While there is no definitive answer as to when you should hit the gym, there are clear advantages and disadvantages to each time of day. Let’s break it down:
Morning Workouts; Pros To Working Out In The Morning
1. Mood Boost And Improved Productivity
The mood boosting hormones that exercise releases can start your day off with increased optimism and higher self efficacy that can positively influence the rest of your day. You will be more alert and ready to tackle your day by giving yourself that extra energy boost.
2. Helps Cultivate Some Consistency
Working out in the morning ensures that you don’t interrupt your workout schedule with other daily activities. It is easier for an individual to stay on track with a fitness regime first thing in the morning because there is less time for family, evening plans, commuting, late nights in the office, and other distractions to get in the way. Fatigue from a long day can also lead to skipped evening workouts.
3. Avoiding Crowds
Fitness centres see the most traffic between 5 and 8 p.m., making it difficult to get the machine or group fitness class you really want. Mornings see less traffic making a.m. workouts more efficient. And while there may be an influx of gym-goers between 6 and 8 a.m., these patrons tend to get in and get out within a fixed amount of time, leaving no room for socialization and clogging up the gym floor.
4. Develop Strong Self-Discipline
Waking up early in the morning to exercise enhances your personal discipline. Just like any habit, developing the discipline to get up and exercise in the morning only gets easier with time.
Perhaps more importantly, this discipline is likely to spill over into other areas of your life. After all, if you’re going to such lengths to exercise each morning, pairing that work with healthier eating, as an example, only makes sense.
5. Get Better Sleep
Waking up early in the morning to exercise will in turn help you sleep better. Your body will enjoy a healthy sense of fatigue at the end of the day and will be ready to sleep.
Morning Workouts; Cons To Working Out In The Morning
1. Waking Up Early
If you are not a morning person then this can be difficult to build into a habit. The most obvious disadvantage of a morning workout is the need for getting up earlier than usual. Instead of waking up for a morning workout, most of us prefer to spend more time on the cozy mattress and only get up to head to school or work.
2. Decreased Metabolism
Though morning workouts give you a boost of instant energy, towards the end of the day, your metabolism is likely to slow down. Evening exercise, on the other hand, boosts your metabolism, which helps in burning more calories after a heavy dinner.
Evening Workouts; Pros To Working Out In The Evening
1. No Time Pressure
Instead of having to rush back to work, you can work out at night with no other commitments or pressures. You have more time to work out without worrying about what comes next.
2. Blowing Off Stress
Pushing yourself through a tough routine after a long workday can help you blow off stress faster than almost anything else.
Energy levels: Some people may find their energy level is high in the evening, and after a day full of food, you won’t be fighting hunger or sluggish energy.
Evening Workouts; Cons To Working Out In The Evening
The biggest downfall for working out late in the day is that the longer you put it off, the more likely it is that you keep putting it off. Life gets hectic and it takes discipline to stick to your resolution of exercise with looming to-do lists and endless obligations.
2. Larger Crowds
A lot of other people have the same idea to work out at night, so the gym tends to get pretty busy after 5 p.m. You may end up fighting for the weights and machines!
3. Sleep Disturbance
Working out at night revs up your metabolism and this could stop you from getting to sleep. Levels of adrenaline and stress hormones spike during a workout, preventing restfulness.
Ultimately, you can weigh up the pros and cons of and choose the option which suits your lifestyle best. The important thing is to design a schedule that you will be able to be consistent with.