Being in the wellness industry, especially with a background as a personal trainer, I often get asked what is the best time of day to do your workout.
Whatever time you will actually go do it.
Well, that certainly makes this a short blog.
But wait, there’s more…of course!
Back in the day, for awhile I would hit the gym after work. It was a coveted time slot, and my trainer had people wait-listed. No doubt they were hoping I’d be late one too many times or just stop showing. Fat chance. I loved those sessions, he kicked my butt!
Working out after work was great. It helped me unplug and decompress from the work day. It also meant I was pumped enough to go home and get some things accomplished, plus I’d make super healthy food choices for dinner.
When he and I first started working together my appointments were in the morning. Up at 3:30 am (ok, I sometimes pushed that to 4) to eat breakfast so I could be in the gym by 5. I did that 5 days a week. I still worked out on the weekends, but I was NOT going to get up that early on a Saturday.
The thing that was great about the morning workouts was it got my metabolism revving first thing in the morning, and gave me a great energy boost for the day.
Was one better than the other? No.
You’ll hear some people tell you a workout should be done at this time of day or that time of day. I look at that much the way I look at dietary theories. They are just that: theories.
The best time of day? It is the time that you will actually stick to.
For me, my “reasons to skip my workout” list is much shorter in the morning: I don’t wanna get out of bed. At the end of the day, it can be everything from “oh but I have 5 more emails to send” to “I have to prep for tomorrow’s meeting” to “but the dry cleaners closes at 5 and so by the time I’d get to the gym then get home it’d be too late to eat dinner.” They run the gamut and they are plentiful. And they’re crap.
It’s all just mind chatter. Are you going to let it derail you, or flip it around and use it as motivation?
Sometimes you simply have to have a little talk with yourself to flip it, like I did today. I stayed up a tiny bit later than normal (ok, I got sucked into a book so it was a lot later). That meant I woke up much later than usual. When I checked the outside temps and realized it was already 80 degrees, I started to come up with rationalizations about why I should skip my walk/run. I even threw in the idea that I could hop on my rebounder or do an ab routine later instead.
I knew I had to do it. My body needed me to get out and move. After 3 days of sitting in a classroom followed by 2 computer-heavy days of work my body was begging me to move it. So I had a little chat with myself as I put on my shoes and I hit the pavement. As I hoofed it through the neighborhood, I made a commitment to myself that while it is so flippin’ hot out, I will set an alarm and get up earlier so I enjoy my time outdoors a bit more.
And, as always happens when I try to talk myself out of my workout time, I was so happy that I made it happen. Now, I can start the rest of my day, one goal already accomplished.
What about you? Are you for a morning or evening workout?