When To Workout: Why We Prefer Exercising in the Morning

vukooproteinbars-coloradospringslocalbusiness-glutenfreebars-lactosefreeI used to be an evening exerciser. And by that I mean, I always went to the gym after work—sometimes it was even after dinner. I enjoyed my weekly routine—sleep in, go to work, exercise, dinner bed—for years. And I always swore I would never be early-morning gym-goer. I declared I couldn't exercise at that time of day. I'd much rather sleep in or drink a few cups of coffee. 

But then something shifted. One summer, a friend invited me to a boxing class at 6 in the morning. I was reluctant to say yes, but I figured I'd try it just once. I won't lie, getting up that early to exercise was hard. I had minimal energy, and I felt loopy for most of the class as my body adjusted to sweating at an unfamiliar hour. But afterward, I realized it hadn't been so bad. She invited me to return later that week, and I did. 

For the rest of the summer, I went to the 6 am boxing class a few times a week. Then in the fall, I got up even earlier and started my workouts at 5. As I said, something had shifted. My body no longer wanted to wait to exercise until the end of the day, after I'd had three meals and sat at a desk working; my body craved fitness first thing in the morning. 

And as a result, I noticed a few life changes:

 

1. I had more energy throughout the day

Even though my body felt tired and my muscles sore, I found I had more energy during the day if I did my workouts first thing. 

 

2. I slept better at night

I had always worked out a few hours before bed. This didn't hinder my sleep, but neither did it help it. By switching my workouts to the early am, I realized I was giving my body enough recovery time, and, by the evening, I felt more relaxed than ever. My quality of sleep improved and I found myself longing for bed earlier (which, in turn, helped me to rise for those 5 am classes)

 

3. I stayed more hydrated

Rather than drinking coffee first thing in the morning, early exercises forced me to consume one to two bottles of water before even settling into my desk. I still drank coffee in the morning, but it was after drinking tons of water first. 

 

4. I felt like I had more time

Even though the number of hours in the day didn't change, exercising first-thing made it feel like I had so much more time in my day. No longer was I clocking out and heading to the gym after work, but I had extra hours to read, cook an elaborate dinner, or go out with a friend. 

 

There is no right or wrong time to workout and, who knows, I may return to my evening workout routine in another season of life. But I've found there are many benefits to exercising first thing in the morning. 

What time of day do you exercise? We'd love to hear from you on Facebook or Instagram!