Consistent movement has a potent, positive impact on our health and overall wellbeing. But, what is the difference between working out in the morning versus the evening? Can the results of your workout literally be like night and day? Read on to find out.
THE CASE FOR AM WORKOUTS…
You can the most of post-workout endorphins
We all love the feel-good chemical boost we get after a workout — hello, endorphins and neurotransmitters — but is there a schedule to strategize getting the most out of them? Maybe!
In a study by the University of Vermont, participants who took part in aerobic exercise experienced “lower mood disturbance” for up to 12 hours after their workout. A balanced mood can also be associated with better focus, a healthier stress response, and less anxiety. With that in mind, scheduling your workout in the AM could help you more productively handle whatever the day throws your way.
You may burn fat more quickly
If weight loss is a priority for you, AM workouts may help you see results more expeditiously. Science suggests that morning workouts, when done on an empty stomach, may burn fat up to 20% more than workouts performed at any other time of day, empty stomach or not. Wow!
Intrigued? Before you give this routine a go, we recommend consulting with a personal trainer to find out what will work best for your body and goals. The healthiest way is the only way at WFCC!
You’ll likely have less distractions
Control your day before the day controls you! Generally speaking, you are more likely to find it easier to fit in a workout in the morning, when there are less distractions of day-to-day life’s unpredictabilities (hello, last-minute errands!).
Not to mention, scheduling your workout for first thing in the morning could leave more room for impromptu possibilities later on in the day. So you can fully enjoy unplanned post-work drinks with friends without that lingering workout in the back of your mind. Cheers to that!
You’ll probably have a better sleep
Having trouble catching restful z’s? You may want to consider avoiding evening workouts. The spike in heart rate and body temperature that accompanies an awesome workout is the perfect recipe for a boost in energy — the opposite of what you want when you’re trying to unwind!
BUILDING LASTING HABITS
You’re more likely to make exercise a habit
Though hitting the snooze button can be oh-so-tempting (the struggle is real!), if you’re finding it difficult to stay consistent with your workouts, morning exercise could work in your favor to keep on track.
Research suggests it may be easier to form habits that work with your body’s natural rhythms. To dive a little deeper, a study published in Health Psychology assessed whether participants would more easily adopt a regular health habit (stretching) when they performed it in the morning, upon waking or in the evening, before sleeping. The results were clear: the morning group picked up the habit after 105.95 days, versus the evening group’s 154.01 days — that’s a difference of 48.06 days! Rise and shine, anyone?
THE CASE FOR PM WORKOUTS…
You may perform better & decrease the chance of injury
Factors such as your reaction time (which is on-point in the afternoon and evening), faster oxygen uptake kinetics, and a naturally peaked body temperature, could all add up to a better overall exercise performance and less risk of injury in the evening.
PM exercise may act as a “reset”
Long day? Let it out in your workout! For some, hitting the gym at the end of the day can act as a sort of release of tension built up throughout the day. If your day gets rocky, knowing you’ll get to run it out on the treadmill or get in some much-needed deep breathing in yoga class can certainly be comforting.
ALL POINTS CONSIDERED…
Psychologically and biologically speaking, morning workouts seem to have a competitive edge. However, the most important factor, above all, is finding a schedule that works for you; a way to stay consistently active.
At WFCC, we recognize that the time of day you choose to workout is influenced by many factors. Everything from your work schedule, family life, and even energy levels play a role in this. Whether you’re a night owl, early riser, or somewhere in-between, we want to make it as easy as possible for you to get in essential “me time”. All of our locations offer a variety of group exercise classes at every time of day – morning, midday (lunch break workout, anyone?) and in the evening — check out our class schedules here. Have a little one in the picture? We’ve got you, mama. Our facilities also offer child care programs so you can shift the focus on taking care of yourself for a little while. You deserve it!