By Howard Murad,
Often, one of the greatest challenges of incorporating an exercise routine into your lifestyle is simply finding the time in your busy schedule to work out. Perhaps exercising in the evenings suits your schedule best. Or maybe you are a natural early riser and prefer to kick-off your day with a morning workout. But is there a more productive time of the day to exercise for your mental and physical health?
Finding the time to exercise in the morning on a regular basis can help you lay the foundation for a long-term routine, according to research. That is one of six benefits to exercising in the morning, which was explored in an article published in U.S. News & World Report. The study also found that those who exercise in the morning, rather than at night, are also more likely to maintain a consistent exercise regimen over time.
However, when deciding what time of day to work out, there are other considerations to take into account. Here are the pros and cons of morning and evening exercise:
A Morning Exercise Routine
PRO: Charge Your Metabolism. An early workout charges your metabolism in the morning and throughout the day. Jump-starting your metabolism in the morning enables you to continue burning calories, while you go about your day and consume food. Early exercisers are also more likely to make healthier meal choices.
PRO: Sleep Soundly and Uninterrupted. Those who work out regularly in the morning tend to sleep sounder than those who exercise in the evening. And when you have an uninterrupted night of sleep, you tend to wake up looking more refreshed and youthful.
CON: Schedule Challenges. Despite the advantages to an early morning workout, you may not be able to adjust your schedule to accommodate it. Balancing work and family life often makes it difficult to carve out time in the morning for a regular exercise routine.
An Evening Exercise Workout
PRO: Prime Time. The evening is often the only time of the day that some have available to do a proper workout. Between spending quality time with your loved ones and handling work obligations, the evenings are often more convenient to those with no free time in the morning.
PRO: Greater Flexibility and Productivity. Research has shown that people who work out between the midday to evening, when their body temperatures are elevated, are often more productive overall. Furthermore, your body and muscles are often more flexible in the midday to evening, enabling you to make the most out of a workout routine.
CON: Sleepless Nights. Exercising too close to your bedtime can make it more difficult to wind down and have a restful, uninterrupted night’s sleep. If you work out in the evenings and find it difficult to fall asleep at night, make sure to give yourself enough time to cool off and stretch your muscles after you exercise.
Most recent research shows that there are more long-term benefits to morning exercise versus evening exercise. However, above all, it is far more essential to simply incorporate a regular exercise regimen into your lifestyle, regardless of the time of day.
Most importantly, what really works best for your internal, emotional and physical health is to find your ideal time of day to exercise, so that you get a regular dose of endorphins and consistently care for your Inclusive Health. The key is to maintain your mental and physical well-being with a consistent exercise regimen. Do that and you’ll look, live and feel better!
This article was originally published in Murad.