hope you had a good weekend. We ran the Suncheon (Korea) 10km and Half Marathon on Sunday- posts on the race up soon!
For this weeks post, we want to talk about the morning vs evening workout routine. Do you prefer to workout in the morning or the evening?
We all know someone who, because of their hectic lifestyle, exercises at the crack of dawn. If your a morning person this routine would make sense.
- You feel accomplished and ready to go for the day.
- You will use more fat as fuel, when in a fasted state.
- It increases your metabolism for the rest of the morning.
There’s not doubt that morning exercise has some great benefits. It doesn take some getting used to and expect the first one or two days to be tough, but after that it’ll become easier to manage. We only exercise in the mornings, when on vacation and sometimes for the Sunday morning long run.
- Yes, you will burn more fat as fuel, but only at lower intensity workouts. As a result of the overnight fast, your glycogen (muscle fuel) will be depleted. The result is that your body is not operating at full energy capacity. Intense morning workouts are achievable, but you may have to lower your expectations of a “killer workout”.
- Hydration can be an issue first thing. Similarly to your glycogen level depletion, your hydration levels will be lower after an overnight sleep, especially if the room temperature was hot. Not being fully hydrated will have mild to severe effects on your workout, depending on the temperature.
- When exercsing first thing, your muscles will be cold and tighter than they would be later in the day. This can result in some niggles or possibly a mild injury.
Working out in the evenings is common amongst the 9-5ers. If you can’t imagine waking up early and working out, then the evening workout is for you (and us too!).
- It’s a great way to de-stress, after a long day at work.
- The body is more supple and warm in the evenings, so the chance of picking up an injury is reduced.
- You are more fuelled than you would be in the morning, therefore the workouts can be higher quality.
- It can be hard to motivate yourself to exercise after a day at work, when the only thing you want to do is sit and watch t.v. It can also be hard if you have small kids, to fit the time in around dinners etc.
- Less enery after a busy day.
It’s better not to leave the workout too late if possible. The reason being, it becomes harder to refuel and get a restful sleep, after a workout.
So, what is the best time of day to train?
There is no definite answer to this question. You have to find the routine that works for you best, and the routine that you can keep up consistently. We prefer the evenings to workout, finishing work at 4.30pm and going straight from there. A combination of the two might be something to consider also- allowing you to reap the health benefits of morning/fasted and evening workouts. Whatever option you choose, make sure it’s the best long term approach for your exercise habit. Experiment with morning and evening workouts. Write down some notes after the workout, like “felt good” etc, so that you can look back on it.
What time of the day do you prefer?
Thanks everyone for reading,
Get in touch!
Until next time,
Steve and Catherine
The Health Heads