What is the best time for gym? Exercise is necessary every day, no matter what time you choose to do it. But is there a time that’s more useful than another? An early morning workout may sound like hell, but it actually has numerous benefits for your body. It doesn’t matter what exercise you want to engage in- whether it is a full body workout, cardio exercise, circuit training, core exercises, Tabata workout, an early morning run or even morning yoga- doing it in the morning has greater benefits than doing it at night.
You’ll be less likely to skip your workout
We all know how easy it is to miss out on an evening workout. Sometimes it’s just been such a long day, you are deadbeat tired and you just have no motivation. Other times (way too often) it’s best friend’s birthday party or impromptu birthday dinner or the kid’s play at school. Whatever you say, after work drinks will never be moved to 7:30am.
The fact is that the day just offers too many distractions and reasons not to work out, even if you are religious about your exercise, sometimes missing it in the evening is out of your control. Even on a day where you have no outside obligations, you could be running late from work, stuck in traffic, get home late and have to cook and shower and maybe get even more work done or spend time with the family.
Early in the morning though, it’s quiet, there’s no demands on your time and you can focus and get more done in your exercise routine. This also means you can be more consistent in your exercise. Just imagine the difference to your body if you actually managed to work out every day, no misses?
Once you are done, the rest of the day may bring what it may, you’ve already finished your work out and you are fresh
If you’ve already completed your workout, you can simply roll with whatever obstacles come up later in the evening without feeling bad that you missed another day. You’re far more likely to be consistent with your training if you get it done early in the day rather than waiting for later.
Mental, physical, and emotional energy
Contrary to popular belief, being sedentary saps your energy whereas being active actually gives an incredible amount of energy. An early morning workout is like a natural shot of coffee. It wakes you up and gives you energy for the rest of the day.
More than that, morning exercise has been shown to “wake up the mind,” or help improve focus and alertness throughout the day. That is because an early morning workout upsurges brain activity. Not only will you have more energy, you will also get more done and achieve more during the day.
This is especially important if you have a lot to do (and don’t we all?) Impress your boss by getting your project done faster and to a better standard, pick your kids up from school and have some chill time with them, get the house shopping done and maybe buy yourself something nice.
Higher metabolism and fat loss
Your body tends to burn supplementary calories after you exercise which means that even if you sit sedentary for the rest of the day after, you will still be burning calories. So, if you get up early and up your metabolism then your body will be burning calories all day after.
Usually, when you eat calories your body either uses them for energy to replenish your body or stores it as fat to be used later. When you eat after a morning workout, your calories are converted to energy, and who doesn’t want more energy throughout the day?
Though research on whether exercise on an empty stomach is better is varied, a recent study shows that a morning workout burns up to 20% more fat. Japanese researchers have also found that more fat oxidation happens with exercise before breakfast. Lipid oxidation is the process where fat molecules are broken down and used by the cells instead.
Studies also show that people who exercise after eating tend to gain weight, whereas those who exercise on an empty stomach lose weight even if they eat a diet high in calories. While there may be conflicting studies, the idea is that an early morning workout is better for weight loss.
Even better, when you work out early in the day, you are more likely to be motivated to eat healthier during the day. A study showed that women who exercised for 45 minutes in the morning, found food to be less tempting. So, if you need that extra push to eat healthier during the day, this is it. Plus, you no longer have the excuse of “working it off” later in the day.
This may be a little surprising, but it turns out that a good morning workout may actually help you sleep better at night. Although this can be said for any consistent workout at any time of day, it seems there are marked benefits to your sleep cycle if you get up early and exercise. In fact, a study found that those who jumpstart their day with a workout, get longer, deeper sleep than those who exercised later.
How? Apparently, it lowers blood pressure which is better for a regular sleep cycle. Also waking up earlier and exposing your body to more sunlight is a message to your body to properly power off in the evening, especially because your body will be healthily fatigued during the day.
Plus, it makes sense, right? If exercise gives you energy, an evening workout is likely to have your body awake which results in less restful sleep.
Consistency and discipline
Like we said before, evening exercise is always subject to more distractions which mean those who exercise in the morning are more likely to be consistent in their exercise which means a leaner, healthier body. Even the American Council for exercise agrees to have have found morning exercisers to be more consistent.
Which is pretty good seeing as consistency is the key to a successful exercising life. Plus waking up at 6:00 am better be worth it! Which means you are likely to subconsciously work out harder.
Also, getting yourself to actually wake up requires discipline and this kind of discipline tends to overflow into other areas of your life. Whether it is work or diet. And who doesn’t need a little more discipline?
Even more benefits…
Waking up early is the most peaceful time, you get to see the birds travel in less crowded streets if you go to the gym, -although, working out at home is also an option- and the gym itself is less busy and you have bragging rights for being more productive than everybody you know.
Exercise is also known to give an influx of endorphins which “trigger a positive feeling in your body like morphine.” I don’t know about you but if I can walk around like I’m on drugs without actually being on them, I’m game. And what better time to release happiness in your system than in the morning when you have a whole day of (sometimes unreasonable) people and a bunch of stress to deal with?
Last but perhaps more important is that morning exercise can help prevent diabetes. What? Yes, this is actually true. How? Morning exercise on an empty stomach promotes insulin resistance and prevents glucose intolerance. So, there you go, morning exercise may even save your life.
Note: benefits of working out in the evening
There are some benefits to working out in the evening:
- You get to spend more time working out. In the morning your time is always limited.
- Your body temperature is lower which means you will have more power while exercising and thus can mean you do more.
- Because the protein synthesis has peaked at this time of day, weight training and power workouts are better in the afternoon or evenings.
- Since your body is primed to do more, you are more likely to lose weight.
While all of this may be true, it’s also been found that once your body acclimates to working out in the morning, you are then more likely to have an even better workout than you would in the evening with increased power and energy. Combined with the empty stomach and the improved mood, there is no beating a good, sweaty, early morning workout.