This is perhaps one of the most often asked questions at A+A Wellness. When is the BEST time to workout? This is a very valid question too and it involves a multi faceted approach to determine the best time for YOU.
Your body has something called its “Circadian Rhythm” which ultimately determines whether you will be an Early Bird or a Night Owl. Your bodies circadian rhythm is governed by the 24 hour pattern of the Earths rotation.
This rhythm can determine your bodies functions such as:
All of the above play a crucial role as to how “ready” your body is for exercise. The key is to first and foremost, listen to your body!
Ask yourself the following questions to help determine the most optimal time for you to exercise:
**Do you rise pretty easily in the morning or is it hard to wake up?
**Do you wake up feeling fresh?
**Do you tend to stay up late, watching tv, or do you tend to be in bed at a regular time?
**Do you feel more energized after work or tired and ready for bed?
After asking yourself these questions and answering them… take a look at your overall schedule. Do you have many demands after work? Picking up kids, soccer practice, dinner prep etc?
Be as honest as you can with yourself because finding your optimal time for fitness is KEY! If you end up trying a time that does not work or a time with which you have lots of distractions… you are more likely to fall off!
The key is to find a time that allows you to FULLY MAXIMIZE this time! This way, you reach your goals and develop a habit.
Planning ahead (PLAN!) is key. Each weekend, I write out my schedule for the week and I include my fitness time within each day. I also include my writing time and time for other appointments. It is CRUCIAL to understand that in the beginning you must be very diligent in writing out your schedule and literally including your time for EXERCISE just as you would a Doctors appointment. If you just “wing” it friends you are setting yourself up for failure, sadly. Randomness can come once you have DEVELOPED the habit for exercise. For instance, an athlete or avid exerciser may use “random” times or varied workouts to mix it up and break boredom. You don’t want to chance this in the beginning. Consistency is key.
If you are trying to develop consistency, research shows that working out in the morning is best and most likely to help you develop the habit. The morning also happens to be the time of day where we are least likely to be faced with distractions, late meetings etc.
If you are concerned with insomnia causing you to hit the SNOOZE button rethink your evening routine. Remember, you are creating new habits and this just may require you make adjustments elsewhere.
For instance, if you tend to stay up late watching television consider a different bedtime routine. Instead, read yourself to sleep and sip on soothing chamomile tea. All of these things will eventually help your body to fall asleep faster. You will wake rested and ready to hit that workout instead of sleeping in!
Setting yourself up for success ultimately requires planning. You have to plan your evenings and your day ahead of time. Creating the proper mindset is ultimately what will allow you to succeed.
For instance, you will never see me randomly planning my week. I plan every detail (except my weekends when I relax) such as my training hours, meeting hours, writing/blogging time and exercise!
It is often times noticed that people plan the family schedules, practices, etc and just “assume” they will be able to fit in their exercise time “somewhere”. If you have not yet developed the ROUTINE and HABIT of working out… chances are, you will miss your workout 90% of the time! Do not leave this to chance.
Are you not sure of your Circadian Rhythm or where you feel you would best fit in your fitness time? Consider working out morning, noon and night to see which feels best. Which one allowed you the MOST time with the LEAST distractions?
It is ok to allow time for trial and error friends. Remember, you are creating a VERY IMPORTANT habit and this may take some time. It is ok.
This is also another HUGE reason why hiring a fitness professional is key. We are able to help you find out which times work best and we also provide accountability during the most crucial time-the beginning! It is easy to give up sometimes if you don’t have an appointment so consider fitness professionals like Alex and I. We can help get you past the first hump of developing this habit. We can also see you well on your way to a HEALTHY LIFESTYLE! Info located in the “About Us” section.
We hope this blog helped you to better identify with what times work best for you to workout or at least a plan for finding out yourself!
Above all, set yourself up for success! YOU CAN DO IT! Believe that you can and set up your plan. If you need anything, we are here!
Alex and Ashley Poptodorov
About the Author:Alex & Ashley Poptodorov are owners of A+A Wellness in ATL, GA. They have over 30 years combined experience with 14 years of running their own fitness facility in Tampa & ATL. They relocated to ATL in 2013 and now offer Fitness, Nutrition, Lifestyle & Traditional Naturopathy programs including Online Coaching and their online Forum called the A+A Wellness 'Inner Circle'.