The Pros and Cons of Exercising Before and After Work
Most of the fitness coaches I spoke with told me that it truly does depend on the individual. “There is no hard and fast research that says either morning or night exercise is better,” says personal trainer Maurice Williams. “However, there are certainly benefits to doing either depending on the person.” Personal trainer Lee Pickering advises that “it’s really up to you to know when your body is most capable of an effective workout.”
Pros of Morning Exercise
1. You’ll feel more energized
"You will probably have more energy in the morning," says personal trainer Henry Halse. "Depending on how stressful your job is, both physically and mentally, working all day and then going in to the gym may be unrealistic. If you find that you can never muster up the energy to work out at night, try working out in the morning before work. That way you won’t have used up all of your energy and your workouts will likely be less of a drag."
2. You can burn fat fast
“If you work out in the morning before eating or after eating just a protein bar, you will get greater results [in terms of burning fat],” says PLYOGA Fitness founder and CEO Stephanie Lauren. “American diets are high in sugar. Your body will attack sugar first and then go after fat during a workout. If you work out in the morning, the ability of your body to attack fat over sugar is greater because you haven’t consumed most sugars yet at this point.”
3. There’s also the psychological boost
“The psychological benefits of morning workouts are paramount,” Lauren says. “You clear your mind and give yourself positive energy for the entire day. Most Fortune 500 CEOs workout in the morning for this reason.”
4. Train your body instead of your coffee maker
Considering the amount of coffee shops on each street corner, we can be reasonably sure that caffeinated drinks such as coffee and tea are here to stay. If we, as a society, need a stimulant to get us through the mornings, the healthier choice would be exercise.
Research has shown that exercise gives energy. Starting out the day with 30 minutes of cardiovascular or strength training will wake you up better than a cup of coffee will.
If you agree with me, let’s break the caffeine addiction. Set your alarm for 30 minutes earlier than normal, and right when it rings roll out of bed, walk to the bathroom, and wash your face. Wake up. Then, start doing exercises for 30 minutes. Do it for 30 days, and let me know your results in the comments section below. I guarantee you’ll feel great.
5. Unlock the benefits of breakfast
I’ve never been one to skip breakfast, but statistics show that many people routinely do.
Regularly eating breakfast can lower your risk of obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease, just to name a few of the benefits.
It’s easy to rush out of the house without eating breakfast if you’ve just rolled out of bed. After a workout, however, it’s almost impossible to skip breakfast. If you’ve always wanted to eat breakfast but never managed to find the time, exercising beforehand may be the best way to learn the breakfast habit.