There has been much debate over whether it is better to workout in the morning or the afternoon. My answer is usually to workout whenever you feel the most energized. While most of the time I lead morning and afternoon classes, I much prefer the mornings. There are many benefits to exercising in the morning. (And if you’re not a morning person, still keep reading. I will offer some tips to help you wake up earlier).
Morning workouts allow you to better build a routine. Each afternoon can vary, with activities happening after work or at night. You also can never guarantee how you will feel after a long day of work. When you leave your workout until the afternoon, there are many excuses you can come up with to just skip it all together. Whereas when you workout in the morning, you are more likely to get up each morning and get it done before anything else can come up on your schedule.
My normal class schedule is some days we have class at 6am, and others at 6pm. The days when we have morning classes, I always have way more energy throughout my day. It seems like it should be opposite, but the truth is, when you get going a little earlier and add in a morning workout to your routine, you will have more energy throughout your day.
Recently I bought a fitness watch. I need it to train for a Grand Canyon hike later this year, but it has proven to me that when you work out in the morning, your metabolism is boosted throughout the day. While calorie trackers are never 100% accurate, it does show that on the days that I workout in the morning I burn a lot more calories throughout the day (and not just the ones I burned during the workout itself).
Endorphins are your body’s “happiness hormone.” And when you exercises, your body produces more endorphins. Working out in the morning gets those hormones going from early in the day, which will put you in a better mood as the day continues.
Waking up earlier will help you to get better sleep each night. The earlier you wake up, the more fatigued you will be by the end of the day, which in turn should help you fall asleep faster and enjoy a better night’s rest.
“But I’m not a morning person.” Neither was I until I made it a part of my routine. Just because you have never been a morning person doesn’t mean that can’t change.
Here are a few tips to help you to become more of a morning person.
Go to bed earlier and set a routine. Try your best not to have later nights (or even to sleep later mornings) during the week, as it will throw off your sleeping pattern.
Set out your clothes the night before (or if you can get away with it, sleep in whatever you are going to wear).
Do not snooze. Get up right away and get going.
Find yourself a workout buddy, a class, or an accountability partner to make sure you are waking up and working out.
Keep going for at least three weeks. Once you set the routine of early mornings workouts, you will start to feel the benefits and will want to make it a daily habit.