Some amount of daily physical activity has numerous physiological and psychological benefits, from enhancing cardiovascular and bone strength to improving memory, relieving stress, building muscle mass, boosting the immune system and one’s confidence as well.
But here’s the question – should all workout regimes be performed at the crack of dawn? Or should we schedule our physical exercise for some time in the evening, after a long tiring day at the office?
To settle the debate, let’s read about the benefits of working out in the morning and in the evening,
Perks of Hitting the Gym in the Morning
Let’s look at what you’re achieving when you’re working out in the morning.
Better Suited for the Body
We had a quick discussion with Mark Spader who blogs about topics related to Body Building at MR ALPHA. He suggests that morning workout sessions are more accustomed to the body’s natural hormonal fluctuations. The hormone Cortisol, also known as the stress hormone, is responsible for keeping us alert and awake. Its levels typically increase in the morning, peaking at around 8 a.m., and drop in the evening. For those maintaining a healthy circadian rhythm and overall homeostasis, exercising at this time will prove to be highly beneficial and effective.
Easier to Maintain
You’re more likely to follow a morning workout schedule more consistently. Heading to the gym before clocking in and drowning in work helps you make quality time for yourself and for your physical and mental wellbeing.
Boosts Energy Levels
An early morning gym session boosts energy levels that help you focus and work actively during the day. It is a known fact that the human body functions optimally in the mid-afternoon, and a morning workout will definitely compliment this.
Working out before breakfast will assist the body in burning fat more efficiently. Moreover, a morning gym class jumpstarts metabolism and helps burn calories throughout the day.
Guarantees a Focused Session
If you’re looking for a stress-free and relaxed gym session, then you should definitely go in the morning. Most gyms’ peak hours are after the workday, and exercising in a crowded and congested space is no fun.
Perks of Hitting the Gym in the Evening
Here’s what happens when you prefer to work out in the evening.
Lesser Chances of Injuries
As compared to mornings, your body temperature is the highest in the evening, and your joints and muscles are much more flexible. This means that working out will have less strain on the body, and hence chances of injuries will also be comparatively less.
Optimal Functioning Capacity
In the second half of the day, you have more energy, your metabolism is working actively and your lung capacity is at its best. This translates into more strength and endurance for a proactive gym session, esp. something such as cardio.
Relieves Stress from Work
One of the best things about an afternoon gym regime is that it serves as the perfect outlet for all the stress you develop from working all day. Also, since it’s the end of the day, your mind is clearer and tension free, as compared to the morning when everything still lies ahead of you.
Promotes a Good Night’s Sleep
Choosing to work out in the morning or evening also impacts your sleep cycle. A general belief is that hitting the gym later in the day will tire and exhaust you out, so by the time you reach home and finish dinner; you’ll already be dozing off to a perfect sleep.
As is obvious, going to the gym in the morning and in the evening both have their benefits (and some drawbacks). However, to achieve optimum health benefits from your workout, the best time to exercise is when you can ACTUALLY MANAGE IT. Consider the following: when is it suitable for you? When will you enjoy working out? When do you need to unwind?
The key to achieving long-lasting fitness goals is simply to maintain a good balance between eating healthy and training consistently.