We’ve all passed the morning joggers along the roadside and know of those who hit the gym after work. Some say timing matters. But is that true? What’s the best time of day for effective exercise?
I’m a morning person. I could easily be out and about around 5 am. However, I’ll need to be in bed no later than 10. If I wait and exercise after dinner, I’ll be starring at the ceiling when bedtime rolls around.
Most of my kids work out in the evenings after my grandkids are in bed. They do yoga, lift weights or go to the gym. They drop into bed just fine and get up at 7:00.
The difference? I’m energized earlier and they later. What are the pros and cons of following our circadian rhythms? That inner, body-clock that says to get moving and when.
Morning exercise. Many trainers swear by the early morning routine. They believe a person will more easily form a fitness habit if they get it out of the way. Whereas, if left to later in the day, other things will crowd in and distract.
Afternoon or evening exercise. Research says we’re stronger and more flexible later in the day. Therefore, possibly less apt to injury and able to exercise longer and more intensely.
Thus, if we put more into our evening workout, though not on a daily basis, it’s as good as an early morning habit. And if we workout every afternoon or evening, that’s best of all.
Perhaps timing isn’t the most important factor
Some find a trip to the gym, at the end of the day, to be a relaxing reward for their hard day’s work. Others like to meet up with friends without having to watch the clock.
However, for those of us who rise, shine and walk have our reasons too. The world is fresh in the morning. And if we meet up with the rabbits and a deer or two, we’ve touched a side of nature we wouldn’t get any other time.
However, I will admit that morning exercise frees me up for time with my grandkids after school. And for me, that’s the best reason of all to get it in early.