Pop Quiz: Should You Work Out Before or After Work?

By Ahmed Wafi

The answer will help you decide when to hit the gym for the most effective workout.

We all know that exercise is one of life’s most beneficial activities. It can however be a pain. With work and life demanding every second of your day, finding time to exercise can be a hassle. But exercise you must if you want to keep healthy. So when’s the right time to hit the treadmill when work beckons in the morning and sometimes late at night?

It all depends on your preference as well as what you’re willing to do. Some choose to work out before the sun comes up so that they can go to work feeling energized while others choose to hit the snooze button a little longer and get in their workout at night instead. Both has their pros and cons so let’s take a closer look at the options.

Why should I work out after work?
Working out at night is usually not recommended because it is said to make you more energetic and therefore will find it harder to fall asleep. Not true, according to research; after all, exercising any time of the day is better for sleep as compared to not exercising at all.

Plus, after a long and frustrating day at work, what better way to blow off all that steam with a good sweating session? Mad at your boss? Take it out on the punching bag! Also, working out after work means that you don’t have to rush to work and can take all the time you need to make your workout count. That is of course if you can successfully choose the treadmill over Netflix.

Another plus point? According to The Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism journal, your anaerobic capacity is higher in the evenings, which is ideal to help you reach a new personal best on the squat rack.

Why should I workout before work?
Working out in the a.m. has been getting a lot of good publicity, and many top athletes highly endorsing it including The Rock, who starts pumping iron as early as 4:30 a.m. The most obvious benefit? Waking up early is a good habit to have which in turn makes you more productive! We also tend to feel more energetic when we wake up and that’s when we should get the blood pumping. Morning workouts are known to be a good metabolism booster, which means that after your morning run, you’ll be able to burn more calories throughout the day.

Starting out your day with a workout helps you feel more energetic and focused for the remainder of the day. Plus, it’s great to get exercise out of the way early in the day. Which means that after work you won’t have to substitute Netflix for the treadmill.

Whichever you choose, both will bring you benefits. Better than not exercising at all, right? The important thing is to find a time that fits your schedule and make it a habit because consistency is key.

Photo by Victor Freitas on Unsplash

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