Between your kids, working full-time, and keeping in touch with your friends, it’s hard to find the best time to work out. And though it may be tempting to move exercise to the back burner, fitness is of the utmost importance for living healthily. Case in point, the American Heart Association (AHA) recommends twenty-five minutes of vigorous aerobic activity at least three days a week and moderate muscle-strengthening activity at least two days per week, whenever you can fit it in.
Even with a packed schedule, you can find the ideal time for exercise for you. Whether morning, noon, night, or somewhere in between, the best time to work out is any hour you can dedicate to whatever physical activity suits your daily calendar.
Rise and Sweat
The early morning is by far the best time to get in the highest-impact activity. Whether you’re logging miles for a fall marathon or getting ready for a big mountain-biking trip, sunrise endurance workouts are ideal. Not only has the sun barely risen, making a beautiful landscape without the harsh afternoon temps, but you also ensure you complete your fitness goals before the weight of your work tasks.
Remember to bring energy gels or snacks and a water belt with you, as thirst and hunger can sneak up on you first thing in the morning. If you do eat the night before, make sure it’s a low-sugar item that doesn’t make it harder to fall asleep.
When the kids are off to school and you’ve finished your daybreak chores, the mid-morning is a convenient time to squeeze in a cardio workout. Your local gym probably offers numerous great classes, but you can also work out to just as many verified YouTube channels from the comfort of your own device. You’ll break the same sweat as any other time of day, but these cardio workouts make you feel energized and more awake to complete everything on your afternoon agenda.
Lunch Break Burn
If you spend most of your day at an office, lunch break is a great time to squeeze in a workout and take advantage of the opportunity to move around. Rather than weight training (which may make you sore later in the day) or trying to squeeze in an aerobics class (which can be hard to schedule), midday is the perfect time for interval training. These afford you a variety of brief but fast-paced cardio exercises so you can make the most of your one hour.
After a long day, it’s hard to find the motivation to head out for a run or hop on an elliptical, but a post-work workout is an ideal time to fit in your lifting.
Focusing on form is fantastic for clearing your mind from the clutter of the last eight hours, and you can feel free to push yourself without worrying about being sore at the office. The best perk of a nighttime strength session is that you have time to soak in the tub after a job well done.
Night Owl Fitness
If you’re a night owl, you might be tempted to exercise in order to tire yourself out for a good night’s sleep. Many high-energy workouts, however, can actually have the reverse effect. Yoga is the perfect activity for the twilight fitness fanatic, as it stretches out your muscles, builds mental and physical strength, and focuses your energy back to your core. The deep breathing associated with yoga is also a great way to relax before calling it a night.
Learning when to work out is something that varies for everyone. The best way to make sure you stay healthy for yourself and your family is to make time at some point of the day for regular exercise. It also helps to find a workout you enjoy and inspires you to push yourself harder every week.
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This article was brought to you by Tom’s of Maine. The views and opinions expressed by the author do not reflect the position of Tom’s of Maine.