Are you laying in bed dreaming of dumbells, only to wake up and realize you’ve hit snooze five times? Or are you waiting all day for your chance to ask someone if you can work in with them on the leg press machine?
The time you workout during the day significantly impacts what you can or cannot do. In the morning, you're fresh out of bed, dehydrated, and sometimes lethargic. In the evening, you're totally beat from a full day of work or school, or your scrambling looking for alternatives because the machine you need is being used.
We highlight the pros and cons of working out in the morning vs. the evening.
Pros of a Morning Workout
There is no shortage of reasons why training in the morning is a good thing. To begin, there are very few distractions that will come up last minute to ruin your gym plans, mostly because everyone else is sleeping or nothing is open.
Our bodies are rested and stress levels are low. We have been fasting since our last meal and our body is using stored food energy as fuel, allowing us to shed unwanted fats. Increasing our heart rate and getting a good sweat gives us mental clarity and energy to tackle the day ahead.
Head to the gym in the morning and you will most likely find a parking spot and plenty of space inside to complete your workout exactly how it was planned.
Cons of a Morning Workout
On the flip side, however, working out in the morning includes a bit of planning the night before.
Picking out work clothes for the next day, remembering to throw a shower towel into your gym bag, preparing and packing breakfast and/or a post workout meal. Our bodies are less hydrated in the morning and it takes longer to warm up our muscles and joints, cutting into valuable workout time. After your workout, be sure there is enough time left to shower and face the morning traffic commute.
So, what if we can't get a good pump in the morning?
Let’s take a look at evening training. We’ve been up for hours with an above resting heart rate, and our muscles and joints are warm and ready to go. Our bodies should now be much more hydrated, lending to better muscle function.
Pros of an Evening Workout
If the day has been a stressful one, then what better way to blow off some steam and frustration than an evening workout?!
There was no post-workout meal that needed to be prepared last night, because next stop is home. Forgot your shower towel? It’s all good, the shower at home is better anyway. If you feel like turning your workout into a longer one and doing some much needed stretching, no big deal, you don’t have to rush out to get to work on time.
Cons of an Evening Workout
Later workouts have a number of negatives, though.
Th evening can be a bustling time to fit in exercise, and one minor change of plans can easily derail your scheduled workout: staying late at work, impromptu social events, rush hour traffic and child care issues, to name a few.
The evenings are full of distractions and errands that can sabotage your workouts, like needing to go to the bank, grabbing groceries, or swimming lessons that you have to bring your children to, or your pet needs to see the vet!
Fitness facilities get busy in the evening, and parking can get congested, mostly because everyone is off work and school.
When you do finally make it to the gym, do you have enough energy left to pump out a workout? If you did manage to get that workout in, how close to bedtime was it? If there isn’t enough time between workout and bedtime, it can have negative effects on your sleep.
There are 2 relevant things that my phone will light up to display for me:
Morning: “14 minutes to the Gym! Take Broadway, Traffic is light”
Night: “It is time to start winding down for bed”