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The best time of day to exercise.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Here's a question a lot of people wonder about: What is the best time of day to exercise?

There is some scientific evidence that an early AM workout is the most beneficial. So if you are a person who has the option to work out first thing in the morning and it's compatible with your personality, I say go for it! Why not?

I like to work out ASAP in the morning. I'm more energetic in the morning and it's out of the way. For me, it's worth it to wake up super-early to get my workout in, if possible. That way, any excuse I can find for not doing it later on in the day is not given a chance to take hold. It's already done.

However, if your schedule won't allow you to work out in the early AM or you are one of these people who just simply can't put out your best effort right out of bed, you need to find a time that works better for you. As I keep saying, any exercise is better than no exercise.

If you can't give 100% to your workout in the morning but you can at 6PM, you will gain more benefit from working out at 6PM.

If you simply can't find time to work out until 6PM, you will gain more benefit from working out at 6PM than you will from not working out at all.

One precaution about working out late in the day: Some people will have a hard time getting a good nights sleep if they exercise within a couple of hours of bedtime. And sleep is vital in the fitness battle, so don't sacrifice your sleep for your workout.

Whenever you decide is the best time for you to exercise, schedule it into your calendar and treat it like a non-negotiable appointment. This is your health we are talking about. It is that important.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUNSHINE667 3/9/2010 4:58PM

    I workout in the afternoons. It gives me time to do whatever I need to in the morning and frees up my nights to relax or study. When I was working I had to in the mornings or night. Either way like you said, whenever you do it's better than not doing it at all and at least we are exercisng period!

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DS9KIE 3/8/2010 10:46PM

    I do my exercise both in the monrning and in the evening and any other time I can fit in some exercise. Even if its 5 minutes here and there.

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ROCKINROBIN15 3/7/2010 8:11PM

    hey nancy!! wow i have been battling with this debate...am work out or pm workout!! i really would like to work out in the morning...because after work and class coming home sometimes to do a full workout is like "oh brotha"! im fatigued already and have to push myself...i dont mind doing little workouts like abs or arms...but sometimes a full workout after a long day is annoying....on the other hand...im a night owl..i find it hard to sleep before 1am on most days even 2 or 3am sometimes...and i wake up early afternoon......to head to work and school...almost always running late because im so exhausted....sometimes 10 hrs of sleep still isnt enough for me....i told myself i will try to get up early to do a workout ...lets see if it happens...lol

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NANCYANNE55 3/7/2010 4:23PM

    Both of you ladies are perfect examples of working out when you are able to give it your best effort. If you can put more energy into your workout in the PM, then the PM is the best time for you to be working out!

Most days I can get cardio early AM, but have to wait until late morning to do lifting. It's what my schedule allows, so it's what I do. And sometimes on Wednesday nights I will get cardio at the gym while the kids are in church, just to mix it up. It's what works for you and that you DO IT that is the most important thing.

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BELLAMIMI1 3/6/2010 9:54PM

    I exercise in the evening 1 1/2 -2 hrs after dinner. It gives me energy for my evening routine, my bedtime blood sugar is excellent and I get a good nite's rest.

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KFQUILTER 3/6/2010 9:36PM

    I wish I could work out first thing in the morning, but sleep keeps me in bed until last minute. I rented a locker at gym so I always have my stuff and head there right after work. I do my workout after a light snack and get my metabolism charged up so will burn more with dinner. I just book appointments in my calendar and if asked, "Sorry, I cant, I have another commitment" I make myself the commitment and take care of myself first. Exercise along with diet is a major part of that. emoticon

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Equipement to start an at-home exercise program

Friday, February 26, 2010

Here is my list, in what I feel is order of importance, of things someone who is new (or just coming back after a break of years) to exercise would need to start an at-home exercise program:

1.) An instructional book on weight lifting. I don't care if it's designed for men or women because we all lift weights the same way, but it needs to have a good description of many different weight-lifting exercises for all body parts, because eventually you're gonna get bored with doing the same stuff and want to change it up. Plus, change is good for muscle growth and symmetry.

It is better to lift correctly with no weights than incorrectly with weights, so pay close attention to the technique instruction in the book!

2.) Dumbbells. If you are a woman I'd recommend starting with two each of 1 lb, 3 lb, 5 lb, 7 lb (if you can find them), 8 lb, and 10 lb. For a man I'd recommend starting with two each 5 lb, 8 lb, 10 lb, 12 lb, 15 lb, 18 lb (if you can find them), and 20 lb. The cheapest iron ones will do. That's what I have. As you grow stronger you can go out and buy two dumbbells in the next size up. This keeps the cost in check, as well.

If you cannot get dumbbells, don't despair! I worked out when my children were small and we were flat broke with cans of food!

3.) An adjustable (you can make it taller) step aerobics bench. This not only works for it's obvious purpose, but it doubles as a weight lifting bench for most exercises requiring a bench. And it's usually cheaper.

4.) A step or other kind of cardio DVD. I like step best because it gets my heart rate going in a small amount of square footage. This is great for getting in cardio on those days that you can't get outside for a walk or rualk (run-walk). I have a bunch of aerobics DVDs because the same one over and over gets monotonous.

5.) An exercise ball appropriate for your height. Between this and the step bench, my need for a traditional weight lifting bench at home is pretty much gone.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GRATEFUL_DAWN 3/20/2014 2:51AM

    Great list. Thank you for sharing.

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MSVOLUPTUOSITY 7/11/2012 8:44PM

    Wow, this is great! It reminds me of when I was following Joyce Vedral's book. Thank you so much! Will refer to it again! You are fantabulous!

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SPARKVAMPY2012 2/10/2011 4:12PM

    GREAT TIPS! Thanks!

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NANCYANNE55 2/26/2010 2:57PM

    Cricket- I think the step is super-handy! I'll even put one end on the highest setting and the other end on the lowest for incline and decline moves. And I use it for calf-raises. My regular weight bench pretty much sits in my sons room, unused.

And Lori yes- you are totally right. What can't be done with the step bench or ball can usually be done with a chair. When I was a young mom a chair and cans, along with exercise tapes, were pretty much my work-out equipment!

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IM_GETTIN_THIN 2/26/2010 2:16PM

    weights are great and there are a lot of exercises you can do with weights while holding onto a chair for support or even some laying on the floor. emoticon

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HAPPYCRICKET 2/26/2010 12:14PM

    I love the idea of using my step as a weight bench--genius!

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NANCYANNE55 2/26/2010 11:06AM

    I know bands are cheaper, but I like weights better. The resistance seems to be less at the bottom of a move for me with bands. Also, I've had bands snap and break, hurting me, several times. I'm down to one because of it. :-) I will use them for a few exercises and when traveling, but for basic necessities in setting up a home workout program, I personally recommend dumbbells.

Also, dumbbells will be able to be used in a lot more of the exercises in what I consider the most important need: A good instructional book.

These are just basic needs to get started, by no means an exhaustive list. I have more than this at home. :-)

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HAPPYMOM8 2/26/2010 11:06AM

    Good advice!

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DREAVG 2/26/2010 10:59AM

    Have you considered resistance bands instead of weights? They are cheaper, more portable and can be use in a wide variety of ways.

Andrea

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