Exercise is not just about losing weight or building muscle; it is a powerful tool that contributes to feeling good both physically and mentally. Whether you prefer a morning jog, a midday yoga session, or an evening weightlifting routine, exercise offers numerous benefits.
The Best Time to Work Out: Morning or Evening?
One question that often arises is whether exercising in the morning is better for weight loss. While the timing of exercise is subjective and depends on individual lifestyle factors, research shows that exercising in the morning can offer some unique advantages. According to Aroosha Nekonam, a certified personal trainer, working out in the morning can encourage better sleep patterns, lower stress hormones, and improved pain tolerance, which contribute to better overall health and well-being.
However, the most crucial factor in weight loss is maintaining a calorie deficit, regardless of the exercise’s timing. Being in a calorie deficit means consuming fewer calories than you burn each day, and it is the key to shedding pounds sustainably. So, whether you choose morning, afternoon, or evening workouts, what matters most is consistency and finding a time that suits your schedule and preferences.
Exercise and sleep: a positive link
One remarkable benefit of exercise, regardless of the time of day, is its positive impact on sleep quality. Regular physical activity can improve your ability to fall asleep faster and enjoy deeper, more restorative sleep. People who exercise tend to experience reduced insomnia symptoms and report feeling more refreshed upon waking.
When you work out, your body releases endorphins, which can act as natural mood lifters and stress reducers. This can help combat sleep-disrupting factors like anxiety and depression, ultimately leading to more peaceful nights. Moreover, exercise helps regulate your body’s internal clock, known as the circadian rhythm, leading to a more consistent sleep schedule.
Enhanced work performance through exercise
Exercise doesn’t just benefit your physical and mental well-being; it can significantly impact your performance at work. Starting your day with a morning workout can set a positive tone for the rest of the day, boosting your energy levels and enhancing productivity. When you exercise, your body releases chemicals like dopamine and serotonin, which can improve your mood and motivation, making it easier to tackle tasks and challenges at work.
Additionally, studies have shown that exercise improves cognitive functions like attention, learning, and decision-making skills. The increased blood flow to the brain during physical activity can enhance focus and creativity, leading to more efficient problem-solving and decision-making in the workplace.
Exercise’s role in appetite regulation
For individuals trying to manage their weight, exercise can play a significant role in appetite regulation. Exercising in the morning has been linked to reduced hunger hormones and increased hormones associated with feeling full. This means that morning exercise can potentially lead to decreased cravings and reduced overall calorie intake throughout the day.
Moreover, exercise can help combat emotional eating and reduce feelings of boredom or stress that often lead to unhealthy snacking habits. Combining exercise with a balanced diet can create a successful formula for sustainable weight management.
Exercise is a vital component of feeling good both physically and mentally. Whether you choose to work out in the morning, afternoon, or evening, consistency and enjoyment are key to reaping the benefits. The positive link between exercise and sleep contributes to improved overall well-being, while regular physical activity enhances work performance through increased energy, focus, and motivation.
Remember, the best exercise routine is one that fits your lifestyle and preferences, so find an activity that you love and stick with it. Embrace the value of exercise, and you’ll experience a happier, healthier, and more fulfilling life both physically and mentally.
Joanne is the editor for Workplace Wellbeing Professional and has a keen interest in promoting the safety and wellbeing of the global workforce. After earning a bachelor's degree in English literature and media studies, she taught English in China and Vietnam for two years. Before joining Work Well Pro, Joanne worked as a marketing coordinator for luxury property, where her responsibilities included blog writing, photography, and video creation.