One of the most common things people ask themselves when they start an exercise routine is whether they should do a morning workout or wait for the afternoon or evening. It’s a reasonable question. That said it’s not just a matter of when you think it would best suit your daily schedule (though that’s still a big factor, of course). Instead, research has shown that timing decides other factors as well.
Many people absolutely love a morning workout. They adore the way it gets them started for their day and fills them with energy before they start facing their work tasks and regular chores. That said, for people who aren’t as enthusiastic about moving around right after they get up, this habit can be a harder sell.
Busy people usually find that a morning workout is best for them – whether they love getting out of bed early or not – because it stops them from skipping their daily exercise. When they get up, do something active, and then get ready and go to work, it means that the exercise is done. There’s no way that they can come up with an excuse not to do it later on. No matter how busy, tired, or unmotivated they are later in the day, their yoga, run, or spin class is complete and behind them.
Scientists recently published the results of a study in the Cell Metabolism journal showed that the timing of exercise can make a difference to how various health-promoting signaling molecules are produced in the body in an organ-specific way. The scientists didn’t determine why the timing of the exercise made a difference, only having measured that it did.
The research showed that there are some health benefits that seem to be stronger with a morning workout, whereas there are other benefits that spiked when exercise occurred in the afternoons or evenings. These benefits ranged from general health to sleep impact, memory benefits, overall performance, and metabolic homeostasis.
If your goal is to exercise to lose weight, the following video will likely be helpful to you as you make your choice.
Overall, it’s important to acknowledge that indeed, whether you do a morning workout or one in the afternoon or evening, the most important factor is to choose a time when you’re most likely to get it done on a regular basis. Even if research shows that the best benefits are early in the day, if you’re unlikely to find that habit sustainable, then it’s not best for you. The key is to keep active regularly for the best health benefits for you.
If it’s all the same to you what time you exercise, talk to your doctor about what the study’s results mean to the benefits you’re targeting most. This will help you decide on the time of day you’ll find most helpful to reaching your goals.