Wednesday, June 05, 2019

Best time to work out: mornings or nights?

As I am trying to get back into the swing of things with my work outs I have been struggling.  I struggle with work day workouts!  It is nuts!   Weekends seem to be no problem, but work days...ugggh!  I realized the issue on the is all about when is the best time to work out?

I am one of these people that researches a subject  when I come up with a question.  I google.  I buy books and read. I talk to experts. So it should be no surprise to hear that I have researched the question of when is the best time of day to workout.  I’ll even tell you the answer that I found.  But then later I will give you MY conclusion!  

The typical finding when you read about this subject is that a morning workout is best.  The theory is that after  your long sleep aka 8 plus hour fast, your body is primed to burn this is a good time to exercise because it will prompt more fat burning.  There are also proponents that say that morning exercise is best because it wakes up the body in preparation for you sat  versus Stimulating our bodies when our bodies should be powering down in preparation for sleep.  

I have mostly always followed the morning routine for other reasons.  I have always prescribed to the morning workout because morning workouts just naturally fit into my work schedule.  I enjoyed it because it gave me a boost of energy to start my day.  I started the day proud of my accomplishment and ready to conquer the world.  It just worked.  Even better it fit in with what the so called experts said!    

But what about those evening workouts? 

I experienced my first consistent evening workout plan when I started to attend a Zumba class after work.  Very quickly I learned that even though there was time for me to stop by my house after work to change and relax for a few minutes...that I could NOT do that.  I had to change at work and drive straight past my house.  I would sit in the parking lot at zumba for a half hour and read a book.  Why?  If I went home the process of leaving to go workout just didn’t happen.....I talked myself out of it!

As I began to make friends at my zumba class, it became much easier to go to the class.  I had accountability. My friends would be asking and contacting me if I wasn’t there.  AND if I didn’t go I missed the camaraderie.    I didn’t want to miss that class  for anything!    I still changed my clothes at work...but that was because my friends also got there early and we enjoyed that half hour of chitchat. The accountability and partnership took away any chance of me talking myself out of the evening workout.

So I switched jobs a few years ago.  My Zumba class also closed down, so the evening workout wasn’t happening.  I tried the morning workout.   Seriously, I did!  But my new schedule already hade waking up at 5am.  So crawling out of bed at 4 in the morning is ROUGH and left me exhausted!  Not to mention the fact that I don’t like to run in pitch dark! I just don’t feel safe!    Ugggghhh!  So that pushed me back to evening workouts!  As I mentioned earlier, I struggle with evening workouts. It is hotter outside. I’m tired after a long day. I want to get working on preparing dinner.  And a whole slew of other reasons that sidetrack me.  But that is what fits into my life right now.  I struggle with the evening workouts.   I cheer when it’s rainy and I have to forego it!  I talk myself out of going.  I invent aches and pains and feel excessive really is a struggle!

So, what is my conclusion for when is the best time to exercise?    We need to do what ever is best for our personality AND what is best for our lifestyle and schedule.  While I like morning workouts much better, that doesn’t fit for me right now.  That means that evening workouts is where it is at for me at this point in my life.      I may not burn as much fat in the evening but I am still burning some fat.  I am still making my body better and healthier!   But I will tell you this....I love the weekends when I can get out and get that workout done in the morning, and hey...maybe I’m burning a wee bit more fat on those workouts!!!

I still walk on my lunch break…(even when my zipper is down the whole circuit of the it was on Tuesday...SMH) 

But I really am trying to work in those evening workouts… Just like I did on Monday night when I proudly managed to get in a run...yes it made the evening quite hectic...but I did it!

So when is the best time to workout?  It’s not when a book tells you to work out.  It’s not when an expert says to get moving.   The best time to workout is the time that you can and WILL consistently get out there and do it!  If that is during your hour lunch break....that’s awesome!  If it is in the mornings.  Great!   If a workout isn’t possible until 10PM...then go for it!  Just workout!!!!!!


