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What is the best time to workout?

24 September 2011 One Comment

What is the best time to workout?

Are you trying to figure out when to fit in your workout into your busy day? This truly can be one of the biggest obstacles for people trying to start (and continue) a fitness plan. I often hear “I just don’t have time” and “I have too many other commitments”.

There is also information out there about the best time to get the most out of your workout.

I believe we need to take both of the above into consideration. I for one find that working out first thing in the morning on days that I work is what works best for me. That way no matter what comes up, or how tired I am at the end of the day, I will be less likely to sabotage my goals. On days that I don’t work, I still try to get in a workout as early in the day as possible. Bottom line? We need to find a time that works best in our busy schedules that you will stick with. We need to create a habit… and write down our goals.

So this is what I’ve learned:

  1. There’s this thing called your¬†Circadian rhythm. This is basically your body’s clock and determines whether or not you are a night owl or an early bird. There’s not a whole lot that you can do to change this. It’s controlled by the earth’s 24 hour rotation. It influences your body functions such as blood pressure, body temperature, hormone levels, and heart rate, all of which play a role in your body’s readiness for exercise. Now this would be an ideal way to pick your time to exercise if there weren’t this other thing called “the real world”…. you know, like family commitments, work schedule, or timing of working out with a friend.
  2. The benefits of morning workouts: like mentioned above, it may be easier to create a habit of working out in the morning to maintain¬†consistency. It’s easier to let the pressures of “life” squeeze out your exercise time as the day goes on. Since your body temperature is lower in the morning, you need to be sure to warm up a little longer to avoid injury. Having your adrenaline pumped up first thing in the morning will give you more energy throughout the day… and, there is some research to suggest that this will also raise your metabolism to burn more calories. Morning workouts can also be more efficient in burning fat… rather than the calories that you’ve consumed throughout the day. It will also help to prevent weight gain and maintain insulin sensitivity.
  3. Exercising or eating too late may sabotage your body’s urge to sleep. Both can raise your heart rate and temperature, so the timing of an evening workout is important to prevent insomnia. This can then set up an ugly cycle of being unable to get up in the morning, then dragging throughout your day. Sleep is vitally important to your weight loss and overall health. So, if you choose to workout at night, be certain to allow a decent cool down time prior to going to sleep.
  4. Working out a lunchtime can work for some folks. Particularly if you have a workout buddy at work. Just be careful to eat after you work out. Avoid a heavy meal prior to exercise. You want the blood pumping to your muscles and not your stomach.
So once again… the best time to work out is really the best time for you! You need to find a time that will allow you to create a habit that you are going to stick to. In doing a little research it seems that the optimum time to exercise is in the morning, but that is not always possible. So find a time when you have the most energy and commit to a program that you enjoy!
Need help picking a workout program? Let me help you. Email me at Lifechangingfitnessplan@gmail.com



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  • Dan V. said:

    Good stuff. I’m a big morning workout guy– like you said, there’s nothing going on in the early morning. EVERYTHING’s going on later in the day.

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