How Working Out In The Morning Affects You Differently Than Working Out At Night
If you're someone who tends to workout in the evening, the thought of waking up early to get in some exercise likely sounds daunting. However, it could be worth a try to see if morning workouts work well for you. There are a number of surprising things that can happen when you switch to morning workouts from night workouts, and after some time, you might find yourself enjoying getting in a sweat before the day begins.
Thankfully, both exercise in the morning and at night will likely have many of the same effects on your overall health, and the small differences in the effect of morning versus night workouts can be dependent on the person. "Your energy level in the morning may lead to a better workout than after a long day at work, and you may experience more unexpected conflicts in the afternoon, leading to less consistency and therefore less results," personal trainer and Reid Eichelberger, C.S.C.S, tells Bustle. "The challenge is finding out how exercise fits in with all of life's other inputs and priorities."
It might seem hard at first, but it can be useful to give morning workouts a try. Here are six unexpected things that can happen when you exercise in the morning versus at night, according to experts.
1. It Kickstarts Healthy Habits
Starting your day off with a healthy habit can encourage you to pay attention to your health all day long. "Working out in the morning is one of those keystone habits, much like making your bed, that will make it easier to make better decisions throughout the day," Eichelberger says. "You’ll likely drink more water and eat healthier all day long."
2. You'll Be In A Better Mood
A morning workout can help set your mood for the day, thanks to all the feel-good hormones released during exercise. "Your morning mood will improve," Eichelberger says. "The endorphins released from exercise will improve your outlook and can reverse signs of 'waking up on the wrong side of the bed.'" Since exercise can improve mood in as little as five minutes, if you tend to wake up cranky, working out in the a.m. may be able to help you feel more positive.
3. You May Drink Less Coffee
If you're looking for an alternative to coffee for some morning energy, you might want to try a morning workout. "If you really struggle getting out of bed without reaching immediately for a grande cappuccino, exercise can help regulate cortisol and energize you without the caffeine," Eichelberger says. Since exercising boosts your energy levels and helps fight fatigue, you may be less inclined to rely on stimulants throughout the day.
4. You'll Sleep Better
Exercising in the morning may even help you get better sleep at night, especially if you're someone who likes to do high-intensity workouts. Research shows that people who did an intense workout before bed took longer to fall asleep and had sleep that was less efficient, according to a study in the European Journal of Applied Physiology. "If you save the lower energy priorities (reading, studying, planning) until the evening, you’re body will be closer to resting levels and you should be able to fall asleep faster," Eichelberger says.
5. You May Socialize More
It's a tough call to make when your workout class conflicts with happy hour, but you might find that you have more time to socialize when you get your workouts out of the way in the morning. "Waking up early and getting your exercise in will allow you to spend more time with family or friends," Eichelberger says.
6. It Might Be Easier To Stick With A Consistent Routine
Once you're able to get up early, it may be easier to stick to morning workouts since you get them out of the way first thing in the a.m. "If you can make morning exercise a habit, your lasting results will come from consistency," Eichelberger says. "There are far less distractions and far fewer 'fires to put out' in the wee hours of the morning."
Working out any time of day is healthy, but you may be surprised to find how much you enjoy working out in the morning versus at night.