What Is The Best Time of Day to Workout?

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If you work a 9-5 work schedule, your probably finding yourself working out in the evening.  However, the best time to workout is in the morning.  Sometimes it’s hard to get up extra early before work to hit the gym, but this article will shed light into the ways that can help getting you out of bed and motivated to get here as well as the numerous reasons as to why you should be working out in the morning.

Don’t worry… If you absolutely can’t get here to start your day, coming in is still far more beneficial to your overall health than if you decided to simply not work out at all.

Why Morning Exercise?

An early morning workout offers numerous benefits, both to your health and to your daily schedule, that exercising at other times of the day just can’t provide. Yes, you will have be disciplined to wake up early. And yes, you have to be focused on achieving an effective workout, not just go through the paces in a zombie-like state. It just takes a little time and practice before morning exercise becomes your habit.

Need some convincing? Let’s take a closer look at some of the benefits of exercising early in the morning.

1. Enhance Your Metabolism

Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumptions (EPOC) is a buzz word in the fitness industry. Basically it means that your body burns more calories after your workout, even when you’re sitting at a desk or driving in your car. One study showed that participants burned an extra 190 calories in the 14 hours after exercise when compared to those who didn’t exercise at all!

The purple section of the graph shows how oxygen consumption (and calorie-burning) takes time to return to normal after your workout.

This works perfectly with a morning exercise routine. Get up, get moving, pump up your metabolism and then start eating. Whenever you eat your body can do 1 of 3 things with the calories you take in.

  1. It can use it as a source of energy
  2. It can use it to replenish your body
  3. It can store it for later (i.e. fat!)

What happens when you eat after exercise? You are replenishing your body. What happens when you eat later in the day while your metabolism is still rocking from your morning workout? You guessed it – you are replenishing your body and providing calories to meet your higher metabolic needs. You do not get this benefit when you exercise later in the day.

2. Help Cultivate Consistency

Working out in the morning ensures that you don’t interrupt your workout schedule with other daily items that can seem more pressing. For example, if you exercise in the evening you run the risk of being late from work, feeling overloaded with errands that must be done, or saddled with other unexpected to-do items. There goes your workout.

First thing in the morning is the time of day when you’re least-likely to have something “just come up”. This is the time to establish consistent exercise.

Other times you may simply feel too tired to exercise by the end of a long day. But, in the morning there is nothing to distract you from getting down to business. Exercise will be your first priority and it will get done.

3. Improve Your Physical and Mental Energy

Wake up your body and prepare your mind.

Movement can be a tremendous source of energy, something many of need when we start our day. But beyond that, morning exercise has been shown to improve focus and mental abilities all day long. Not only will you feel awake and have more energy after your workout, but your mind will be ready to take on whatever tasks you have lined up that day.

Some research has measured the effectiveness of exercise to “wake up” the mind, and the results show that it does a better job than coffee!

A quick stint of exercise has been shown more effective than a cup of coffee in promoting cognitive abilities.

4. Develop Strong Self-Discipline

I don’t think anyone will argue with me when I say that 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 A 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. Say goodbye to the tossing and turning that comes when your body is restless!

6. Reach Your Fitness Goals Faster

Nobody wants to wake up early every morning to exercise if they aren’t going to see results. The sacrifice required will subconsciously prompt you to work harder, look for other ways to support your exercise results, and help you commit to the process over a longer period of time (hopefully for life!). A goal-oriented mindset is fostered by the sacrificial habit of morning exercise.