Have you ever wondered when is the best time to exercise? Well, here’s the short answer: the best time to exercise is when you have the time. Of course, this seems obvious, you cannot work out when you don’t have time. But there are a lot of people who try to make certain times of the day work when they just won’t because of their life schedules. That’s okay! You don’t have to juice and workout and have your after protein shake and shower and all of the above if you’re trying to get out the door at 5 in the morning. It just probably won’t happen.
The best thing to do is to work out when you can, whether that is in the morning or evening. And BionicGym makes this much more convenient than going to the gym when their schedule dictates when you can work out. But just in case you have options and flexibility in your schedule, here are some perks to working out at different times.
Most scientists will say that working out in the morning actually helps to burn fat faster and is a better option in the long run. But morning workouts arent’ a perfect fit for everyone. There are some people who work at odd hours and it actually is not good for their health to wake up earlier than they do. There are always going to be exceptions to the rule. But here are some benefits and some cons to morning workouts.
Helps to Wake You Up
I am not a morning person. Not by a long shot. It has always been hard for me to get out of bed (and to be happy!) in the morning. However, on the days that I exercise first thing in the morning, I definitely feel more wide awake earlier in the day.
Getting out of bed, making the decision to work out, and actually doing it are all really challenging decisions to make early in the day when you’re tired. But if I make a decision the night before and stick to it the morning of, I feel much better throughout the day. I’m a happier person around friends and family than if I were to just roll out of bed and get out the door. Exercising early in the morning helps to chase the bad mood away and makes me feel energized and proud of myself.
Staves Off Cravings
Another reason why I love to work out in the mornings is that my day is much more successful nutrition-wise. First thing in the morning, especially if it’s cold out, I just want to have something warm and sugary. My body is searching for quick energy and that usually comes in the form of sugary cereal, hot chocolate, pancakes, muffins, etc.
Even though you would think that working out would make you want that quick energy, even more, I have completely different cravings after a workout than I do before one. After I work out in the morning, I want loads of protein. My body wants eggs covered in salsa with a side of some lean sausage. I get excited about some healthy homemade granola with protein-packed Greek yogurt and fruit.
All of the above-mentioned breakfasts are delicious, but my body craves the healthier options naturally after a workout. I’m not sure the exact science behind it. It might be that I subconsciously don’t want to lose the progress that I just worked so hard on. Or it could be that my body understands that it needs more sources of protein to build up and repair muscle fibers. Either way, I absolutely feel all these cravings and notice a difference.
More Likely to Do It
If you’ve ever been talked to about peer pressure, you know the truth that if you make a decision ahead of time, you are more likely to stick with it. If you make a decision to work out in the MORNING and you plan accordingly, then you are much more likely to actually get your work out than put it off and not do it. But if you tell yourself you will work out when you “have time” it’s just never going to happen. You’re going to press that snooze button a million times and then when you get home from your errands and work throughout the day, you won’t have the energy for it.
So how do you “plan accordingly” for a morning workout? Here are some tips:
Wear Work Out Clothes to Bed
This is one that I do not do, but a lot of people have had success doing this. I don’t like to have tight clothes and a sports bra on at night. I like to have loose-fitting clothing when I’m relaxing. When I work out I hate having loose-fitting clothing. So it’s really just not comfortable for me to wear what I would for a workout to bed. I would not sleep well.
However, if you are like me and like to have your pajamas for sleeping and workout clothes for working out, then set out your workout clothes near your bed so that you can easily hop right into them in the morning. This does work for me and it just is one less decision that I need to make in the morning.
The nice thing about BionicGym is that you can wear literally nothing while you’re doing it. You can do it in your underwear or in loose-fitting shorts. These are so much more inviting to get into in the morning than tight spandex.
Have A PreWorkout Snack
One of the downsides of working out in the morning is that it is challenging for your body to work out on an empty stomach. Your body will be searching for a boost of energy but there is nothing there to work with. Of course, it might just go straight for the fat reserves in your body, which is great, but it can also be uncomfortable to feel that much hunger right when you wake up.
Some great pre-workout snacks are a small protein shake, dried fruit, a specialty workout drink, etc. Anything that will give you a shot of sugar in the morning will be great. Just don’t overdo it and eat too much or you will feel a different kind of uncomfortable.
Plan Your Breakfast
I don’t know why but it is so much easier to wake up in the morning if I already have a plan for breakfast. A planned breakfast is something to look forward to after my workout and it feels like a treat even if it’s just normal food. I love having a plan in the morning because it can be difficult to make decisions when you’re tired. It can be even more difficult to make SMART decisions when you’re tired. So while I lay out my exercise clothes the night before, I come up with a plan for a good, nutritional breakfast for the day of. If I can prep it beforehand, then that’s even better!
