When Should You Work Out?

You probably know that physical activity is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. Many people attempt to squeeze the most benefit out of their routines by exercising at certain times of day, convinced that morning exercise is better than exercise at other times of the day.

I’ve often heard that starting out the day with a vigorous work out can help you kickstart your metabolism for the day, and improve your productivity and focus. While this might be true, this has never worked particularly well for me. Taking 30 to 60 minutes to work out during my peak productivity time means that my work gets pushed back to the afternoon — when I’m less effective at work.

Instead of fretting about the fact that I’m not exercising in the morning (I do start my day by running through the Sun Salutation series of poses three times to get a wake up boost), though, I’ve started applying this advice from an American Heart Association¬†article:

The best time of the day is when you will do it most consistently, because the benefits of physical activity are tightly linked to the amount you do on a consistent basis.

While there are those who insist that you have to exercise first thing in the morning to get optimum benefits, we don’t all work that way.

Exercise When it Works for You

The key to effective exercise, at least according to the American Heart Association, is to get in your physical activity when it makes sense for you, and when you can sustain regular work outs. If that’s first thing in the morning, go for it. However, you can also get a lot out of your exercise when you go every day after work. I know people who like to do that, since it provides them a chance to relieve some of their stress and get in a good mood before interacting with the rest of the family.

I’ve found that midday is an ideal time for me to exercise. That way, I get all of my work done in the morning, before I exercise. That’s my peak productivity time, so that’s when I prefer to work. I don’t like other distractions pulling me away from my work efforts. I get twice as much done in the morning hours, just after my son is at school and before lunch provides a break in my day.

Now that I’ve switched it up, I’m exercising more consistently as well. The exercise provides me with a pick-me-up that gets me ready for the non-work things I do with the rest of my day. I exercise, clean up, eat lunch, and then do whatever is on my schedule before I pick my son up from school.

The key is consistency. Figure out a time that you can work out on a consistent basis. Then, block out that time. Make it a priority to work out so that you don’t set it by the wayside. By putting your work out in the schedule, you are more likely to stick with it — and that will be the most effective way to get in your exercise.


About the Author

Miranda is a freelance writer and professional blogger. See more of her writing at MirandaMarquit.com. Her book, Confessions of a Professional Blogger is available from Amazon.