People ask me often what I suggest is the best time of day to exercise. Before I get into a little detail, my short answer is what I recommend in Today is Still the Day. I suggest scheduling exercise sessions first thing in the morning, when possible, simply because you get it done before the rest of the day’s activities can intrude. Consistency is key and scheduling it early assures it gets done. Another benefit to this is that if you exercise on an empty stomach (a cup of coffee or tea is fine), you also tap into stored energy (fat!) and burn that as fuel.
In a recent study of people who successfully maintained weight loss, 47.8% of these consistent exercisers scheduled workouts in the morning. While this could indicate morning as the optimal workout time, the consistency is really the key.
If you find it easier to work out in the afternoon or after work and before you go home, by all means, do so! For over 20 years my husband went to the gym after school (he was a teacher) and worked out before coming home for dinner. He found it helped him relax and release the stress of the day before coming into the house. That was especially helpful when our children were small. Since he is semi-retired, he now works out early in the morning. I have always been a first-thing-in-the-morning exerciser. I just like to get it done and then get on with my day.
So choose something you will do consistently and choose a time that works for you. Bottom line is that the best time of day to exercise is the time you will do it daily!
Do you exercise regularly? Are you a morning or later day exerciser?
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Great thoughts Ms. Ann. My wife and I used to rise early. make coffee, put it in a To Go thermos cup and head for the gym. We were both younger and in much better shape. Perhaps this was part of the reason why. I try and tell myself I get enough exercise each day working around the ranch, but in reality, the last several months there’s been very little. I haven’t changed my diet or exercise routine (or lack thereof) as I’m recovering. Still, with the exception of my self-driven physical therapy, there’s little else… and it shows! Thanks for this great reminder. Maybe I can work that into my mornings again; right after my “God time” each day.
Well J.D. it’s also important to listen to your body and if you are still recovering, you need that time. My exercise always comes after God time – that is always #1. As you regain your strength, perhaps you can add just a little more movement into your day. It doesn’t even have to be structured “exercise” – just walk and move more during the day. It all counts! Thank you for sharing your experience.
Loved it. Consistency is REALLY the key. I’m happy that you focused on the fact that we need to listen to your bodies and having to dedicate some time to recovery. Great read!
Thanks very much for your comment. I appreciate you reading!
Thanks for reasoning with us on the good times for a daily exercise, you sure have felt what you are talking about. Keep up the good work.
Thank you for reading and commenting.
When I had a “real job” I was a first thing in the morning girl too. But now I love the flexibility and throwing it in when I’m tired, or need a break. And honestly, I kind of love backpacking and canoe trips where that’s all you do, sun up to sun down. What a great way to get your mind straight.
The flexibility of getting movement and activity in whatever way you choose when you choose is great – I agree!
I need to get back to the gym. I’ve had a few months of tortured existence with fixing up a house to sell and having a son who always seems to be angry with me. And letting go of the last items that remind me of my husband. And eating and eating because that’s my stress response. But the sale is complete, I just have to help my sons move into their new home and that will be done by the weekend. And then it’s back to the gym.
It sounds like you have had a very challenging few months. I’m glad you will be able to get to a more normal routine and hopefully put yourself on the list! I hope you will take time for yourself – to exercise, eat well and process through all the emotions so you can get to a place of peace. Thanks for reading.