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Tip of the Week: Sunrise, Sunset, Sunrise, Sunset?

People often want to know which is better – working out in the morning or in the evening. For most people this translates into either working out before work or after work.

I’m sure I could find scientific articles about calorie burn and metabolism that argue for or against either one but the truth is, the best time to go to the gym is when you can. Life is busy. Even the most diligent gym goers have trouble getting there sometimes. You need to pick the best time for you in order to make it work.

If you can go either way (or don’t yet go to the gym) here are a few pros and cons to think about as you schedule your workouts.

AM/Before work:

Pros

  • You get it done before anyone can schedule anything else
  • you’ll be energized and in a positive mood
  • Depending on the gym, mornings are often less busy so you are more likely to get equipment you want and better access to showers

Cons

  • It’s early. Very, very early. I have a client at 7am every morning and I pass people leaving the gym as I’m going in. I don’t know how they do it but they do and they are some of the most consistent gym goers there are.
  • You may forget a piece of work clothes
  • Fewer class options
  • You may give in to your snooze button

PM/After work

Pros

  • You can burn off the (negative) energy of the day
  • Great class options
  • Lots of people if you feed off others for your energy and motivation

Cons

  • You may feel too tired to go
  • Something will get scheduled over your time
  • Traffic
  • Too many people

Planning ahead and scheduling your workouts is key no matter when you go to the gym. Whenever you go has to work for you so work with your body, your schedule, and your motivation. Try both times, as well as others, and see what you like best. If your snooze button is too tempting, go in the evening. If your after work errands and events (or your couch) are going to get in your way, go in the morning. If nothing is going to get you to the gym but guilt or forced march, meet a friend or schedule time with a trainer.

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