Is the morning the best time to exercise?

Some people swear by an early morning burst of exercise, which they believe prepares them for the day ahead.

Others wouldn’t dream of getting out of bed any earlier to break a sweat, preferring to set aside time in the afternoon or evening to exercise.

But what is better for a good night’s sleep?

TEMPUR takes a look at the effects exercising has first thing in the morning compared with later in the day…

Exercising in the morning is best for fat burning

As your blood sugar levels are low in the morning, your body is forced to make use of other energy sources during exercise – such as fat.

This means your body is more prepared to burn this fat as fuel.

By exercising at the start of the day, you’re also taking advantage of higher levels of naturally circulating hormones (such as cortisol) that accelerate fat burning that are lower later in the day.

However, it isn’t all good news – although morning exercise is best for fat burning, you will perform better when exercising in the afternoon.

If you’re training to improve performance, strength and power, your body is likely to respond better in the afternoon, allowing you to push more and achieve more than in the morning.

Exercising in the morning leaves time for other priorities

Life can be incredibly busy – making the early hours of the morning the perfect time to exercise.

Many people feel that morning exercise is simply the most time efficient way to ensure you get your heart pumping and body moving.

Doing your exercise before others are even stirring in their beds allows you to spend your evenings with friends, loved ones or simply relaxing after a hard day and it will also give you the time to perfect your bedtime routine.

Your body clock and exercising

When considering the best time to exercise, you need to take into consideration your own body’s circadian rhythm, which determines whether you’re an early bird or a night owl.

Circadian rhythm influences your body’s functions such as blood pressure, body temperature, heart rate and hormone levels, all playing an important role in your body’s readiness to exercise.

You should listen to your own body as a guide about when to exercise and, for some people, the afternoon or evening works best for them.

However, if you are determined to exercise in the morning and make the most of your evenings, then you can train your body to become used to morning exercise – as long as you commit to making it a regular part of your routine!

Balancing sleep and exercise

In order to function properly, sleep is essential. Cutting down on sleep will affect your work productivity and, almost certainly, your motivation to exercise will be lowered.

Therefore, creating a routine that allows you to get enough sleep is vital in maintaining your weekly exercise schedule.

If you exercise in the mornings, but did not get enough sleep the previous night from going to bed later than usual, reschedule your morning workout to the afternoon, and reset your alarm clock for a later wake up time. If your muscles are not given enough rest time through sleep, injury can occur due to lack of recovery. It’s better to move a workout – or rest altogether – than injure yourself and miss several weeks of exercise.

Do you prefer to exercise in the morning or evening? Leave a comment below…

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