Different benefits of working out in the morning versus in the evening

By Jordan Fairchild

Elm Staff Writer

There are benefits to working out in either the morning or evening, but these benefits differ depending on what time of day exercises take place. 

According to the National Institute of Fitness and Sport, the body’s levels of testosterone are “highest upon awakening.” Testosterone is a promoter of muscle growth, so the more present, the more likely it is muscle will build. This makes the early hours of the day a primetime for muscle growth. 

Working out in the morning can also lead to a good mood at the start of the day. 

According to the Mayo Clinic, “aerobic activities,” like working out, increase the body’s release of endorphins. Endorphins are known to boost a person’s mood and reduce pain. 

“Working out in the morning gets me ready for the day,” sophomore Washington College men’s sailing team member Jon Kelly said. 

Working out in the morning has also been correlated with “improved cognition” or mental function, according to a study published in April 2019 from the British Journal of Sports Medicine. It is likely that students who get a morning workout in before classes will be more alert than those who do not. 

“I love starting off the day on a positive note— a positive vibe,” freshman WC men’s soccer player Christopher Pinto said. “And working out while barely anyone else is up makes me feel as if I am doing something that not a lot of people are willing to do.”

“I prefer working out in the morning,” sophomore WC women’s rower Amelia Bonsib said. “I like getting my workouts out of the way first thing.”

Even though morning workouts are beneficial, that doesn’t mean evening workouts are any less rewarding. 

According to a systematic review published in Oct. 2018 from SpringerLink, exercising in the evening can help improve sleep. Working out in the evening could help those who are struggling to fall asleep do so more easily.

“I do have trouble sleeping most nights, but I find that after working out at night I can sleep easier,” junior WC women’s volleyball player Jenna Daunoras said. “My body and mind wants to rest after a good workout.”

Evening workout sessions can also increase your level of performance, helping you to sustain “longer performance[s]” in the gym with more intensity, according to a study published in Sept. 2013 by Canadian Science Publishing. 

By working out in the evening, people will be able to push themselves more and hit more personal records as compared to working out in the morning. 

According to the Mayo Clinic, working out can mimic “fight-or-flight responses” synonymous with stress and help your body work through the stress it’s experienced during the day. 

“I like working out at night because it’s my stress-reliever,” senior WC captain of the men’s basketball team Cole Storm said. “Since I enjoy it so much, I like to leave it for last on my to-do lists for that day.” 

According to Harvard Health Publishing, it is important to do what’s “best for you” and pick a time of day that will allow you to stay consistent with your workouts.

Featured Photo by Ben Wang.

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