The Power Of Timing: Morning Vs Evening Exercise

morning yoga, evening yoga

The body's circadian rhythms regulate various physiological processes and may influence energy levels and physical performance. Circadian rhythms constitute the body's natural 24-hour internal clock, overseeing processes such as hormone production and core body temperature. Exercising in the morning aligns well with the natural circadian rhythms of some individuals. While, on average, morning exercise tends to be at a slower pace due to reduced blood flow or lower body temperature, individuals who enjoy morning workouts do experience these benefits:

  1. Increased Alertness, Energy Levels And Improved Mood: Engaging in physical activity in the morning enhances alertness, attributed to elevated cortisol levels, and boosts mood through the stimulation of endorphin release. Morning, slower-paced exercise, like yoga or restorative yoga, sets a positive tone for the day by improving blood flow and activating the brain for better decision-making.

  2. Enhanced Metabolism: Morning exercise can lead to an extended period of oxygen consumption throughout the day as muscles restore themselves after the workout. This phenomenon causes the body to continue burning calories at an elevated rate even after the exercise is completed.

  3. Time Efficiency: Several studies suggest that exposure to natural light and physical activity can help reset and maintain the circadian rhythm. Additionally, completing exercise routine early in the day frees up time for other commitments and activities in the evening. It becomes easier to establish exercise consistency with morning workouts.

  4. Enjoying Quiet and Solitude: Morning workouts often provide a quiet and peaceful environment, especially when done outdoors. Some individuals appreciate the solitude and tranquility of early mornings for their exercise routine.

While morning exercise wakes up our body and sets us for the day, evening exercise is often associated with variations and peaks in muscle performance, as muscle performance can fluctuate throughout the day due to circadian rhythms, changes in hormone levels and body temperature. Research suggests that many individuals may experience a temporary increase in muscle strength and performance during the late afternoon and early evening due to rising testosterone and core body temperature. Individuals who love evening workouts typically experience:

  1. Improved Physical Performance: Research suggests that strength and endurance peaks in the late afternoon and early evening, which can results in more effective and challenging workouts during evening sessions. 

  2. Enhanced Flexibility: Muscle and joints tend to be more flexible in the evening, the body may be less prone to injury, allowing for a wider range of motion during exercises. With the body temperature rising in the evening, it becomes easier to stretch.

  3. Stress Relief and Relaxation After Work: Evening exercise can serve as a stress-relieving activity after a day of work or other responsibilities. It provides an opportunity to unwind, release tension, and transition from a busy day to a more relaxed evening. Similar to morning exercise, physical activity in the evening triggers the release of endorphins, promoting relaxation and improving mood. 

  4. EPOC during night time: With evening workout extended periods of oxygen consumption (EPOC) take place during sleep time.  While the absolute calorie burn during sleep might not be as significant as during wakeful periods, the cumulative effect of EPOC can contribute to overall energy expenditure. EPOC does depend on exercise intensity and high-intensity exercise, for example, Power Yoga or Yoga Sculpt can result in a more pronounced oxygen consumption and calorie burn at night.

Ultimately, the best time to exercise is a matter of personal preference and lifestyle. Whether morning or evening, consistency and enjoyment are key factors in maintaining a successful exercise routine. The benefits of exercise can be substantial, and individuals should choose the time that aligns with their natural rhythms and fits into their daily schedule. Check out our Yoga Lines classes, there is certainly a class that will fit into your schedule, whether it's in the morning or evening.

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