Jen said...

I’m with you there....I just fit in my walks when I can whether it be morning, noon or night.

Sarah said...

Great post. Really reminds us that we can and WILL make any excuse to skip the workouts and to just do it consistently no matter what time of day it is.

I'm so proud of you!

jesseybell said...

I completely agree! I have a friend who has been very successful with Beachbody and a lot of her workouts are at 10:00 at night.

I am thankful that I can make the mornings happen, even if my 12 year old doesn't get up on her own and I walk through the door 10 minutes before we need to leave and she is still in bed.

I've tried the evening thing and it didn't work - I am just too mentally drained at the end of the day. By 7 am I am DONE!

We will see what happens when my very short window of being able to run in the mornings runs out - I may try 4 pm but I know I won't get the same feels that way.

MaryFran said...

As long as we are doing it right???

MaryFran said...

I was told by a coworker a while back that she has to schedule it into her day when it’s the evening… And just vowed to not break the schedule. Excuses just keep popping up though… I’m Trying though

MaryFran said...

Thanks… It’s difficult for sure but I’m trying to remind myself that this is my job… My job to keep me healthy

MaryFran said...

I would give anything… Just not my sleep and waking up at 3:30 4 o’clock in the morning to be able to do my workouts in the morning. If only we lived close, I would say let’s go out together in the evenings. It’s harder to talk yourself out when you have a partner waiting for you

SANRDJ said...

I much prefer the mornings but it does not currently work with my work schedule. I start work at 6:30. I already go to bed at 9:30 each night, so if I woke up earlier to w/o I would have to go to bed at 7:30 at night!! I currently w/o at 3pm, right when I finish work before I do anything else and then go for evening walk when it cools down before bedtime. As long as we fit it in somewhere, it's better than nowhere!

peppylady (Dora) said...

I don't think there any best time. I am more of morning person and soon here we will be having smokes from forest fires and even late afternoon it been hazy in our valley.
So when air is unsafe I will have to use tread mill..BORING...
But you did hit key word "accountability" and that one of the reason I join a weight lost support group, T.O.P.S
Coffee is on

Shelley said...

The best time to workout is when you workout! Of course I prefer mornings to run, but I will say I did OK with my late afternoon workouts with my group at the gym.

MaryFran said...

Yes you and I are in the same boat...except I leave my house at 6:30 Am and I don’t get home until 5:45 PM....I have a very unbalanced ‘work life balance’ right now!!!

MaryFran said...

Oh yes, the treadmill....I commend you for that one!!!! But once again it’s the necessary evil!!

MaryFran said...

The group was probably becoming friends and that made it easier too didn’t it?

Mrs Swan said...

I have never had a consistent workout routine in my life so I have nothing to weigh in on. When I have done something at night though I find it harder to wind down for sleep. I have been trying to work on my sleep hygiene as I have heard it called. As I have heard that if your sleep is crap it will affect your weight loss with cortisol and the like.

Grace said...

I love my bed and I can't imagine getting up early (before I have to) to workout. After work I'm too tired to work out then, I just look forward to going home, eating dinner, and relaxing.

So during the week, I work out at noon, during what would normally be my "lunch hour." I've done that now for several years.

On the weekends, I walk outside or on the treadmill sometime between 9:30 and 11.

For me the key is always convenience and my workout has to fit into my normal schedule.

Cathy said...

I'm so glad you ended with the best time to workout is whenever you can workout, or like to workout. :-) I used to think I HAD to work out in the morning, but I hate it, so I never, ever stuck to it. Once I decided it was okay to work out after work I started doing it consistently. Yes, there are times when I will get up early to workout (like this last Wednesday when the weather was 90+), but it never lasts more than a day. However, I cannot sit down when I get home, or do something else. I have to immediately put on my workout clothes and go run. If I sit down, watch TV, whatever, then my run doesn't happen. =)