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Morning or Evening?

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“Should I workout in the morning or in the evening?”  I get this question a lot, and after some research and personal experience with working out during both, I believe I found the answer!  Morning – and here is why.  The good news for morning people is that people who exercise in the morning gain more benefits than people who work out at other times of day.  This is not to say that just because you cannot exercise in the morning that you should not work out at all. It just means that morning exercisers enjoy even more health benefits by getting out of bed for physical activity.

If you can arrange your schedule to work out in the morning the benefits are definitely worth it.  I started this summer working out at 5:30 A.M., which is an hour earlier than I have ever exercised in my life.  Then, each day I would move my alarm back 5 minutes until by the end of the summer I was working out at 4:30 A.M.  I know it sounds crazy but it’s what works best for me.  Now, I know it’s not easy, especially for those who can barely get out of bed when the sun comes up or the alarm goes off.  Perhaps after reading these top five reasons why morning workouts will benefit you, you will change your mind and set the alarm an hour earlier to start working out in the morning!

1. If you exercise in the morning you are more likely to STICK WITH IT!

With the fitness programs like P90X and Insanity, we all know how important it is to stick to the system and follow the schedule exactly if you want to see the best results.  “Research suggests in terms of performing a consistent exercise habit, individuals who exercise in the morning tend to do better,” says Cedric Bryant, PhD, chief science officer with the American Council on Exercise in San Diego.  “The thinking is that they get their exercise in before other time pressures interfere,” Bryant says. “I usually exercise at 6 a.m., because no matter how well-intentioned I am, if I don’t exercise in the morning, other things will squeeze it out.”  Studies have shown that people who exercise in the morning, or being a morning exercise routine, are more likely to still be exercising one year later, when compared to those who exercise at other times of the day.  It will become part of your morning regimen – same way you need your coffee or need that morning shower, eventually you will NEED that morning fix of P90X!

2. Morning Exercisers Have More Energy

Although you may have to drag yourself out of bed in the morning, the energy you create by exercising in the morning will sustain you through the day. You will have more energy to go to work, take care of the kids, or do whatever it is you do all day.  If you have trouble gathering the energy to press play in the evening after work, then perhaps setting your alarm earlier every morning and squeezing in the hour of P90X will be more beneficial to you!  My biggest problem with working out at night was that I had trouble finding the right foods to eat.  When you finish your workout at 9:30 – 10:00 you don’t want to eat a big meal before bed.  So I always felt that my body was not getting the proper nutrition as if I was working out in the morning and eating healthy all day.

3. Morning Exercisers Sleep Better

Most of us don’t have a problem getting tired and falling asleep; however exercising in the morning will help you sleep better at night. By getting up earlier, you will go to sleep earlier, hopefully finding your natural sleep cycle. Working out in the evening hours can create an adrenaline rush that may be hard to come down from and get some sleep.  When I exercised at night I often found myself sitting up til midnight trying to stop sweating and cool down.  That’s why I don’t recommend working out any less than two-hours before you go to bed.  Give yourself time to calm down and relax.  Also, going to bed right after working out will cause damage to your muscles.  Think about it this way, after working out, your muscles tear, shred, swell and fill with acids – laying down right after and keeping the muscles totally still will cause them to stiffen up and retain the acids that were collected during workout.  This will cause muscle cramping, stiffness and pain the next morning.  Give your muscles the proper cool down stage to jump start recovery.

4. Morning Exercisers Eat Better and Lose More Weight.

A psychological and nutritional benefit that comes with morning exercise is a day of eating better. When you wake up early to exercise, and spend an hour or more actually exercising before doing anything else, you will approach eating with a different mentality than if you exercise in the evening.  It is easier to avoid temptation and talk yourself out of eating unhealthily when you spend your waking hours sweating away the unwanted pounds. The fact that you got up and did something healthy and positive for your body will keep you from indulging or making the wrong food choices.

Working out in the morning will also jump start your metabolism throughout the entire day!  A faster metabolic rate is what everyone strides for who are dying to burn more fat and lose more weight.  Having your body engage in such intense workout rhythms first thing in the morning causes it to work in “over drive”, boosting your results, boosting your energy and of course boosting your metabolic rate!

5. Morning Exercisers Are in a Better Mood

We all know working out leads to adding muscle and losing fat, which leads to self-confidence and a boost in self esteem!  You will be proud for motivating yourself and getting up to exercise.  Exercise makes you feel good mentally as well as physically, and that feeling can last all day after a morning exercise routine!

Morning workout tip: Jump start your energy in the morning with the right kinds of food.  (CLICK HERE to read “Pre-workout” foods are best)  Prior to my morning workouts, I’ll will eat a small pre workout meal give my body the boost it needs to burn fat and push through a tough workout.  Something that I would recommend is Shakeolgy.  Click here to try a free sample of Shakeology!

The Bottom Line:  Find the time the works best for YOU!!  If you can workout in the morning, great, stick with it.  If you workout better after work to help you relax or settle down after a long day, great, stick with it.  The key is find where you can be the most consistent.

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