What’s the Best Time of the Day to Exercise?

ParkWorkout“What’s the best time of the day to exercise?” I get asked this a lot, and my answer is ALWAYS “the time of the day that you’ll actually do it.”

If I don’t workout sometime in the morning, it just ain’t happening. I know myself pretty well at this point and that’s just the gosh darn truth. I’ve been forced to exercise in the evening on occasion and I have always dreaded it alllll day. All I want to do at the end of the day is go home and wind down.

As the day goes on, other things come up and generally they’re more “important” than getting a workout in. While I always feel pretty good after a workout, sometimes they’re harder to justify, especially if you’re already in pretty good shape. The thought “I’m not going to lose muscle in a day of not working out” easily comes to mind and I move on.

Others prefer to workout in the evening. That schedule just works better for them. And that’s okay too! I’m personally a bit of an early bird so I like to knock out very important tasks in the morning; exercise being one of them…to me at least.

The key to finding a good daily or near daily workout time for you is to find a time where there are usually no other distractions; a time where generally nothing else is going on and nothing and no one can get in your way. That way you have very few excuses to cancel on yourself. And that’s another point right there! If you are not already in the habit of working out, actually sit down and SCHEDULE your workouts. Make them like meetings that you can’t miss with yourself unless you’re sick or something entirely unavoidable comes up. If you have to miss a session, then you just reschedule like you would any other appointment.

I try to drill this into the minds of my clients. Most of them I only meet twice a week, but I try to urge them to get in workouts on their own. But like I mentioned in my post last week about motivation, real, lasting motivation can’t come from an outside source, it has to come from within. So often my words go in one ear and out the other. If you haven’t built your me-time or gym-time into your day, it’s easily going to be bypassed or it’ll be something you do for a while and gradually you just stop working out altogether. Developing the habit is crucial to your success. Eventually it’ll just become something you do regularly without thought. It’ll be a no-brainer.

Once you have decided on the “perfect”” time, set yourself up for success. My husband makes sure to set the timer on the coffee pot to brew the coffee before he gets up so that there’s something to look forward to when he wakes up at the ass-crack-of-dawn. Have your gym bag packed or set your gym clothes out the night before. Create a routine. Build it into your day. Make it just a little bit easier!

For those of you who have been successful with creating the habit of working out regularly, what do you do or have done in the past to make building this habit easier? I would love to hear your ideas!

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