So I finally gave in.  I have been frustrated lately at my inconsistency in working out.  Sometimes it’s my fault, other times I don’t get home until later, which pushes back my whole evening schedule.  I don’t really like to start a workout past 8:30, but sometimes when I stay here until 5:30, I don’t get home until 6:15 or later, and then making time for a workout becomes a vicious cycle.  So, at Jared’s urging, I decided to finally cave in and return to the early morning grind.

When I was in D.C., I used to wake up early pretty much every weekday to head to my expensive gym.  The motivation?  That I was paying about $90 a month for a membership.  At home, the motivation to wake up early and work out wasn’t quite there.  But, I have to say after a week of avoiding the snooze, I’m a new convert to the morning workout.  I seriously feel so much better during the day knowing I don’t have to rush home to rush through a workout.

But what are the benefits of waking up early to get a workout in?  Is it better for your body?  Do you work as hard?  let’s see what the experts are saying….

“Many experts recommend working out in the morning to avoid the distractions (and excuses) that may come up later in the day. To snap out of sleep mode, warm up by walking or doing some light cardio for about 10 minutes, then spend another 5 to 10 minutes stretching, focusing on the same muscles you’ll use during the workout. The bottom line, however, is that you’ll get the biggest benefit from a workout when you have the most energy, says David Upton, Ph.D., an exercise physiologist in Fort Worth. “If you’re sluggish in the morning and don’t work out as hard as you do at other times, you might burn fewer calories,” he explains.” Originally published in Fitness Magazine

“In the 8-12 hours prior waking, your body was in sleep mode and, depending on the quality of sleep, in a process of regeneration. A workout causes microscopic tears in the muscle fibers. Oxidation also takes place on the cellular level and energy stored in the muscle fibers are utilized. Sleep is the time for the body to repair damage. Antioxidants repair cellular damage. Food is digested and converted to glucose. In the morning, you’re using a fresh, repaired and, in some instances, new body. During REM sleep, dreams are also a chance for the body to rehearse or even learn new motor skills — that clean and snatch is smoother and easier than it was during your last workout because you essentially had time to practice during your sleep.” Fuller pros and cons from AskMen.com

“Research on lung function, body rhythms, temperature, and hormone levels says one thing – to exercise around 6 pm.  Surveys on exercise habits say another – to exercise in the morning before other commitments distract you, or during the day when you have a free period of time.” Fuller pros and cons from About.com

Bottom Line?  There are pros and cons to both the morning and evening workout, but I think the key takeaway is that working out at any time of day is better than doing nothing?

I know not everyone is as motivated by checking things off their evening to-do lists as I am.  😉  How do you motivate yourself to get out of bed in the morning for a workout?  In the evening?

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