lead to a sense of restfulness. The physical exercise will expend energy and prepare the body for a night of rest and sleep. Many people who workout during the evenings find that it may be challenging to make it to the gym at first, after a long day, but ultimately they feel better after a workout. Restful sleep is a benefit of evenings at the gym.
3. No Morning Rush to Deal With
Exercise and workouts at the gym during the evening hours can be a better choice for those who would not have the free time to concentrate on exercise during the morning rush hours. Many people slow down after the dinner hours, after daily responsibilities are taken care of, and their workday is complete. One of the hardest things for busy people to do is to try to incorporate workouts into a busy daily schedule. Evenings are the perfect alternative.
4. Workouts Can be Evening Recreation
Evening workouts at the gym can be a healthier choice for those who regularly spend time during the evenings watching television or just relaxing. An hour set aside for a visit to the gym during the evening will go a long way towards keeping fit. Evening workouts at the gym can be a boredom buster for those who want something to do during the evening, especially during the darker winter evening hours. Workouts at the gym can have social benefits as well, and some people may want to consider teaming up with an evening workout partner or group on a regular basis.
5. Burn off Dinner Calories
Dinner is often the heaviest meal for many people, and adding an evening workout at the gym will help to burn off dinner calories. Evening workouts will rev up your metabolism and burn calories that might otherwise be sitting there until the morning. A healthy dinner can provide the nutrition and calories needed for a good workout during the evening hours, and even encourage better meal planning.
1. Evening Workouts are Easy to Avoid
One of the biggest problems with evening workouts at the gym is that they are easy to put off or avoid. At the end of a long day, working out and exercising at the gym may be the last thing that some people feel like doing. This can be problematic for some people and make it more difficult to add evening workouts at the gym to their daily routine.
Evenings can be a difficult time for early risers to dedicate time for workouts at the gym. Those who have an early work schedule may find it hard to exercise in the evenings if they have already put in a full day and have an early bedtime. Others may have an internal clock that works better for exercising in the morning, and tiredness is always a factor when considering whether evening workouts are the solution for starting an exercise routine.
3. No Morning Burst of Energy
Evening workouts cannot provide the morning burst of energy that earlier morning workouts can. Many people prefer morning exercise because it tends to provide the energy to jump-start their Day and metabolism. Evening workouts provide energy and positive health benefits, but for those who prefer to exercise earlier in the Day, an evening workout at the gym may be too late in the Day.
4. Post-Dinner Lethargy
A heavy dinner can be one of the reasons for feeling lethargic during the evening, and this can prevent some people from staying on task with an evening routine at the gym. Post-dinner lethargy can demotivate, and it may be more challenging to keep up with an evening workout schedule if dinner is the heaviest meal of the Day. Working parents who want to work out at the gym during the evening may have even more post-dinner lethargy after a long day, and find it harder to fit in an hour or two during the evenings for a gym workout.
5. Evening Distractions
Even though evenings may be the time of Day when most people have the most free time, for others, evenings can be one of the busiest times during their Day. Parents who require babysitting for children, people who work later, and those who value their evening time for leisurely activities may not find evening workouts at the gym are a perfect fit for their lifestyle.