Hi there! So it’s been a crazy busy week and 1/2 for me and my family. Since I last wrote a post, the major components of the kitchen renovations have been completed including installing the cabinets, quartz counter tops, crown molding and a subway tile back splash. It’s been such a process and I love how things have turned out. I still need to pick out a couple of pendant light fixtures.
Then the fun part: picking out new kitchen accessories like towels, decorative pieces to add a pop of color since everything is very white. Eventually, we will install a new floor in the entire main floor. We currently have linoleum in the kitchen and 12 year old carpet in the living room, double ick! Especially because we’ve only lived in the house for 2 years. I hate carpet anyway, especially carpet from another family. But unfortunately, we aren’t made of money and that next big project will have to wait until we get Dave’s bonus or if we win the lottery :-).
In other news, little Joelle has been sick with a high fever since Sunday 🙁 very big sad face. I hate it when my kids are sick. She doesn’t understand why she feels so crummy and when she looks at me with those big ol’ blue eyes stained with tears, it really breaks my heart. So, I’ve been doing more cuddling than ever rather than sitting in front of this computer.
Another distraction that is taking alot of my time is prepping for a training this weekend. In the Les Mills world, instructors have the opportunity to improve their skills through continuing education by taking part in advanced training modules. I have done quite a few of them for BodyFlow, RPM and BodyPump. This weekend, I am taking the second training module for both RPM and BodyPump. In order to prep for this training, I’ve been cramming the new releases (RPM 71 and BodyPump 98) for the last few days. I want to bring my A game so I’ve got to know these releases like the back of my hand. I’ve already taken this training for BodyFlow so I have an idea of what to expect but I’m really looking forward to it. Growth is always good!
On to the topic of the post. So it’s summer and it’s hot. Any outdoor working out should be done when it’s not so hot outside either in the early AM or later PM. So this got me thinking about when is the best time to workout?
I teach classes in three general time frames: the really early, like before the sun rises early (ick), the mid morning classes and the early evening classes. If you ask me Sunday night at 10pm (when I should be sleeping before my 4:15am alarm on Monday), I’ll say “I hate working out so early in the morning.” But if you ask me at 6:35am just after class, I’ll say it’s the best time to get your workout in! The workout is done and you have the entire rest of the day. I’m not a natural morning person but it is nice to get it done. I had to chance to get a run in this morning at 6am and proceeded to hit the snooze and didn’t get it in (and now a run won’t happen today since it’s 95 degrees).
The mid-morning classes are nice because you can sleep til a normal time and then get to the gym. But some folks have day jobs, so it’s not possible which will leave you working out in the evening after work.
What does the research say? The good news is that there really isn’t any conclusive evidence that supports one time over another. If you’re a early bird, you’ll likely find it easier to get it in during the pre-dawn hours. And if you’re anything but an early bird, you’ve got lots of time to squeeze it in.
However, the time of day will influence the quality of your workout and how you feel afterwards. Let’s talk about the pros and cons for exercising first thing in the morning. An early morning run or any other cardio type workout before breakfast may be more challenging to maintain intensity as your body is still trying to wake up. The same goes for an early morning weight lifting session. Your muscles may not have enough fuel stores to get you through a tough set. Your body’s core temperature is lower so you must allow more warm up time. Although sometimes it’s difficult to get up early for a workout, most people are grateful afterwards that it’s done. And it sets your day off on a great foot. I tell my 5:30am crew that they are certainly hardcore and that it takes a certain type of person to voluntarily get up that early. If you’re a runner training for a fall race, you better become an early person as late day runs in this heat can be dangerous. Then you’re left with the treadmill (dreadmill in my opinion, ugh).
But in order to be a successful early morning exerciser, you have to commit to some healthy sleep habits which might mean an earlier than normal bedtime. Which when I get both kids to sleep, I struggle at night with “should I go to bed early and catch up on sleep or should I veg on the couch and catch up on my DVR?” Usually the DVR wins 🙁
What about working out later? In this case, I’m talking about anything after your day has started. You have to be better about time management to devote your free time to exercise. The good news is that if you’re an “later” exerciser, your body is already warm and awake so getting into the groove of exercise is easier. However, again, you have to be good about planning meals so your body is properly fuel for a workout and not overly stuffed from your last meal. I talk alot about proper fueling with my class participants. It’s important to have a snack with both carbs and protein before and after your workout. Something as simple as an apple with a cheese stick is my usual “go to” at least 30-60 minutes prior.
Bottom line, there is no exact best time to exercise! So you are free to find the time that works best in your schedule. If you have trouble with consistency, try to devote the same time everyday to being active. Maybe everyday after work and before dinner, hit the gym or go for a walk. Consistency happens when it’s a habit.
I’m all over the place with my teaching schedule so I can’t say if I’m a morning exerciser or a later exerciser. If I didn’t teach, I would honestly still be all over the place with when I exercise. It’s just best to fit it in whenever!
What about you, when do you like to exercise?