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Our Fitness Blog

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Heather Hudson

Definitely workout first thing in the morning.

Absolutely workout mid-day...

You simply must workout in the evening…

which one?!

There’s a lot of mixed advice about which time of day is the most effective to exercise for maximum results. Without beating around the bush, the time you should work out is the time that you KNOW you will do it! Honestly, a workout is a workout. The least effective workout is the one that consistently doesn’t happen! So, don’t get caught up in the myth that there’s a magical time of day to burn more fat with your workout and instead, know the truth: you need to be realistic and pick the time that you can successfully and consistently do your workout. Make that your time let that be that.

I do have a few tips to make yourself more likely to stick to your chosen time and increase your ability to make those workouts happen, and happen effectively.

Tip 1 – Always have all your workout gear with you, or better yet, go ahead and wear it. This seems obvious, but it’s just one less thing to block you from working out. Especially if your time is to work out in the morning, say right after the kids get in school. In that case, make your workout clothes be what you put on after your shower, drop your kids in the car line and drive straight to the gym. DO NOT GO HOME FIRST. Have everything with you when you take your kids to school. Going home WILL derail your success rate. You’ll start cleaning, working or some other distraction will suck you in and before you know it, your workout time will have passed and you’ll say, “I’ll get it tomorrow.”

So you say your gym doesn’t open until 9:00 and you drop the kids off to school at 8:30? There is no need to feel like you’re wasting your valuable time! Bring an item you need to get done, such as something to read, or some paper work you need to fill out; anything you can do once you’re in the parking lot and do that while you’re waiting. This is multi-tasking at its finest. I guarantee that 30 minutes in the car spent this way is more productive than going home to do the same exact thing! Our intentions are always better than circumstances. Don’t’ allow circumstances to dictate your productivity.

Tip 2 – If you work out after you leave work in the late afternoon/evening, then again, ALWAYS have your workout attire, shoes, and gear with you, and DO NOT GO HOME FIRST. Even better, change into your workout clothes AT WORK and then make the gym the FIRST pit stop after leaving work and nothing else. No errands, nothing. You must stay focused and make your body your priority. If you go home, the duties of the evening rush will take over and the likelihood of having the self-control and drive to get up after a long hard day of work are slim to none.

Plan for after your workout as well! If you need to run to the store after your work out on the way home, bring a change of dry clothes and a ball cap to cover your sweaty hair, so you don’t feel like a scary monster while standing in line with your bread and milk. Spray yourself down with a good smelling body splash or Axe spray for the guys…(out of consideration for others) and at least you’re presentable to get what you need and get on home to your loving family. For the most part though, get comfortable with looking like you just battled a dragon and get over it. It really is the norm to see people post workout running around amongst us, doing their daily duties. Hey, just because I work out regularly doesn’t mean I’m going to slink around in shame. I’m proud of my glow and you should be too. (A little lip gloss, gum, and some big sunglasses go a long way too.) Guys, you can skip the lip gloss…

***Prepping for all of this includes laying out your workout clothes (and extra change of clothes) the night before. When you pick out your work outfit for your job, go ahead and pick out your exercise clothes right then as well. This ensures that you have a clean pair, and that doesn’t end up being something you find out too late the next morning, when you no longer have time to wash them! Having a nice large bag for all this to be in one place is easier than 2 or 3 separate bags, but it is a nice idea to have a small plastic bag to throw your sweaty clothes inside to keep them from touching your dry things.

Tip 3- No matter what time you work out, do NOT work out on an empty stomach. This is another myth that ruins people’s results. In the morning, you’ve already been food free (in a fasting state) for at least 7-8 hours, probably more. On the flip side, if you work out late afternoon or evening, say 5:30 pm, and your last meal was noon, again, you’re on an empty stomach by that time and this is not ideal for your workouts to be successful. Remember, fuel the body, burn the fat. Properly fueling the body prior to workout makes you able to perform stronger during the workout, thereby gaining maximum results. It also prevents muscle wasting, which is when the body turns to the muscle, rather than the fat stores for energy in the body. Don’t let this happen.

This means that another part of a successful workout schedule is to prep and carry snacks for pre-fuel with you so this doesn’t become a reason you’re unable to complete your exercise time. Easy is a must. An apple, some grapes or banana combined with peanut butter or almonds are super easy for two reasons: no need to refrigerate and can be easily consumed on the go. I like to consume my snack and water about 30 minutes to an hour before I work out, so….watch the clock! But hey, the great thing is, with the above snacks listed, you could ‘forget’ and literally eat them 5 minutes before walking in the gym door and be fine during your session. These foods don’t weight you down or make you sluggish. Just don’t neglect the snack, and then work out on an empty stomach, this is a big mistake.

Lastly, have a huge, fresh container of water for after your workout and drink it on the way home.

When you truly schedule in your workouts and prepare as laid out above, you’ll notice a huge increase in your consistency! When planning is too complex, you won’t do it. These tips seamlessly fit into a busy lifestyle. Enjoy and here’s to your productivity!