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The "Best" Time to Exercise- Part 1

December 7th, 2006 at 06:08 am

Despite all the debates and arguements, there really is no "one size fits all" answer. As with most "is it or isn't it good for you?" debates, results vary depending on the individual. As an avid runner,I have varied my routine several times to adjust to my changing life situations, so these are my personal observations, as well as some of the more reasonable medical evidence I've encountered.

Morning-
What better way to start your day than with an energy-boosting workout? The early release of endorphins may also pave the way to a good day. Psychologically, exercising in the morning is the best way to "get it over with." Studies have also shown that people who exercise in the morning are more likely to establish and maintain their routine. Egotistically, you have something to feel proud about (while people were still in bed, you were clocking in the miles on your run).

Physically, though, your body is more prone to injury at this hour. Like your mind, your body needs some time to wake up. Thus it is extremely important that you stretch and warm up prior to starting your morning workout.

As for the question as to whether you burn more fat by exercising in the AM; well, logically, if your last meal was at 7PM the night prior, then when you go exercise 12 hrs later at 7AM, it's likely there won't be as much sugars floating in the system to be converted to quick energy. So, yes, fat is the next source of energy. However, if you have ever looked at the pathway of fat metabolism, you might notice it is an arduous process. Alhough you inevitably burn off fat in a workout, your body is does so slowly. in the early morning hours, the body may not be able to burn fat as efficiently as it could be later in the day.

Despite it all, morning has my vote. The biggest reason is that I've lived in the south for many years, and the summers were so humid and hot that I had not choice but to run in the early morning- and I loved it! The air was fresh and the sunrise was a joy to watch. I loved getting my run done and then having the rest of the day to spend in the lab (bleh). Also, there was the added benefit of being able to shower and freshen up inthe comforts of home.

That's it for now. Coming soon, the pros and cons to working out at other hours of the day.

4 Responses to “The "Best" Time to Exercise- Part 1”

  1. threebeansalad Says:

    I run first thing in the morning. If I wait until later in the day to run, I get busy and it becomes too easy to rationalize why not to run. Also, even if I make a commitment to run in the afternoon, it's easy to procrastinate while getting ready to run, further making the whole ordeal take up more time. In the morning, I know that I have about 15 minutes between the time I wake up and the time I need to start running if Im going to get to campus on time.

  2. jriessel Says:

    I agree - The morning is the best time to exercise. When I do - I feel great the rest of the day. I also find myself eating better on the days I exercise.

    that being said - now that the time has changed (daylight savings) and it is bitterly cold in the morning I cannot get myself out of bed at 5:30. It is just too dark and cold in our house - I can't make myself do it. I hope to get back into the routine in the spring. For now, I will just have to stuggle to find time to do it later in the day.

  3. Broken Arrow Says:

    Just curious, but what part of the united states are you in?

  4. frugalmomof1 Says:

    Anytime you decide to exercise is the right time!!!! Big Grin I would love to work out in the morning, but it's tough with DS. When the weather was nice I would take him out for walks every morning after breakfast. Now I have to wait until he naps to put in the exercise videos or start up the treadmill.

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