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When is the best time to exercise – morning or night?

Deciding on the right time to hit the gym or head out for a jog depends on a variety of factors.

This includes things such as when you are free and if you are a morning person or more of a night owl. There has been a debate going on for a number of years around what is actually better for you – exercising first thing in the morning or at night.

Let’s get something clear from the start – there isn’t really any consistent scientific evidence that shows that exercising at one time of the day is better than the other.

That being said, the time can have an impact on how well your exercise and how motivated you are which links in to your long-term fitness goals.

The case for morning exercise

There are several reasons why exercising in the morning can be a big motivator.

1) You’ll get it over and done with

Even though you might like the ‘idea’ of working out, the reality might be quite different.

If you work 9-5 then perhaps the last thing you want to do is head to the gym after work (although see below). The more the day goes on the more your enthusiasm wanes. So, hitting the gym in the early morning gets it out the way and you have the rest of the day without it hanging over you.

2) It can turn into a habit

Really any actions can turn into a habit if you do it often enough however getting out of bed first thing and hitting the gym has the potential to become more of a regular occurrence than waiting until the end of the day.

The reason for this is that there is more of chance of something coming up throughout the day or getting into a bad mood which can put you off going to the gym or heading for a jog. Although exercise is good for your mental health as well as relieving stress especially if you train outdoors.

Why working out at night can be a good idea

1) It’ll lower your stress levels

We build up levels of stress throughout the day. This could be from work or personal issues and exercising can be a great reliever of stress.

While I mentioned above that being stressed out could make you less likely to go to the gym after work, if you push yourself to go it can have many benefits over working out first thing in the morning.

2) You might have more energy

This really depends on whether or not you are a morning person. Some people are very active first thing in the day whereas others are still half asleep on the treadmill.

If you fall into the second category then evening workouts will probably be better. You won’t be yawning and wishing you were still in bed and you’ll have more energy to have a much more effective workout.

So, what is the best time to exercise?

Really this depends on your own lifestyle.

There isn’t much concrete and consistent evidence which shows one to be significantly better than the other.

When you use the services of a personal trainer you can tailor your workout around your commitments, work and personal life. This means you will be able to have your PT sessions when you feel energised and motivated enough whether that is in the morning or in the evening.

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