Many people realize the importance of exercise for general health and weight control. They would like to get on an exercise program but have a hard time sticking to it. For most people, it is simply a matter of developing the habit. They know exercise will give them a boost of energy but that knowledge isn’t enough motivation for them to exercise when they feel drained before they even begin.
When thinking about the best time to exercise, there are really three choices: morning, midday or evening.
Midday or lunchtime exercise works well for some people. This gives them a nice break in their day to refresh themselves instead of eating a heavy restaurant meal. One disadvantage of midday exercise is the time required to change into workout clothes and the problem of clean up from sweating if the workout is hard. These problems are so prevalent with most people that we will focus on making the decision between morning and evening.
How do you decide between these two times? The best way to begin is to decide whether you are a morning person or a night person. Do you really feel rested and ready to go in the early hours after waking up? Do you feel most energetic and find yourself more productive in the morning? You would benefit greatly by exercising as one of your first daily activities. An advantage here is that you don’t have to worry about unexpected happenings that can sometimes upset even the best laid plans to exercise later in the day.
However, some people just take longer to wake up and get going. Their mornings are spent getting in gear for projects and activities, but they don’t hit their stride until much later in the day. Exercising in the evening works for these people. An advantage to exercising in the evening is that it relieves the stresses of the day and helps promote a good night’s sleep.
You probably already know if you are a morning person or a night person. Use this to your advantage to help you begin and stick to an exercise program. If you don’t know whether you are a morning or a night person, try exercising for a week in the morning and then for a week in the evening. Write down how you feel before and during these exercise sessions. You will quickly see when the best time to exercise will be for you.
Once you have decided whether morning or evening is best for you, set up a specific time. Treat it like any other appointment and you will be on your way to achieving all the benefits of regular exercise.