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You Asked: Should I Exercise in the Morning?

You're asking and I'm answering . . .

Hey Fit,
I am not a morning person at all but all my friends keep telling me that I should exercise in the morning to get the most out of it. Should I suck it up and start exercising in the morning?
— Morning Mad Marisa

It's the age-old debate, "When is the best time to exercise?" To find out, just


Sure we can go into all the little details of metabolism and VO2 Max, but let's face it, I'm not a scientist. To me, it's a simple as this: The best time to exercise is a time that you'll actually do it. If you are a not a morning person, then waking up early to work out is probably not going to be in your best interest. Sure, morning workouts could raise your metabolism and keep you consistent because it's done before you even start your day, but you're not going to reap any of these benefits if you're pushing the snooze button instead of the incline button on the treadmill.

I will say that there is nothing wrong with giving it a shot (many folks find that once they start, they prefer working out in the morning). Just take it step-by-step and use my tips for easing into early morning workouts.


Join The Conversation
mtiger mtiger 8 years
I'm doing great working out in the morning now! I feel much more energized and I'm not dreading working out all day.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
there are times when i have those early morning workout phases and times that i just can pull it off but i have to say that at least it wakes you up if you have to go to work right after. the downside is that sometimes you hit a wall during the day and just want to take a nap
LoveSarah LoveSarah 8 years
My boyfriend swears that if I want to get a good work out I have to work out in the AM. But, I already wake up at 6am, and I would have to wake up at about 4:30am-5am to work out. It just isn't going to happen, especially since I like staying up kinda late. So, I try and do it after work, but I stand all day, so its hard to want to work out when my body is already so sore and tired. :(
Mmmarshmallow Mmmarshmallow 8 years
I work out multiple times a day - some times it's morning and a lunchtime workout, or a morning and an evening workout, or a lunchtime and an evening workout. All times have their benefits, but I find with the morning workout, more than anything, it has to be something you look forward to doing, so much that it gets you out of bed. I tried getting up to go running in the morning, but I preferred getting up to do a Body Pump or Body Step or RPM class with my favourite instructor; I love their classes so much that I can't wait to wake up!
mtiger mtiger 8 years
Ok, well I actually got up this moring and worked out (instead of after work), and I feel great! I'm more awake, and now I know when I get home from work, I can just relax and I don't have to work out! That makes for a good Friday!
LadyP LadyP 8 years
I find that working out in the morning improves my overall mood for the day. I prefer it over working out in the afternoon/evening.
digibron digibron 8 years
Oh, also - I exercise right next to my bed, so there's no trip to the gym to put me off!
digibron digibron 8 years
I'm not a morning person, but now that it's Spring [in Australia! :)] and it's getting warmer, I find myself going to bed a bit earlier and getting up a bit earlier. So I've started doing strength training every 3rd morning and it's awesome! It wakes me up and makes me feel energetic for the rest of the day.
Entertainment Entertainment 8 years
The motivation I've turned to for working out in the mornings is that my gym is so much less crowded. If I go after work, I have to wait around to get on any of the equipment, and that's just not my idea of a good time. (Neither is getting up before sunrise, but if I can get my workout in without standing around waiting for other people, I feel like it's actually time well used instead of wasted)
Spectra Spectra 8 years
I have to work out as soon as I get up, otherwise I won't do it. Lots of times, I have to wake up at 3:30 to get a workout in before I leave for work. Yeah, it's early, but it doesn't really bother me too much. I just have to be sure I go to bed early! I think if I waited until after work to get my workout in, I would be too tired to even think about putting on my running shoes. But when I do it in the morning (before my brain wakes up, lol), I have energy for the rest of the day.
mtiger mtiger 8 years
I would love to work out in the mornings. I've never been able to get up early enough. I work out after work, but I'm one of those people who doesn't love exercising, so I dread it all day. Maybe I could make myself get up early...I'll try next week!
TxRdRaider TxRdRaider 8 years
I've tried repeatedly to try the AM workouts, I just can't get up early. I'm no longer a gym member and now that it's darker later in the morning I don't feel it would be safe. I'd love to try to get back into it though...Should I simply do my strength training in the morning and then my cardio (run or bike) in the evenings?
heartbreakerx62x heartbreakerx62x 8 years
The morning is def the best! I used to work out during the afternoon and I would think about my impending work out ALL day long! It was awful! It is much better than the afternoon, especially because of all of the great excuses that are listed - happy hour being my favorite!
Taadie Taadie 8 years
I am the anti-morning person and can barely get up for work BUT occasionally I will try to fit in an AM workout. Usually on a day when I already have an AM meeting so waking up 30 minutes earlier to do 20 minutes of yoga isnt going to seem that much worse to me. It also helps kick my brain into start. My favorite is right after work though, I go with a coworker and we jog for an hour then I take a shower, eat my dinner and settle in for the night. I find that it helps me sleep and makes me very calm.
