They say the early bird always gets the worm, but in the case of workouts, that isn’t necessarily true. We always try to pin down the answer to when the best time to work out is, whether it’s at the crack of dawn or after a long workday. But the answer is that there is no right answer. While research supports both morning and evening workouts, your best bet is to pick a workout that aligns with your long-term fitness goals, and something you can stick with.
For example, a morning workout is going to require a nutritious dinner, a more rigorous warmup and lots of sleep, while an evening one will require you to fuel right throughout the day, and to make sure parties or events don’t interfere with your gym date.
Here are the pros of morning workouts:
You get it out of the way in the morning.
Many early risers cite this as the reason they prefer morning workouts. You don’t have to worry about a workday that will tire you to the couch, or unexpected outings like dinner or happy hour, because you’ve already got your workout in and can partake in any and all activities.
Additionally, you’ll have a boost of energy for the rest of the day, thanks to the daylong effects of morning exercise and the rush of endorphins. Maybe you’ll even be able to skimp on the coffee.
It’s better for weight loss.
If you don’t know this yet, morning workouts are known to kick-start your metabolism early, so you burn more calories during the day, as opposed to when you are sleeping. You’re also more likely to burn fat. Research shows when you’re fasting and exercising (ie, haven’t eaten breakfast yet) you burn fat stores instead of carbohydrates from food. But it also motivates you to be healthier.
Your body is prepared.
Sleep is the optimal time for your body to recuperate and recover. That means it repairs used muscles and converts your food into energy (glucose) for the following day.
Moreover, during REM sleep, dreams help your body learn and improve motor skills, according to Ask Men. This means your body may have already practiced your morning glute workout in your dreams. So when you wake up, your body is fresh and prepared for a workout, as long as you slept long and well enough. But this also means it’ll take more than a few stretches to warm up your body in the morning.