If I could change anything about myself, it would be to make myself a morning person. I do love being up early, seeing the sun rise, seeing the quiet streets before the hustle and bustle of the day begins; it’s wonderful. Just not wonderful enough to make me want to get out of bed.
I’ve tried to change this sad fact about myself because if I was a morning person, my life would be so much easier. I would rise with the sun, throw on some workout gear, and get in a good 30-40 minute session before showering and starting my workday. I’ve tried to do this. And I’ve failed miserably each and every time. I don’t just dislike getting out of bed in the mornings. My body actually doesn’t functionnormally for the first 30 minutes to an hour after I rise. Something about even standing upright jars my newly awakened body the wrong way. And forget the workout. My body is already angry at me just for standing; each subsequent movement makes each little cell yell at me in agony.
My snooze-loving brain always, always tells me I need more sleep. But my awake brain knows that morning workouts make the most sense. You wake up, get the blood flowing, get sweaty, and then you shower and get ready for your day. When you don’t work out in the morning and “get it out of the way,” you’re stuck with the dilemma of when to get sweaty and enduring another shower. Ay caramba.
But because I can’t change myself or my snoozing habits, I’ve started working out when I feel like it. I’m fortunate to work from home and have started fitting in workouts in the afternoons when I need a break. It’s not only a great stress reliever, but it also frees up my evenings to relax more. I tend to work out at any time between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. And I'm not miserable during the workouts.
So, when do the experts say is the best time to get moving? It looks like my body is leading me in the right direction without my brain knowing it. According to one expert, late afternoon or early evening is best, when you’re the most coordinated and your lungs are using oxygen more efficiently. And another study found changes in glucose metabolism and other hormonal responses, depending on the time of exercise, which may show that some times of the day may be better for working out than others.
I’m sure working out in the wee hours works for some people. Just not for me, and I’ve come to accept it. I’m embracing a new philosophy. The best time of day to work out is when you’ll actually do it. You snooze, you lose? I beg to differ. —Erin
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