Man stretching for a run on concrete steps

People often wonder whether it is better to do a quick workout before going to work or leave it for later in the day. While answering this may seem easy at first, you'll actually need to take a couple of things into account to come up with a smart answer. So, to help you out, we are going to compare morning vs evening workouts. That way, you will be able to decide which one is better suited for your lifestyle.

What to take into account

Before we get into the details of morning and evening workouts, we should mention that any workout is always better than no workout. If you've just started exercising, try to maintain your discipline and adhere to your workout schedule, no matter if you need to do so in the evening or in the morning. It is surprisingly common for people to postpone their training simply because "it isn't the right time" or "they missed their workout window." As you will soon learn, a couple of factors play into whether a morning or evening workout suits you best. But none of them will matter if you don't work out at all. 

Type of workout

The first thing to consider is the type of training you are doing. If you are going for a more cardio-oriented workout in order to reduce your fat percentage, you should ideally take care of it in the morning. The healthy way to do this is to go for a morning jog or a nice hike. 

Morning workouts are also suitable for doing heavy lifting where you put substantial strain on your body. In the morning, our bodies are fresh and ready for action. Therefore, it is the ideal time for coordinated movements that require strength. Heavy workouts usually have good results in the morning because your body has the rest of the day to recover.

High-intensity exercises like wrestling, full-body workouts, or MMA are best done in the evening. They can be quite stressful to both your nervous system and your muscles, which is why you should ideally relax and rest after them.

On the other hand, if you are doing more calming exercises like yoga, stretching, or swimming, you should probably practice them at night. An activity more geared towards relaxation and stretching will have the best effect if you do it before sleeping. This is because you won't put your body through any more stress, and it will be able to go to sleep while calm and tranquil.

Food

The food you eat and when you eat it plays a significant role in how you will organize workouts. If you are used to having large breakfasts, you might want to skip doing strenuous exercise after it. If, on the other hand, you eat light breakfasts, or you can work out on an empty stomach, you should do something in the morning. Know that two very different systems are in charge of digesting food and exercising. One (parasympathetic) calms your muscles down and directs blood to your stomach. When it is active, your body rests and digests food. But, if the other system (sympathetic) is active, your body is pumping blood into your muscles and telling it to be as active as possible. Therefore, you want to have as much time as possible between the two. That way, each of them can do their part in helping your muscles grow.

Rest

Similar to food, you need to take rest into account when exercising. Here you need to listen to your body more and see how it reacts to exercise. For some people, exercise is a great way to wake the body up and energize it for the day. Others feel tired after exercising and want only to take a nap. Both of these are different reactions, and you need to know which is more like you. That way, you will be able to schedule your workout so that you don't have to suffer after it.

Morning vs evening workouts - final verdict

So, with all this in mind, when should you work out? Well, as you can see, there is no straight answer. It all depends on how your day is structured and what your workout is like. You might want to consult with Dubai Personal Trainers and see what fitness professionals have to say to get a more detailed insight. Nevertheless, to help you come to a decision, we will list the major pros and cons of morning and evening workouts to keep in mind. 

Morning workouts:

  • Good for burning fat.

  • Good for building muscle.

  • Extra energy boost (with the right workout).

  • Done with working out for the day.

  • Good for concentration during the rest of the day.

Evening workouts:

  • Good for complex workouts.

  • You can rest right after.

  • Calming your body and your mind before going to bed.

The final point to keep in mind

The last piece of advice we have for you is not to overthink your workouts. Once you get into the little details, it can be relatively easy to become confused. So, instead, try out different routines at different times. Depending on how you feel, how well you sleep, and your daily schedule, you can experience the same workout regimens differently. Your goal should be to learn how to enjoy your training so you will not have to force yourself to do them. Instead, you will look forward to them. The more you experiment, the more you will learn about what suits you best and which workout time gives you the best results. So, even though you should compare morning vs evening workouts, try not to worry about them too much.


Allan Jacobson is an accountant and a workout enthusiast. He has discovered writing as a way to escape the daily grind and found an unexpected outlet for uncomfortable emotions during the 2020 pandemic. He is a father of two young boys who he enjoys spending time with outdoors, exploring nature and staying physically and mentally active.

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