The topic of deciding to work out every day is a tough decision on its own, but that may be due to the fact that you aren’t going at the time your body prefers. Being busy college students, it is hard to squeeze in workouts and even harder to go at our preferred time. Because of this, motivation to continue working out tanks. Some of us know what time we perform best, but for others, working out may not be as enjoyable because they don’t know that they prefer to go in the morning rather than at night. While working out at any time of day is good for you, here is why working out in the morning may give you a little more reward for your efforts.
Working out in the morning is beneficial is because there are less obstacles to get in the way, which translates to less excuses to put off a workout. As the day goes on, there are more physical obstacles that we have to dodge such as class, homework, labs, meetings, and clubs. There are also the mental obstacles being lack of motivation, fatigue, and “I’ll do it tomorrow” syndrome. Working out in the morning avoids most of these obstacles, and there isn’t the lagging dread of having another thing to do on your already filled agenda for the day. “There is something about working out at 6:00 AM that makes me push myself harder than if I am there later” Sophomore Kristen Ziegler said. Because there aren’t stressful thoughts about the pile of homework that you were just assigned, and other conflicts that happened during the day, it allows you to fully focus on crushing a workout.
As humans, we don’t like to be the reason that we didn’t finish something, or fall short. It is so much easier to blame an outside source and plan to work out later in the day, but ultimately not, is the perfect situation to blame anything other than your lack of motivation. Yes, waking up earlier than necessary is an obstacle, but I would rather dodge one obstacle than multiple. The only thing that stands between you and the gym in the morning is your mind.
Another reason to go in the morning is to get it out of the way. There are two types of people…those who enjoy working out, and those who see it as a chore. For those who love it, it is a way to start your day off right and in a good mood. For those that see working out as a chore, working out in the morning gets it off your plate so you don’t have to think about the fifty burpees you have to do after an exam. It is equivalent to ripping off the Band-Aid. “I like working out in the morning because I get it done, and it makes me feel good about the rest of my day. It also sets an example for my kids that working out is something we do because they see me go in the morning and often times will join me,” instructor Nate Otto said.
Have you ever noticed when your alarm goes off in the morning, you feel more awake after scrambling to turn it off real fast? This is because you just used your muscles for a short burst of energy, in combination with raising your heart rate by being scared to death. Exercise has the same effect (minus the scared to death part, I hope). “It wakes me up for the day and makes sure my body is in check and ready for the day,” Ziegler said. It may seem contradictory, but losing sleep to go work out will make you feel more awake. Feeling good after a workout is a universal feeling whether that be because you reached a new goal, felt those endorphins, or simply because you are finally done working out and can go home.
We all know the number of things to do at Lund can be limited, between the treadmills not working and the sports teams overflowing the weight room. Working out early eliminates this problem. I can confidently say that a majority of campus does not go to work out in the morning based on the fact that I get to use my favorite bike and bench every morning. On the other hand, there are when I am forced to work out later in the day, and I have the choice between the broken treadmill, or the broken bike, and it is so much hotter in there with more people, which makes my inner tomato come out. “Lund is the busiest between five o’clock and seven PM,” Sophomore Sammy Misener said, who works at the Lund Information Desk.
A big part in staying motivated to work out is to do what you like, so sacrificing a little sleep in order to get your ideal set of weights, and favorite treadmill in front of the fan will be beneficial in the long run (literally and figuratively). Another perk to going when no one is there, is that you have control over the TV channel, and aren’t forced to watch what others are watching, such as Keeping up with the Kardashians. The last reason to go when no one is there? No one is there to care that you literally rolled out of bed, aren’t wearing makeup, or didn’t put in your hair gel. Because of this, you can eat your post workout meal with ease knowing that your crush didn’t see you looking like sweaty produce.
Overall, there is no “best” time of the day to work out. The best time to work out depends on the person and when you have the most energy and motivation to give it your all. “Ultimately, getting exercise at any time of the day is good, and doing something simple like ten pushups only takes about twenty seconds. Everyone has time for that,” Otto said. For those who see working out as a “have to” type of situation, you may want to consider the morning in order to avoid excuses to and “get er done.” But for those that view working out as a “get to” situation, the best time to work out is whatever time leads you to a more effective workout. Those who thrive off social interaction may prefer sacrificing their favorite bench in order to go later in the day, when more friends are there, whereas on the other hand, the early birds feel the runner’s high of being awake before the rest of the world.