One of the most frequent questions I hear from people about exercise is: when is the best time to exercise? There’s a lot to this question, and this week I give you 2 answers (read part 2 here):
When you are most likely to do it. Some of us are naturally early risers while to others, the thought of awakening at 6 a.m. for a workout sounds like punishment. Just because your friend or co-worker always goes to the gym before work or always goes immediately upon leaving work, doesn’t mean that that is the right schedule for you. Be realistic with yourself: when do you feel like it is the most likely that you will follow through with your exercise plan? Then be sure to schedule in a few days every week. Yes, actually add it to your schedule like any other meeting or appointment. If it is written down, you will be far more likely to make it happen.Not sure when the best time is for you to exercise? Play around with timing, try exercising at several times during the day if you are able. Find out for yourself what works best with your own circadian rhythms and your schedule. Just make sure that once per week you are putting it in your schedule!
On a regular basis. Unfortunately, so many of us get on “kicks” with exercise. We go all out for a few weeks or months and then when our schedules get busy or when we get injured, we fall off. And then start the whole cycle over. When you don’t exercise consistently you won’t be getting the full benefit and you are much more likely to become injured.I would much rather see someone work out 3 times per week, every week, than 6 times per week for just a couple months and then take a break of a few months.If you’re just starting out (or starting over), instead of focusing on spending a certain amount of time at the gym or in the pool or exercising outside, focus in how many times per week you’re going to do that exercise. This leads to consistency and once you’re in the habit of doing something on a regular basis, you can then increase the time you spend at each session.
Be sure to read Part 2 to learn more about the best time to exercise!