Working Out in the Morning vs. Afternoon: What Time of Day is Best?
To be a morning workout person or to be an afternoon/evening workout person: that is the question.
Unsurprisingly, it’s a very common one as there is a lot of misinformation out there claiming that one is better than the other. And, while there may be tiny difference in things like body temperature and motivation, it often comes down to lifestyle: when is it best for you to work out?
In this blog, we’ll be taking the ultimate deep-dive into morning workouts vs. afternoon workouts to determine which time period is right for you!
Advantages of Morning Workouts
Morning workouts offer a wide variety of advantages that go beyond just the physical aspect! When it comes to the technical aspect, the early hours serve as a golden window for elevating metabolism, jumpstarting calorie burn, and fostering an enhanced fat-burning environment.
Working out at the crack of dawn also promotes discipline and consistency, as it becomes almost like a daily ritual. To top it off, as the world still waking up, there’s also that unique serenity that accompanies morning workouts, offering a quiet moment for self-reflection and goal-setting.
Here are a few of our other favourite advantages to a morning workout!
Morning workouts, whether they involve cardio, strength training, or a combination of both, are the perfect way to activate various muscle groups, helping the body to use up energy stores and burn calories.
Improved Consistency and Discipline
Committing to a regular morning, while initially difficult, also instills a sense of accomplishment that helps to reinforce positive behavior and solidify a dedicated approach to your fitness journey. Over time, this routine becomes a powerful anchor, enhancing not only your physical well-being but also your mental and physical commitment to a healthier lifestyle.
More Time for Post-Workout Recovery
Morning workouts also help to jumpstart your day, giving you an added burst of energy, as well as a distinct advantage for post-workout recovery. The timing of morning exercises allows for better recovery throughout the day, which is an essential process such as muscle repair and growth.
Boosted Mood and Productivity
We’re taking a note from Elle Woods here and talking about endorphins! When you engage in a morning workout, your body releases endorphins, our natural mood enhancers, generating a sense of euphoria and well-being. With continued exercise, these effects extend beyond the immediate post-exercise period, influencing your mood positively throughout the day.
Factors to Consider When Exercising in the Morning
Exercising in the morning requires a thoughtful approach to ensure a successful and energizing workout session.
Here are a few key factors to consider when exercising in the morning.
Prepare the Night Before
Planning your workout routine ahead of time is essential for boosting motivation and reducing any chances of the next morning, “I’m too tired” feeling we all know too well. And, if your workout involves any specific equipment, having it ready and accessible makes it easier to transition from the coziness of your bed to an energizing exercise session.
Get Proper Nutrition and Hydration
Proper nutrition and hydration not only enhance your physical capabilities during the workout, but also contribute to amazing post-exercise recovery, ensuring that you reap the full benefits of your morning exercise routine. By incorporating this mindful approach to nutrition and hydration, you’re setting the stage for a more energized and efficient workout, promoting overall well-being throughout the day.
Warm Up Effectively
Warming up effectively is especially important in the context of morning workouts, where the body’s temperature tends to be lower due to the overnight resting period. A thorough warm-up is a crucial step in injury prevention and optimizing the effectiveness of your exercise routine.
Set Achievable Goals
Whether it’s completing a certain number of reps, increasing your running distance, or mastering a new exercise, setting achievable goals keeps your workouts both engaging and purposeful! It’s important to always adjust your goals to work with your ever-changing fitness journey.
Benefits of Afternoon & Evening Exercise
Engaging in afternoon and evening exercise is incredibly beneficial for both your physical and mental well-being for many reasons. As the day progresses, body temperature and muscle flexibility tend to peak, reducing the risk of injury and enhancing overall performance. However, beyond the physical aspect, there are numerous benefits to exercises in the later half of the day.
Here are a few favourite benefits of afternoon & evening exercise.
Warmer Body Temperature and Reduced Risk of Injury
One particular advantage of exercising in the late afternoon is optimizing body temperature and enhancing muscle flexibility, which can help to reduce the risk of injury. As the day progresses, the body’s core temperature naturally rises, reaching a peak in the late afternoon or early evening. With this elevated temperature, you’re increasing blood flow to muscles and reducing any stiffness that may occur earlier in the day.
Enhanced Strength and Endurance
The later hours of the day provide a conducive environment for enhancing both strength and endurance, making afternoon and evening workouts advantageous for optimal performance. As the day unfolds, the body’s physiological functions reach an acme, resulting in heightened strength and endurance levels.
Stress Relief and Energy Boost
Exercising during the afternoon also acts as a powerful remedy, promoting both stress relief and a much-needed energy boost to combat the dreaded afternoon fatigue. As the day goes on, stress levels often increase due to various responsibilities like work and family. Afternoon workouts help to release endorphins, alleviating tension and promoting a sense of well-being.
Lifestyle Factors to Consider When Working Out in the Afternoon
Now, we know – working out in the afternoon isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. But, for those who thrive in the afternoon or have flexible work schedules that allow for it, afternoon workouts can be a game changer!
There are a few lifestyle factors to consider, however when working out in the afternoon that will affect your overall performance and enjoyment.
Effective time management is vital when incorporating afternoon workouts into your daily routine. To seamlessly integrate these sessions, we recommend planning out your day ahead of time and finding a window of time that works best for your schedule.
Begin by identifying a clear window in the afternoon that aligns with your schedule and energy levels. Factor in how long your workout will take, the travel time to and from the exercise location, and any additional preparations you might need, including nutrition.
We can’t stress this enough – pre-workout nutrition is the key to optimizing energy levels and performance during afternoon workouts. Ideally, we recommend eating a balanced meal or snack approximately 2-3 hours before your planned exercise session. This timing allows your body to digest the food, giving you a sustainable source of energy for your workout.
Staying Motivated After a Long Day
We understand that, after a long day, you may not feel completely motivated to work out, however, if you have a plan set ahead of time, it will be a lot easier. We also recommend doing exercises that you enjoy – as this will be a lot more motivating. Consider activities that peak your interests and preferences, whether it’s a dance class, a scenic run, a strength training session, or a calming yoga practice!
How to Create a Nighttime Fitness Routine
Creating a nighttime fitness routine is the perfect solution for those who may work during the day or have extra energy at night (we’re looking at you, night owls.) And, while the idea of a nighttime routine may sound a bit strange due to the popularity of morning workouts, it’s actually super easy to create!
1. Set a Consistent Schedule – Choose specific nights for your workouts to establish a routine.
2. Adjust Intensity – Consider lower-intensity workouts to wind down and promote relaxation before bedtime.
3. Mindful Cooling Down – Include stretching or yoga in your nighttime routine to help your body relax.
4. Limit Stimulants – Avoid intense workouts too close to bedtime and reduce stimulant intake to ensure a good night’s sleep.
Start Your Fitness Journey at Fitness World
Whether you prefer to workout with the sunrise or catch a great workout before bed, we’ve got the perfect, all-inclusive location to try a variety of new and functional workouts that will get your heart pumping and your endorphins going!
Join Fitness World today and see exactly why we’re Canada’s favourite gym. With over 500+ fitness classes, recovery tools like HydroMassage and tanning beds, and an inclusive community of individuals who love fitness, we’re the best place to start or get back into fitness.