One of the most frequently asked questions regarding fitness scheduling is, “What’s the best time for me to workout?” You hear and read so many different ‘opinions’ on this topic – it’s enough to drive you nuts. The truth is there is only only one good answer to this question. Most people find that it’s an answer they can not only live with, but make great progress in both short and long term fitness goals. Read on to find out your best time to exercise.
Lots of confusion has come about in the past few years with many fitness pros endorsing the ‘exercise in the morning’ is the best. This concept is rooted in a fat burning technique that is supposed to help you lose body-fat while exercising on an empty stomach. There are a few other ‘hypothetical’ reasons why certain people may promote the ‘morning workouts are best’ theory. But, to simplify matters, I’m going to quickly get to the point and the truth about this misunderstood fitness issue.
The best time for you to workout is when you can most comfortably fit it into your schedule.The supposed ‘time of day’ differences in exercise effects on the body should be a distant second or third when you are planning your ideal workout routine schedule. Your number one priority should be to plug your workouts into your schedule when it is most fitting for your lifestyle. And this can change on a day to day or week to week basis.
Career and family present various scheduling challenges at various times – and because of this, you want to factor in a degree of flexibility into your ‘fitness planner’. In a previous article I wrote about writing (or typing) your fitness activities into your daily/weekly/monthly schedule. Of course, doing this with the foresight that you can move and shift your workouts around to fit into your overall life routine.
Shifting your workout ‘times of day’ do not take anything away from your progress and long term success – this is natural and perfectly fine – and is actually one of the main reasons why certain people do experience fitness success.
Another issue is the ‘duration of workout’ challenge. Lets say you usually spend an estimated 50 minutes on exercise during your workouts. But you know on certain days of the coming week you only have 20 – 30 minutes to devote to your workouts. Instead of throwing in the towel, and skipping the workouts (because you think its not worth exercising for half of your normal time) – you make the most of that 20 – 30 minutes – by modifying your workout to fit the time you can devote to it.
For example, instead of doing 30 minutes of cardio activity and 20 minutes of resistance training – you do 20 minutes of mixed cardio/resistance cross training and a quick 5 minute stretch. Or maybe you just pick one thing, such as getting on treadmill for 20 minutes at a higher than normal intensity (increased speed and/or incline) or strength/resistance training for 20 minutes.
Here’s my point – 20 minutes of something is a million times better than nothing, maybe even more than that!!
Another way to work your workouts into a tight schedule is by breaking it up into segments. For example – lets say your total workout time is 55 minutes. There is absolutely nothing wrong with doing 30 minutes of it first thing in the morning – and then doing the rest at lunch time or in the evening.
The concept of fitness habits being so structured and regimented is one of the biggest reasons many people never even get started – and it’s also a big factor that ‘gets people of their programs’.
Have a general schedule and program in place – but be sure to factor in time when you’ll have to bend your fitness program to fit your life and all that goes with it. Giving some slack to your schedule does not mean you are slacking off – but rather you are implementing the kind of creativity and forethought that is common amongst all successful fitness followers.