Morning or night: when is the best time to workout?

The Rec is open from 5:30am-11pm from Monday – Thursday, giving you the entire day to find time to workout. Some people work in the afternoon or have class at night, so they workout in the morning. There are also people who can only workout in the evening because their schedule is booked throughout the day.

But believe it or not, there are benefits to working out during either time of day.

The Early Riser

The morning workout is a difficult one for me. I’m not a morning person by any means. However, if you are a morning person, and enjoy your workouts in the morning, then you may have the best advantage for weight loss; scientifically and mentally.

Upon waking, your body is in a fasted state because you haven’t eaten in 8 to 10 hours. Studies have shown that if you workout before you eat breakfast then your body is more likely to burn fat for fuel because of this fasted state. If you eat breakfast first, then your body will use those nutrients as the energy to burn during your workout, instead of that pesky fat.

Mentally, people feel stressed if they know they have a lot to do in their day. Some people can’t make time to workout in a hectic schedule. But in the morning, if you set your alarm a littler earlier, you can add a quick workout before you start your day. This will leave you a little more stress-free when you know you don’t have to worry about fitting a workout in later that day. It also fills you with a sense of accomplishment before you even hit the daily grind of the workday.

So, if your goal is quick weight loss (whose isn’t?), then you may want to try morning cardio before breakfast. Once your workout is over, have your usual healthy breakfast to start your day. You’ll feel accomplished and have a higher energy level throughout the day.

The Night Owl

Not everyone can schedule a morning workout routine into their day. But that doesn’t mean science isn’t on your side when it comes to burning fat and calories. For the night owl gym rat, you can use higher blood pressure to your advantage.

What? High blood pressure a good thing? Well, in terms of working out in the evening, yes.

Studies have shown that a person’s blood pressure is higher in the evening. The cause of this could be many things: work stress, more food being digested throughout the day, fatigue, etc. However, this can actually aid you in your weight loss goals because working out with higher blood pressure can burn more calories. Chances for weight loss increase when a person does cardiovascular exercises that increase BP and allow better circulation of oxygen and blood in the body.

If you’re like me, and getting up early for a workout is a chore, then working out in the evening is a good alternative. Plus, you’re likely more alert and have a good source of energy in your system from a day’s worth of eating healthy foods and snacks.

Either way, make sure you get your workout in! There are no shortcuts. Dedication and time are the keys to fitness success.

Visit the Rec Center’s website for updated information on hours, group exercise classes, and everything else in between.

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