Early Birds vs. Night Owls: The Workout Debate

There is a well-known debate as to what time of day is ideal to plan your workout regimen. It’s important to choose a workout time that aligns with your personal energy peak as well as your overall schedule.

There are many things to consider when choosing the best time of day. For example, if you’re aiming for strength training or intense workouts, afternoon and evening sessions may be advantageous. Having the opportunity to eat and fuel your body beforehand can certainly help maximize your performance.

Avoiding crowded gyms can also be a consideration. Morning and early evening hours tend to be busier, so if you prefer a less crowded environment and have the flexibility, a midday workout might be ideal.

Workouts can serve as a stress reliever, and many individuals prefer to exercise in the evening to unwind after a long workday. It’s a healthy alternative to alleviate stress without relying on other coping mechanisms.

The optimal time to work out, whether in the morning or at night, depends on various factors and personal preferences. Here are some additional points to consider:

Circadian Rhythms: Everyone has a unique internal body clock, known as the circadian rhythm, which regulates physiological processes. Some individuals naturally feel more energetic and alert in the morning, while others are more active during the evening. Aligning your workouts with your natural rhythm may lead to better performance and adherence.

Consistency: Consistency is key when it comes to exercise. Choosing a time that allows you to consistently engage in physical activity is crucial. If you find it easier to establish a routine and stick to it by working out in the morning or evening, then that might be the better option for you. Some people argue that working out in the morning helps maintain a consistent routine, as there are fewer chances for interruptions like work or family obligations. However, if you prefer working out with a partner or find it easier to coordinate schedules in the afternoon or evening, those times might be more suitable for you.

Energy Levels: Consider your energy levels throughout the day and reflect on your own energy patterns to determine when you feel most energized and ready to exercise. For morning people, working out early in the day can be an excellent way to kickstart the day and get the blood flowing. On the other hand, night owls may find that pushing themselves in the morning leads to a sluggish and ineffective workout. It’s crucial to consider your own natural tendencies and choose a workout time that suits your energy levels.

Sleep Quality: Intense exercise close to bedtime may elevate heart rate, body temperature, and adrenaline levels, which for some can interfere with sleep. If you notice that evening workouts make it difficult for you to wind down and fall asleep, it might be better to exercise earlier in the day. Although contrary to popular belief, there is no solid evidence that working out at night hinders sleep, in fact for some it can help them to fall asleep faster. So if an evening workout aligns with your preferences and schedule, there’s no need to worry about sleep disruption.

Personal Preference: Ultimately, the best time to work out is the time that you enjoy the most and can sustain in the long run. If you have a strong preference for morning workouts and find them invigorating, go for it. Likewise, if you prefer the tranquility of an evening workout to decompress after a day of work, that can be equally beneficial.

Ultimately, the consensus is that your workout schedule should align with your personal preferences, lifestyle, and energy levels. There is no definitive nor universal answer to whether it is better to work out in the morning or at night. Consider your individual preferences, energy levels, and consistency when deciding on the best time for you to exercise. Try experimenting with different workout times and observe how your body responds to find the most suitable option. Choosing a time that suits you best increases the likelihood of sticking to your exercise routine. Whether you’re an early riser, night owl, or somewhere in between, there is a workout time that’s right for you.