Are you a regular runner? Or are you someone who has just taken up running? Either way, you may have asked yourself this question- when is the best time to run?
Actually, both morning and evening runs have their own benefits. In this article, we will discuss the benefits of both and help you pick the better option.
Advantages of running in the morning
Here are some benefits (both physical and psychological) that you can expect from your morning run-
- Want to lose weight quickly? Go for a morning run. Most people usually run on an empty stomach in the morning. That is why, to produce energy and keep you going during your intense running session, your body will start burning body fat. This will help you lose weight quickly.
- Running in the morning helps your body absorb more oxygen. This means all your muscles, tissues and cells will receive optimum nourishment. It also kick starts your metabolism, which means you will be more energetic throughout the day.
- Did you know that the levels of muscle-building hormones like testosterone peak in the morning? This is why when you exercise in the morning, your muscle mass increases quickly.
- Running in the morning can help defeat depression. The stress hormone cortisol, which is responsible for depression and anxiety, reaches its peak in the early morning. You release endorphins when you run – the happiness hormone that can counter the effects of cortisol. This leaves you feeling happy and positive.
- A morning run can also help you manage hypertension. Several studies have proved that running between 5 and 8 AM lowers your systolic pressure.
Advantages of running in the evening
Many health experts will tell you to run in accordance with your circadian rhythm or body clock- the 24-hour biological clock that determines all your biological functions.
Some people like to run when their body temperature, oxygen levels and energy production (all regulated by the body clock) are at the highest which is around 5-7 PM in the evening.
- Are you into weight lifting? Evening runs complement resistance training that focuses on increasing your balance, flexibility and core strength. This becomes possible because in the evenings your testosterone and cortisol ratio is optimal, which means you get maximum benefits from your weight lifting sessions.
- Your oxygen levels and lung capacity are at their prime in the evening, which is why you can run longer and faster in the evening.
- Scared of running injuries? An evening run comes with reduced injury risks, cramps or joint pain. This is because your body is sufficiently warmed up in the evenings. Not just that, your heart function is also the most efficient in the evening. That is why some people run better in the evening.
An evening run will help you de-stress after a long and hard at work. It will also help you sleep better at night.
Running, in general, is extremely advantageous for your health no matter when you do it. But a morning run has a slight edge over the evening run because of its higher fat burning capacity. Therefore if you want to lose weight, opt for a morning run. But if you are short of time in the morning, then opt for an evening run to stay healthy and fit.