STRONG Idea: Get the Worm ... or the Cheese

By Emily Stapleton on November 04, 2013 from Strong Ideas via

We all know that we should be exercising on a regular basis, but when is the best time of day to workout?  Morning or evening? There’s really no right or wrong answer, but read on for my two cents.  They say the early bird gets the worm…but the second mouse gets the cheese.
Daylight Savings Time…love it or hate it?  It doesn’t really matter because it just happened.  My advice is to embrace it.  When we set our clocks back one hour, it should be a little easier to get up in the morning.  If you usually rise and shine at 6 a.m., now it should feel like 7 a.m.  This is the perfect set-up to start exercising in the morning!  In my opinion, the earlier in your day you workout, the better.
  • An early morning workout shows that health and fitness are a priority in your life.  If it’s the first thing you do in the morning, it must be important.
  • When you schedule your workout in the morning, there are very few scheduling conflicts that can get in the way.  A later workout time is forced to compete with other responsibilities and appointments.
  •  Exercising soon after you wake up jumpstarts your metabolism for the day.  A healthy metabolism is an active metabolism.
Still not convinced that you can make an early morning workout happen in your life?  I know, I know. You’re too busy.  It’s too hard to get up in the morning.  It’s too hard to go to bed early, the kids keep you up late, it’s cold and dark.  I’ve heard all the excuses.  Here are some tips to make it happen:
  1. You have to want to make it happen.  A healthy lifestyle has to be a priority in your life.  The way to accomplish a workout is to plan it, schedule it, and follow through.
  2. Get your body used to the schedule.  Though it’s ok to sleep a little later on your non-workout days, it’s best to go to bed and get up at a similar time every day…give or take an hour or so.
  3. Get adequate sleep.  Most studies recommend sleeping between 7 and 8 hours every night.  My sweet spot is about 7 hours on the nights I’m getting up at 5 a.m. and about 7 ½ to 8 on the nights I’m sleeping slightly later.  Part of planning your morning workout is planning your sleep the night before.
  4. Eat a light breakfast before you workout and continue to eat about every two hours throughout the day.  Keeping your body fueled all day will help with your energy level up during your early workout.
Some of the downsides I hear about an early workout?  Lack of energy later in the day and just a hard time getting out of bed in the morning.  Both of these have little to do with the workout itself.  The late lack of energy is probably due to not eating often enough throughout the day.  Eating every couple of hours, starting with a light meal before and after the workout should help.  Difficulty waking up is probably due to sleep deprivation.  The time change can help here. It’s now getting dark earlier, so go to sleep earlier.  You’ll thank yourself when that 5 a.m. wake-up call comes.
All of that being said, sometimes and evening workout is the way to go.  A lot of what I’ve already said applies here.  If evening is going to be your workout time, schedule your workout, make your health a priority, and follow through.  Accomplishing workouts on a regular basis is really all about commitment and priority.  So whether you get the worm or the cheese, make it happen.
Until Next Week,
Emily Stapleton

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