In Check-in 5, Lark encouraged you to schedule your activity into your calendar to make sure you save time for it. That raises another question. When is the best time to exercise? Trick question! There is no single best time of day to exercise for everyone. Whenever you exercise, you can burn calories and improve health.
The only thing that matters is your best time to exercise. The best time for you is a time that you will exercise, because getting active at all is far more important than getting active at a specific time. If you are unsure about when to exercise, here are some pros, cons, and considerations for various times of the day.
There is something special about morning exercisers: they are more likely to keep it up. That may be because they put their workouts at the top of their to-do lists. There are plenty of benefits to morning workouts, such as feeling better all day, and being more motivated to make healthy eating choices for the rest of the day to keep up the momentum.
Some people need to have a snack before heading out the door first thing. The only way to know if you need one is to experiment and see what works best for you.
Morning workouts are less likely to work for you if you are chronically short on sleep and not able to roll out of bed early enough. You may also need to shift your workout time away from early morning if you are unable to go to bed earlier, such as if you work late or have family that need you in the evening so you can’t go to bed early.
Mid-morning, lunchtime, and mid-afternoon works let you clear your head and re-energize and refocus as the day gets busy. Working out during daytime hours lets you get real daylight, which can improve mood and up your vitamin D levels. If you have children in school or you are at work, it can be easier to set aside time during these hours without distractions from family or your home.
Mid-morning and especially mid-afternoon workouts may help you get through the day without nodding off. Lunchtime workouts can motivate you to pack a healthy lunch if you do not have time to both work out and go to a restaurant.
If you have no access to a gym, outdoor workouts can be uncomfortably hot in the summer. Daytime workouts can also be thrown to the wayside if your job demands are unpredictable and may interfere with your plans to get away for a bit.
Evening workouts let you clear your head after a hectic day and could help your mind relax so you can fall asleep more easily. If you do plan for an evening workout, be sure to hydrate all day and have a light snack, if needed, about 2 hours before you get active. Also, be sure to do it long enough before bedtime to let your body temperature get back down.
Whatever time of day you choose, making it routine is one important trick. You do not have to exercise at the same time each day, but you may want to have consistent patterns. For example, you might exercise in the morning on days you work late, at lunchtime on other workdays, and in the evening when you have a date night. Remember to log it all so Lark can give you better coaching!