Take Yourself Seriously
You wouldn’t just fail to show up to the dentist, so why do you constantly miss your own appointments that you make for yourself? To be successful at working out, you really have to make sure that you make commitments to yourself and keep them. Otherwise, you will just be flaky for yourself and you’ll never make any headway.
One of my absolute favorite benefits of working out in the morning is that it is so great for your mental health. Having this time to move your body, increase your heart rate, and have some time to just think while you do it are so beneficial.
You will also just feel so proud and accomplished knowing that you checked something healthy and great for you off of your checklist. It really can be the most challenging decision of the day to get your body moving in the morning and to already jump through that hurdle so early in the day will make you feel empowered and motivated to handle anything that comes at you.
Con: Hard To Make Yourself Wake Up
The biggest con to working out in the morning is that it is just so dang hard to wake up early enough to do it. It’s tough to look at your alarm and know that you could wake up 30 minutes later if you just did your workout in the evening. But will you actually do your workout in the evening? And if you do skip your workout in the morning, won’t you feel a little guilty afterward. And if you don’t work out are you more likely to make poor food decisions in the morning? Are you going to reach for that pop tart or are you going to make a bowl of nutritious oatmeal?
It is so hard to make the decision to get up and get started with your day earlier than you normally would if you didn’t exercise, but the benefits outweigh the costs 10 to 1.
The best advice I can give is to make your decision the night before and prep as much as you can the day before to make it as easy as possible. Help future you make good decisions!
While many experts say that morning workouts offer a bit more as far as weight loss is concerned, some will also say that the evening has its perks as well. The major perk that the evening has to offer is that you have had food in your stomach so you might have more endurance to work harder than if you were to start on an empty stomach in the morning. Here are some of the other benefits and downsides to working out in the evening:
You Have More Time
A huge benefit to working out in the evening is that most people have more time to do it and they don’t have to feel rushed. If you sleep through your alarm or you are moving a little slower than normal in the morning, that will likely cut into the time that you have set aside to work out. So you might not get a complete workout or it might just not happen if you don’t wake up early enough.
When you work out in the evening, you are usually not as restricted as to how much time you have. Most people aren’t super rigid about what time they go to bed, but they cannot be as flexible in the morning when they have to get ready and rush off to work or school or other errands throughout the day.
So there is a possibility that because the evening is more flexible, you will be more likely to get your workout done if that’s when you plan to do it.
Have More Energy
You might be really tired from the day, so this one could be hit or miss, but many people at least feel wide awake in the afternoon or evening as opposed to when they wake up in the morning. This is for several reasons, but one of the main reasons is that they have had nutrition throughout the day to sustain them.
If you work out on an empty stomach, it doesn’t take long before you feel the fatigue. You breathe heavier and your body feels much harder to move if you don’t have the nutrients for your body to use.
One tricky thing is that a lot of people have a fairly large dinner and so you have to plan accordingly. Because exercising on an empty stomach can be just as painful as exercising on a full stomach. There is a bit of a balance that you have to manage when you are scheduling your day. It can be a deterrent to people if they accidentally overeat and then they’ll just decide to forego the exercise altogether.
Con: Easy to Be Distracted
One of the reasons why I personally don’t like to work out in the evening, even though it is much easier to have the energy is that I can get distracted easily. First of all, there are so many more activities that I would rather be doing in the evening. I’d like to spend time with friends and family. And there are outings to go on, work to finish up, projects around the house, or just snuggling in bed with a movie. When faced with these alternatives, I almost always justify putting off the exercise.
This is why working out in the morning is easier in this regard. You don’t have as many invitations for outings with family and friends in the morning and you likely don’t even want to see or talk to anyone early in the morning. It really is just between exercising and more sleep. It’s still a hard choice to make, but I’m much more successful making that choice than making the choice to exercise in the evening.
So overall, the calories that you lose in the morning vs the evening are likely so similar that you won’t see a difference. The most important thing is that you find a time that will work for YOU. The first few weeks of getting into a workout routine are always going to be tough. It will be a challenge for you to make the decision to do it every day. However, with BionicGym, it will be easier to make the decision to work out because of the convenience that it offers. So when is the best time to exercise? When you can do it! So find a time, plan ahead, and stick to a schedule. Take yourself seriously and keep your appointments for yourself.