Some say exercising first thing in the morning works best for them, and although that may be true for them specifically, it is not necessarily true for everyone else.
Are certain workouts better to do in the morning rather than in the evening? Everybody is different; however each type of activity listed below showcases what time of the day is beneficial in most cases.
- Cardio: Intense-Workout.com says is little difference between those who practice cardio first thing in the morning compared to those who do it later in the day. But, if you are looking to lose weight, doing cardio first thing in the morning before a meal is ideal. In terms of long term performance, if you don’t eat something beforehand, you risk not being able to maintain muscle mass whilst burning off fat.
- Yoga: Healthandyoga.com states in the morning after your wakeup routine and in the early evenings around sunset are the best times to practice yoga. You can practice anytime of the day, but it is not recommended within 2-3 hours of a meal.
- Meditation: You can meditate throughout the day if you need a way to calm your mind and relax your body, according to PsychologyToday.com. Meditation in the morning should be done before your schedule starts. During your lunch break, meditation can be used to de-compress tight “muscles caused by sitting slumped over a computer.” It also helps to boost your focus, creativity and productivity. Meditation is also a great tool you can use to re-center yourself after your work day.
- Pilates: If you prefer to do Pilates in the morning, make sure you have a long warm-up period, according to WomensHealthMag.com. Don’t do Pilates late at night. It will increase your heart rate and body temperature and can lead to trouble falling asleep.
- Running: RunnersWorld.com says that running first thing in the morning is not recommended. In the morning your energy levels are low and you are at a higher risk of getting injured. Running mid-morning is a good time because your “lung performance and body temperature are much improved.” After you have eaten breakfast, your energy levels are higher and it’s the best time to build muscle. It is also likely to make you more productive in the afternoon. However, “most physical activities are best performed in the mid-to-late afternoon.” Your body temperature is high and your muscles are most flexible at this time. Although, this time period is after the work day, making motivation a possible challenge.
- Weight Training: BodyBuilding.com has a lot of great information. The morning time is best for building muscle and/or rebuilding damaged muscle fiber according to bodybuilding.com. The afternoon holds the greatest potential for overcoming plateaus and your pain tolerance is highest allowing you to push yourself. For your strongest performance, weight training during the evening is best. This is when your body is in peak condition for physical activity.
Everyone has a different schedule. What’s important to keep in mind is to stay motivated and create your exercise plan around times that fit YOU! The key to getting the best results overall is to be consistent.
Things to consider when making your daily exercise routine:
Personal roadblocks: high blood pressure, pain tolerance, mental status, and metabolism.
Example: “Blood pressure is highest in the morning after waking up.”- PsychologyToday.com. Consult your doctor if you have such ailments before engaging in any strenuous activities.
Life obligations: working hours, family, gym times and unexpected complications.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, “adults’ strongest sleep drive generally occurs between 2:00-4:00 am and in the afternoon between 1:00-3:00 pm.” Therefore, avoid strenuous activity during these times.
“Starting around 9pm, the body produces additional melatonin, preparing for sleep.” –bodybuilding.com. Therefore, any kind of exercise that causes body temperature or heart rates to rise should be done well before this time.