Going for a run is a great form of exercise because it burns calories and tones your muscles at the same time. There is a lot of speculation about when it’s best to fit in your run so understanding the pros and cons of morning and night running can help you make the best choice for you. It’s always a good idea to talk to your doctor before starting a new running program. In the meantime, these facts should help you decide.
The Case for a Morning Run
Most avid runners will tell you that they have a time of day that is best for them and some of them claim that a run first thing in the morning is best. Some people wait until they’ve had something to eat or have read the newspaper. So, is morning a good time to run?
Some experts say that very early in the morning isn’t your best choice. That’s because your bodily functions aren’t operating at top capacity soon after waking up and your muscles may be stiff because body temperature is lower at this time of day. Waiting until mid-morning could be a good option for you because your body temperature goes up and your lung function improves as the morning goes on.
On the plus side, researchers have found that mid-morning is the best time of day to build muscle so incorporating some hills during your run could amplify your results. The reason why this works is because testosterone tends to spike during the morning and it’s a hormone that aids in the building of muscle mass. If you’re using running to build big quads and calves, choosing to go for a run at this time of day is probably a great option for you.
At the same time, running first thing sets the tone for making healthy choices for the rest of the day. However, it’s important to consider that your body may not be functioning as optimally as it could be later in the day. If a morning run is your only option, it’s certainly better than not taking one at all, but take into consideration the limitations you might be up against so that you can tailor a program that works for you. Some experts say you’re prone to injury on an early morning run, so make sure you are aware of your surroundings and your form so that you stay safe.
The Case for the evening jogging
Many experts will tell you that your body is more primed for a run in the afternoon or evening hours. This is because your body temperature peaks at this time of day, which means your muscles are fluid and taking a run could feel easier. Additionally, testing has found that lung function is improved significantly later in the day, which can help you power through your run without a ton of extra exertion.
The problem that many runners face when it comes to pounding the pavement later in the day is the motivation factor. Many people come home from work and the last thing they want to do is exercise. This hurdle is why so many runners choose to get out there in the morning so they don’t run the risk of skipping a run altogether. If you can overcome the psychological aspect of running later in the day, you might notice that your regular circuit feels easier and gives you the results you want, which is to stay healthy and slim. The good news is that once you get going, you’ll be glad you did.
As you can probably see, most experts would agree that running later in the day is a better choice. However, if you’ve been running for a while and know that you do better and prefer the morning, there’s really no reason to change things up. If you’re new to running and are trying to decide when to get out there, try afternoon or evening runs to get yourself going. The bottom line is that running is a fabulous way to exercise so simply pulling on your shoes and getting it done is what’s important, even if that means you go running at a different time than everyone else. Happy trails!