The busier life gets, the tougher it is to find the right time to exercise. As we know, losing weight requires a balance between getting regular exercise, eating right, stress management, and getting consistent sleep. When you’ve got your work, family, friends, and a home to manage, life can be quite the juggling act! To make better use of your limited time, make sure that your training schedule works with you - not against you! Changing the time you work out during the day could lead to changing that number on the scale for good! Here’s how to decide when is the best time to work out:
PROS: If you’re the kind of person who excitedly jumps out of bed in the wee hours of the morning, you’re someone who would bode well with an early a.m. sweat session. Working out first thing in the morning causes a slight increase in metabolism and generally helps set the tone for the day. You’d be less likely to overindulge throughout the day if you knew you had already put in a tough workout. Also, getting the workout done first thing means more time for the other priorities in your day.
CONS: There can be a couple downsides to working out first thing. One of which is... snooze. Oh the snooze button, let us count the ways we can delay getting out of bed–especially when those covers feel so soft and warm! If you’re not a morning person, dragging yourself out of bed can actually mean a lackluster workout. Help yourself out-get the rest and workout later when you’re more alert and awake.
PROS: A nice caveat of the mid-morning workout is that you’ll bypass the early bird and lunch-hour crowd and get to the machines you want. Also, this will give you time to get a solid night’s rest, drive the kids to school, or even just have time to grab a cup of coffee and wake up.
CONS: Probably the biggest con to the mid-morning workout is that once you’ve worked out and showered, your day won’t start until noon. While you may be rested for it, it can take up a huge portion of your day. Plus, unless you eat a morning snack, you wouldn’t want to work out on an empty stomach. Having energy to work out will best maximize your time at the gym! Try these HIIT workouts to get fast results in record time.
PROS: If your gym is near, or in the same building as your work, the lunch-hour workout can be super convenient to get it in without taking away from work or your personal life. You’ll also have more energy when you’ve been awake while to to give that workout your best!
Plus, if you have a co-worker with similar goals as you, you can make it a group effort. According to the American Heart Association, working out at a time that feels social can motivate you to exercise harder.
CONS: If you’ve scheduled your workout at lunch, it can be easy to lose that time to meetings that run late or to the sometimes sporadic schedule work can have with expectedly long meetings or pop-up client lunches. If your schedule is not always consistent, lunchtime may not be your best bet.
Right after work
PROS: Let’s face it, work can sometimes go from 0 to 60 and back again all in one day. Instead of taking that stress home with you, go from work to the gym and sweat out that stress! Working out after a long can release feel-good endorphins and also help you to sleep more soundly. Plus, if you’ll be less likely to get sidelined by other responsibilities if you were to go home in between. Just pack your gym bag accordingly and head to your favorite fitness class!
CONS: While exercise is great for stress relief, sometimes a long day is just a long day. If you’re heavily bogged down by work, sleep or a light yoga class might be your better bet. But also, if your work day often goes past 5pm, your day can run away from you and that post-work workout could be the first thing to go.
PROS: Sometimes coming home, taking off your work clothes and putting on your workout clothes can help you to unwind. Once you’ve clocked out, run a few errands, and gotten your home life in order, your free time at night is all yours to make the most of.
CONS: While exercise does encourage sound sleep, working out too late can have the opposite effect. Since your body continues to release heat, or energy, 1-2 hours post-workout you might find it hard to fall asleep shortly after.
At the end of the day, a workout is a workout. ANY workout is encouraged! Find time throughout your day that fits your schedule, but also when you will have the most energy to get things done. Things like workout location and convenience, how well you enjoy your workouts, and what time fits your lifestyle must be in sync. If you’re still having a hard time getting to the gym, hire a Gold’s Gym personal trainer who can accommodate an always changing schedule.