By Jackeline Soto
I’ve always been asked “what’s the best time to exercise?” And the honest answer is it’s definitely based on your preference. And you can totally say that’s a lie, that there should be scientific proof on what’s the best time to exercise and I’m sure there is but every workout is so different because a workout is supposed to cater to you and your goals. No matter at what time you exercise you’re reaping health benefits so if a time works better for you than another time stick to it, you know your body so listen to your body.
Early in the morning:
Personally, I like to wake up early and exercise. Depending on the type of exercise determines at what time I’m waking up.
For example, if I decide I’m going for a long run say 10-15 miles I’ll wake up at 4:45 am and give myself about 15-20 minutes so I can wake up, stretch, eat a snack, and fill up water bottles. Running 10-15 miles takes me about 1 hr & 45 minutes to 2 hrs & 45 minutes and sometimes this can go longer depending how my body wakes up that day. So I come back and since I’m doing this early in the morning I know I still have enough time to shower, eat a healthy breakfast, and get ready for work or school.
But say if I’m only running 5 miles or less then I wake up at 5:50 am. Complete my run, stretch, and I still have time to show, eat a healthy breakfast, and get ready for work or school.
And if I change my routine like to a High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workout then I’m up by 5:15 am and complete an hour circuit which completely gets me tired. I go home, shower, eat a healthy breakfast, get ready for work or school and I sometimes manage to squeeze in a power nap. I seriously cannot get through the day without taking a powernap when I complete a HIIT workout.
The beauty of exercising in the morning:
- Exercise is out of way
- There won’t be any schedule conflicts
- Not too many people out and about & avoid cars
- A lot of energy for the rest of the day
- People may praise you. It’s a lot of dedication and effort to wake up in the morning and people will give you kudos.
- Weather is nice
The horrible truth about exercising in the morning
- Depending on your workout you may be too tired for the rest of your day
- It’s difficult to wake up in the morning until you train your body to wake up at the crack of dawn
- People may judge you. I often get “oh why wake up early?” or “eww I don’t know how you wake up early, Don’t you prefer to stay asleep?”
Now I’m not saying I don’t enjoy a great afternoon workout ‘cause I do. But the issues with running in the summer heat increase. I haven’t trained enough to be able to run in 105 degree weather for 5 miles and I’m not going to train in such conditions because that is too extreme for me.
The beauty of working out in the afternoon:
- Lightens your mood, sometimes your day isn’t going great but a great workout can change that
- Changes things up. Working out in the afternoon after sitting for a long period of times can be awful for your body and working out can improve blood flow.
- There are people around you working out, and sometimes that can motivate you to workout harder.
The horrible truths of working out in the afternoon:
- The sun is out and it’s too hot to workout
- Schedule conflicts
- Sometimes you work out too late in the afternoon and it makes your body restless
Working out should be something you do to improve your health, and should be rewarding. Don’t punish your body with a workout because it will just cause double hatred for the time you work out and your body. So go ahead and challenge your body with a workout and grown mentally, and physically.