SillyGirl SillyGirl 8 years
Ditto to everything Jess Eden said. The fun thing about getting workouts over with in the morning, is if i get off of work at a normal hour I can go to a fun class like karate, a longer yoga, or a long walk (something i consider more fun than workout but doesnt normally fit into my schedule well). Then I get TWO workouts in.
said8me said8me 8 years
I've been considering working out in the morning instead of after work. I had tried taking a 4:45am spin class with my sister before, and I came to find that I absolutely HATE spinning. That may be what turned me off from mornings. Now that I'm working out on my own, I think I'd get more out of my day if I was up early and could leave work and come right home. Plus if I get up early enough, workout, shower and get into work earlier than I currently am, I can LEAVE work earlier as well!
eadavenp eadavenp 8 years
If you have time for it, I've enjoyed spreading out my workouts. Because I have a somewhat erratic schedule (substitute teacher) and can get called at 7:00 am to be somewhere in an hour, I often break up my workout and walk my dog for 20 minutes in the morning, 20 or 30 in the evening and add my own workout a minimum of 2x a week. Otherwise, the dog and I jog/run/walk (couch to five k plan) in place of one of the walks. The nice part is that my dog is so happy, and I'm more active than if I just worked out for myself once a day. Walking with my dog and breaking it up so it doesn't feel overwhelming keeps it interesting, because then i also have the variety that my gym workouts were lacking. Bottom line, I like breaking it up, but I always do one of the walks before 8 am... it gets me on a great start for the day, and if I have to be somewhere, im not all sweaty.
WriterChick54 WriterChick54 8 years
I am the grouchiest person ever in the mornings, just ask my boyfriend. But after reading something on Runner's World about how to stay on track, I realized, I'm just going to have to make it to the gym before work. Why? Because like the advice said, if I wait to the evening there's always more room for excuses such as a)I had to stay at work late, b)somebody wanted to meet up last minute or eve c)today was just a bad day and I want to go to bed. All excuses I've used before. I'm starting to get used to it. But like Sunnytropic said, you feel more hungry in the afternoons, so bring some healthy snacks!
jessicaeden jessicaeden 8 years
I used to work out in the evenings, but I found that after a long day at work, there was always a good excuse NOT to work out (happy hour, too tired, hungry, etc.). So last year I made the commitment to waking up at 5:45 every day and working out before work. Once I got used to the early morning wakeup (I started going to bed early too), I began to love it. I find that I have more energy throughout the day. Plus, its not a task looming over my head all day.
Jabbadoo Jabbadoo 8 years
I work out in the mornings. Mainly I do it because I've found it's so easy to talk myself out of working out if I leave it to the afternoon/evening. So no matter what I roll out of bed and get it done. I do definately feel better in the morning and it also helps me stick to my diet plan all day, as I don't want to have wasted that early morning exercise by going off my food plan. It's really just getting in the habit. What worked for me was doing just about the same time on the weekend as I do during the week(weekday workout is around 6am, weekend workout is no later than 8am). My sleep is more consistant and instead of sleeping in on the weekend, I might have a little afternoon nap, which is just as good of a feeling.
sunnytropic sunnytropic 8 years
I love working out in the morning! In order to go before work I used to get up at 6, but now try for 5:45 to get some extra gym time! Eventually I may try 5:30, but for now 5:45 is working for me. I get really hungry/cranky in the late afternoons if I don't eat enough (usually plan for 2-3 small snacks totaling about 300 cals) so working out after work is not an option for me because after work I just want to go home and cook/eat dinner! I've tried leaving my workouts to after work and I always find a way to talk myself out of them. Getting my exercise done in the morning works best for me, but as everyone has said, people are different. I agreed with fitsugar, the best time for you to work out is the time when you will actually do it/stick to the routine!
seven7 seven7 8 years
When I get home from work, besides the schoolwork I have to do, all I want to do is relax on the couch. So mornings work better for me. Then it's out of the way already, and I won't have to feel guilty when I spend my evening on the couch moving as little as humanly possible. :)
LuciLu LuciLu 8 years
Right now, Im in a routine of working out around 830 PM... but I would love to be able to get up a half hour early and get it over with.... I'll give it a try next week! :)
Baluk Baluk 8 years
I like working out in the morning, even though I find it an incredible chore, because once I'm finished, I feel so good the rest of the day and I don't have to figure out when I can fit my work out in the rest of the day. Not only to I physically feel good, I also mentally feel good because I've started the day accomplishing something.
ShedItandGetIt ShedItandGetIt 8 years
TRY IT!!!! Once you get over the initial hate for the AM (if you have it), you might love it. And if not, okay then you struggled for a week or two and can go back to your old routine. Once I got used to it, I became a total morning person, and it's been great.
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