, Work It Out!Work It Out In The Morning, Or At Night?

Work It Out In The Morning, Or At Night?

A question that people often ask me is whether I prefer to work out in the morning or at night. I’ve often quipped that they should just “saddle up and do both!” but that’s often not an option for a busy woman.

Realistically, I feel like both have served their purposes very well at different stages in my life, and I don’t mind sharing what each did for me, and when.

When I first started working out, I’d go in the evenings. I know I’ve written about this before, but my beginning steps into working out were rough ones. Very rough ones. I could work out for a good hour, but man, I’d only burn half of one dish! I ate so poorly that even though I was putting in at least 12 hours a week at the gym, I didn’t see the results that my efforts deserved. However… the ability to resolve a day’s worth of stress on the chest press machine? I valued that! That client who drove me up the wall without a way down? Oh yeah, I took that anger out on the seated leg press machine. Those looming deadlines that I knew were coming and dreaded? I ran from ’em on the treadmill. Oh yeaaaaaah.

Working out in the evenings means you have motivation to go harder in your workout. You can think of every mess up that you made – “Indulged in that Taco Bell Diet, did we? Oh no, you need to suffer for that!” or maybe “You know you didn’t need that latte this morning! Take that! Take that!” – and use that as a reason to push yourself beyond your original breaking points.

…even though you shouldn’t be messing up. 🙂

When I left my gym, I dropped all of the equipment and just walked. I’d hit the path around the lake and just go around and around and around for a good 45 minutes. It was the rule in my house – directly after dinner, I’d head out. Some nights it’d feel so good outside that I couldn’t wait to get out there, and I’d feel refreshed and relaxed upon my return home. The perfect way to calmly wind down a long day, it absolutely was.

When I realized that I was slimming down pretty quickly, I started stepping my game up. I did strength training exercises like stretches and yoga, various at-home exercises in the mornings. At night, I’d hit the dusty trail around the lake. That worked out wonderfully for me, because I had everything that I needed to workout at home at my disposal. Made it easy, made it free. No excuses.

Now, I get up in the mornings and I hit the cardio first. Why? Because all day, I’m gonna be thinking about how I kicked my own behind on the treadmill, and I’m going to use that as a reason to refuse to allow a cheeto to get in my way! Not only that, but it gives me a safe and healthy way to wake up without going on about my day half-awake.

I’m slowly bringing back my two-a-days – doing cardio and my basic daily routine in the morning, and more cardio coupled with yoga and strength training at night. For me, this is how I alleviate my stresses, motivate myself to behave better throughout the day, and give myself an opportunity to both wake up fully before engaging in my day and wear myself out before bedtime.

For me, my workout is my time for peace. I focus my thoughts. I relax. I prepare. I sort myself out mentally. It’s my time away from business, from responsibility, from drama. It’s the few moments of the day when I can truly focus on bettering myself. Some of us will need that kind of focus in the mornings before we embark on a difficult day, and some of us will need that to regroup ourselves so that we can get a restful sleep. As long as I’m still putting that effort into myself, it doesn’t matter if I do it during the 25th hour of the day.. I’m still getting it in, and I’m taking care of me.

So in short (these are never really short, are they?), I see the benefits to doing each option individually, as well as just buckling down and trying to do both. What about you? When do you get your workout on, and why? How does it work out for you?

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By | 2017-06-10T11:43:57+00:00 July 28th, 2014|Tools For Weight Loss, Work It Out!|32 Comments

About the Author:

The proud leader of the #bgg2wlarmy, Erika Nicole Kendall writes food and fitness, body image and beauty, and more here at #bgg2wl. After losing over 150lbs, Kendall became a personal trainer certified in fitness nutrition, women's fitness, and weight loss by the National Academy of Sports Medicine. She is also certified in sports nutrition by Precision Nutrition. She now lives in New York with her husband and children, and is working on her 6th and 7th certifications because she likes having alphabet soup at the end of her name.


  1. PhluffyPrincess March 11, 2010 at 1:59 AM - Reply

    I’ve finally gotten past my “i hate mornings” mindset and began to work out in the mornings. i love getting it out of the way and not risking being “too busy, tired, hungry, lazy” later. i keep telling myself i can always do another session in the evenings as bonus but i haven’t gotten there yet! lol.

  2. Randi March 11, 2010 at 9:18 AM - Reply

    I used to work out at night all the time mainly because it was so hard to wake up. A few weeks ago I switched to working out in the mornings twice a week just to get a feel for it. Well guess what? I love it. I feel like I have my whole day ahead of me and my night routine of helping my kids with their homework & cooking is less hectic.

    The only thing is 3 days of waking up by 6 is more than enough. More than that and my body just can;t function.

    So I am in agreement they both have their benefits and it’s all what works for you.

  3. DazzlingRayn March 11, 2010 at 9:32 AM - Reply

    PhluffyPrincess, that’s exactly why I like going first thing in the morning. Nothing will get in my way! I would love to have the time to go twice in a day. Maybe this summer? What a novel idea to try to schedule your day around your workouts and not the other way around…

  4. cici March 11, 2010 at 9:45 AM - Reply

    It just depends. Some times I love waking up early and working out because it fuels me for the rest of my day. Sometimes I just like to take a walk in the morning because it helps my creativity. Then other times I enjoy the evening work outs because they are great stress relievers. The walk after a long day is great for reflections. I love doing two-a-days when I have the time. Working out is the easiest, best ‘high’ that we can give our bodies.

  5. ChellBellz March 11, 2010 at 9:55 AM - Reply

    I’m training myself to wake up @ 5…I get the clock to go off, but now I’m starting to nap until 5:30…I really need to get to bed at a decent time.

    • nicole March 22, 2012 at 12:45 PM - Reply

      That is my problem. getting to bed at a decent time. If I just turned off that idiot box (tv) I could do it.

  6. Andrea (AJ) Plaid March 11, 2010 at 3:56 PM - Reply

    See, I’m the opposite: I love working out after work. It allows me to recenter myself after a day in the office, where I deal with fools all day. I burn off that energy by doing hatha-based yoga for 30 minutes when I get home or taking tango/milonga lessons after work. Been doing that–along with watching what and how much I eat–since January. To date, I’ve lost 10 lbs. and am in 6 lbs. of my weight goal!

  7. BAnjeeB March 11, 2010 at 7:55 PM - Reply

    I like to workout in the morning. I’m an early riser by nature, and I like the early morning crowd more than the evening crew. I have a mental block when it comes to doing a workouts in the evening. However, I have recently incorporated yoga into my routine and that class is in the evening. I find it easier to go to a class than do my own workout after work.

  8. Frankie1882 March 13, 2010 at 1:23 AM - Reply

    I’m not a morning person. I pretty much wake up with just enough time to get ready for work, then I’m out. I used to work overnight, and I already had a hard time sleeping during the day, so I didn’t get much sleep. But if I wake up 2 or 3 hours before I have to actually be at work, I’m sleepy again by the time it’s time for me to get ready for work.

    So I like to work off the stress of the day at the end.

    But my question is, is it better to do cardio first, or strength-training/weights first? I’ve seen arguments for both sides.

  9. Lisa March 17, 2010 at 8:25 AM - Reply

    I much prefer to work out in the evenings, but with school, I am going to have to reconfigure my life. Right now I’m very busy so I’ve had to focus much harder on my diet, but I am dedicating myself back to the gym and a regular course of working out when this semester is over.

  10. Tonda March 23, 2010 at 5:28 PM - Reply

    I work out in the am, it’s the least busy time of day however if I’ve had a poor nights sleep I will try to get it in in the evenings.

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