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Should You Exercise Before or After the Workday?

Medically reviewed by

Prof Rishi Singhal MBBS, MRCS, FRCS, MD

Night Owls vs. Early Birds.

You know which team you’re on!

But the truth is you can exercise in both the morning or in the evening – both provide their own benefits for your fitness.

The most important thing for you...

Is to decide whether exercise before or after work matches your personal lifestyle and can be maintained consistently.

In most cases, people are forced to squeeze exercise in when they can due to commitments. This can backfire, as exercises can be done incorrectly out of fatigue, and you won’t get the most out of them.

Consider these pointers to establish a fitness regime that works FOR you.

1. How Are My Energy Levels?

A morning spin class may not be the best option for you if you typically feel tired and sluggish. An evening workout may be better suited to your energy levels.

If your energy levels lower from the late afternoon onwards, you should workout in the morning when you feel more alert, energetic, and are able to do your exercises effectively.

2. Do I need to eat?

Again, it’s all up to you!

We hear too often whether eating before or after exercise is better.

Morning workouts are ideal for those who prefer to work out on an empty stomach. Simply get out of bed, grab a change of clothes, and hit the gym or your homework.

If you feel hungry but still want to follow the morning routine, it’s recommended to wake up a bit earlier to fit in a small snack like a banana.

You can also do your fitness routine after work to ensure you’re fuelled up on food. Don’t eat too much, though, or you will be too bloated.

3. Think of the Psychological Effects

Getting exercise releases endorphins that make you feel happy, so you should schedule it for a time when it will maximize your day.

A morning workout can leave you refreshed and in the right frame of mind to begin the day, while an after-work workout in the evening can help you relieve stress and improve your boost your sleep quality.

Here's What We Recommend:

Choose an option that works for your schedule and try it consistently for at least a week before making it an official fitness routine.

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