07 Mar When is the Best Time to Exercise?
We all know that exercise is a great form of self-care, but time constraints can make it difficult to reach your exercise goals. Optimizing the time of day you exercise may be the key to more consistent and effective workouts.
Exercise in the Morning
For some people, getting their workout done and out of the way, first thing in the morning may be the best option. If you work full-time or have children, this could be the only time available for your fitness routine.
Other reasons why first thing in the morning is the best time to exercise include:
- A healthy, productive morning helps set the tone for a healthy, productive day.
- Checking your workout off of your to-do list will give you a sense of accomplishment early in the day.
- The endorphins you produce while you exercise will help you start the day on a positive note.
- Morning exercise can help regulate blood sugar levels throughout the day.
Exercise in the Afternoon
Exercising during the afternoon may be the optimal choice if your mornings are already hectic and you don’t enjoy getting up any earlier than is absolutely necessary. If you have some flexibility in your midday schedule, working out between lunch and dinner may be the best time for you.
Other reasons to consider working out in the afternoon include:
- Afternoon workouts have been shown to have positive effects on the body’s natural circadian rhythm.
- Your body needs less of a warm up compared to in the morning, so you’re able to work out for a shorter period of time.
- Doing an afternoon workout is a good way to make sure you’re taking a break from sitting behind a desk for hours on end.
- Working out sometime after lunch can help your body avoid the dreaded afternoon energy crash.
- Exercise can help aid digestion, even if it’s as little as ten minutes of walking.
Exercise in the Evening
If most of your days tend to be busy and full of obligations, working out in the evening may be the key to having a consistent exercise routine. After a full and productive day, practicing some self-care in the form of exercise may be just what you need.
Benefits of performing your exercise as part of your evening routine are:
- Scheduling your workout at the end of the day after your daily obligations have been cared for may enable you to spend more time exercising without feeling rushed.
- Exercising after work or a long day taking care of your family is a good way to relieve stress from the events of the day.
- Working out during the evening may have the best impact on falling asleep easily and sleeping well.
The Best Time to Exercise
The reality is that the very best time of day to exercise is whenever is right for you! Your schedule may even vary day-to-day, so the best time of day to workout may have to vary as well. You’ll reap the incredible benefits of exercise on your physical and mental health regardless of the time of day you perform it. Even though each time of day has its particular benefits, the most important thing is to just do it whenever you can make the time!
Artful Agenda, Your Exercise Partner
Instead of just putting exercise on your To-Do list, you are more likely to accomplish your workout if you put it on your calendar. Look over your appointments, events, and other obligations in your Artful Agenda, see what time is available for your workout session, and schedule it just like any other important engagement. Need more accountability? Invite a friend to workout with you with just a couple of clicks in your Artful Agenda!
You can also use Artful Agenda to:
- Make sure you are drinking enough water, especially on days that you exercise.
- Set reminder notifications for your scheduled workouts so you don’t overlook them.
- Develop a morning, afternoon, or evening routine that includes your daily workout.
- Create recurring events for days when your workouts are consistently on the same schedule.
If you’re still struggling to find the best time to exercise with your schedule, here are some additional tips:
- Your workout doesn’t have to be long or strenuous. If a 10- or 20-minute workout is all you can fit into your day, then so be it!
- You don’t need to go to a gym or have a lot of equipment to get some exercise in. Going for a walk in your neighborhood, doing a virtual workout class via a local studio, or following a video on YouTube allows you to exercise without the travel time. Some of our favorites on YouTube are Yoga with Adriene, MadFit, and POPSUGAR Fitness.
- If you have a goal of losing weight or another fitness-related goal, try using an app to help you keep track of your workouts. A few we’d recommend are Runtastic, Daily Yoga, and MyFitnessPal.
- If you find yourself choosing typical sedentary activities over exercising, try linking that activity to your workout. For example, only allow yourself to watch your favorite Hulu series while you walk on a treadmill or ride a stationary bike.
- Treat your daily exercise as if it is part of your everyday self-care routine. Sometimes shifting your mindset about exercise from feeling that it is something that you “have to do” into believing it is something that you “get to do” to take care of yourself is the best motivation there is.
- Remember that no matter your current fitness level, you are moving your body because you love yourself and the body you are in, and you are worth it!
Add your workout to your calendar with Artful Agenda!