When to exercise: morning, noon, or night? This is a question I get frequently and one that has a really easy answer… scroll to the bottom if you don’t want to wait. But if you want to read the various pros/cons of each time slot, journey on.
Morning is my personal favorite time of the day to exercise. Some studies seem to indicate that it helps jump start your metabolism resulting in quicker fat loss. It certainly will wake you up. But perhaps the best reason to exercise in the morning is to get it done and out of the way for the day. Life has a way of interrupting our plans. If you exercise first thing, the chances of life getting in the way are greatly diminished. Yes it’s hard to wake up early, but 5 minutes into your Insanity: Asylum workout and you won’t be feeling sleepy, at all. And if you need something to snap you out of the sleepies when the alarm is blaring, Energy and Endurance Pre-Workout Formula will do the trick. It’s the supplement I look forward to the most as it wakes me up and energizes me in minutes… no coffee for this guy.
When to exercise – morning pros: ensures it gets completed; jump starts your day; promotes fat loss
When to exercise – morning cons: have to get up earlier (which may require going to bed earlier) and can’t jam to music too loudly or Jr. will wake up
When to exercise: noon
For a lot of people, lunch time is the perfect time to workout. It breaks up their day. Kids are in school so there are fewer distractions. If at work, doing this during your lunch-break will spare you from a potentially calorific meal and save you some bucks as well. Plus a lot of people start getting sleepy around lunch or shortly after because their coffee is wearing off or they’ve had a poor breakfast and are feeling the effects of it. Working out can re-energize you and set the tone for the rest of your day. But if your work doesn’t have a gym, this can be problematic if you’re doing more than a walk. Or if you’re at home, it can be a major disruption in the middle of the day with all the other things you have to do.
When to exercise – noon pros: can re-energize your day; give you a break mentally from your work; can spare you unnecessary calories and expenditures with a lunch out
When to exercise – noon cons: limited facilities; can become a disruption in the flow of the day
When to exercise: night
For those with limited availability in the morning or lunch, evening or nighttime becomes the best time for them. If you’re at the point where you enjoy exercise, it can give you something to look forward to. There’s less of the remaining days’ events to distract you from giving it your all. If you workout after dinner, the gym is likely to be rather empty. And some studies seem to indicate it’s easier to build muscle. But for many people, exercise will make it a lot harder to go to sleep later. And if the day was a busy one, your energy levels won’t be very good (unless you take some of the aforementioned Energy and Endurance Pre-Workout Formula). And if you go right after work, the gym will be swamped (one more reason I prefer working out at home). But the biggest con is that chances are high that you will skip it because something is getting in the way, be it a PTO meeting, an impromptu dinner out with friends, or you’re just too tired.
When to exercise – night pros: gym might be less crowded; your mind might be more clear; gives you something to look forward to
When to exercise – night cons: gym could be super-busy; energy might be low; could be hard to sleep later; the chance of skipping increases tenfold
When to exercise: conclusion
So, with all the pros and cons, what is one to do? The answer: you have to do what works for you! When to exercise? The time that best works for your schedule so that you’ll do it regularly. This might seem like a cop-out answer, but it’s the truth. Don’t fall victim to analysis to paralysis and over-emphasize hitting the optimal metabolism booster or trying to hit the gym at its absolute emptiest. The most important thing when deciding when to exercise is to pick a time that will work for you consistently. That time might only work for three months and then you have to change it. I get that… there are seasons of life. But if you don’t make it a priority by scheduling it at a specific time each day, the chances of getting it in willy nilly are, well, nilly. Not worth the risk.
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