Best Time of Day to Exercise
The Best time to workout is morning or night!
I didn’t like to exercise before. It made me sweaty, tired and full of pain. So it never seems like the best time of day to exercise!
As some of you may know, it was more like a coincidence that I started to workout 1.5 hours a day, 5 days a week: I saw my brother going from skinny to having a body good enough to be featured on Abercrombie and Fitch paper bags. I saw the magic of what exercise can do to a person, yet I didn’t understand why he could be so dedicated to go despite the soreness and sweat. Why would anyone on earth use almost one-tenth of a day to exercise instead of work and get career advancement? It just didn’t make sense to me.
I wasn’t overweight, and it didn’t seem like I had huge health issues. But there were a few ‘little’ things that were often bothering me:
- I got sick every 2 months
- I had constant shoulder pain and knee pain, which meant I had to go to the masseus every 2 weeks (at least). But after going, the healing was only temporary, in a few days time, the pain came back again
- I always wanted to sleep.
So I was curious to know how exercise can help me solve these issues, since people always said exercising does transforms your health.
I was skeptical of Sports and Exercise. But I gave it a shot.
If I can do this for 3 months, and I see no change, I’ll just stop. It surely won’t harm my body. The worst it can be is that there’s no effects as all.
I promised myself I’ll at least exercise twice a week. That’s it. Hell — who’s gonna do more than that?!
Why 3 months people ask? Because scientists say that if you do something consistently for 3 months, it will likely become a habit.
At that time, I was just finished my Masters degree, where the university had a free gym. So I started going there twice a week, at least an hour every time. I went there in the evenings around 6–7pm as that’s the only time I had (and well, I had to watch TV after that so…)
I made it a routine to go to the gym at the same time. I trained my muscles to crave for exercise at that time.
However, sometimes, I didn’t feel like going to the gym, or simply too busy for it. I stuck to the plan, and exercised at home anyways. And how did I do it?
I went on Youtube and searched for home exercise videos
I took out a yoga mat, and just followed a series of exercise videos which made up to a 1 hour workout. Tip: Sometimes the of these videos would be related to good exercise to lose weight at home.
When I didn’t have 1 hour time-slots for exercise during the day, I always found multiple 15–30 min breaks to do some exercise, so they total up to 1 hour.
If they didn’t add up to 1 hour, I’ll do as much as I can as little exercise is better than no exercise, and keeps my momentum going, otherwise I’ll give up.
The ideal workout length is of course, 1 hour or more. My brother works out 3 hours a day. And of course it’s best to be non-stop since your muscles work harder to finish the workout since there’s no rest in-between. But if you don’t have this extended period of time to spare, it’s better if you do your exercise at different times of the day and add them up to make up for daily requirement.
Two weeks into the training, I wanted to stop and give up. Muscles were aching everywhere. At times when I’ve done sit-ups, I couldn’t even laugh properly as it hurts so much. I actually asked my best friend, the hilarious girl that she is (!), to not say anything funny or else I will feel pain. Another time, I cancelled my date because my legs hurt so much from training them the day before, and my back hurts whenever I get up from the bed (oh memories…). It seems like it was never the best time to gym, because
I couldn’t even work properly.
I was aching everywhere.
I wanted to stop.
But I didn’t. Because I made a promise to myself that I would stick with it for 3 months.
Though the training was hard, I found ways to treat myself such as getting massage again every couple of weeks.
In the 3rd month, my muscles magically started to ache less! The shoulder pain and knee pain were gone. What I did gain was muscle soreness — but it was a good feeling because I know it’s my muscles growing. I had more energy during the day, and I worked more efficiently. Creative ideas came to me more often, so sometimes when I’m walking on the street, I would suddenly get an idea to shorten time to complete tasks, and innovative to help the company make more money say how to maximize impact of email campaigns.
With such positive change in my body and mind, I knew I had to continue exercising.
It’s been 2 years since I’ve started working out. There were several changes in life which included working at a startup with tremendous workload. There’s times where I just want to give up on gym and just do my work. But I knew the reason why I’m able to handle the stress with work is because I worked out. So I’ve put working out my priority —
To me, health is most important. That’s why I always made time for sports.
You can get another job, your work can wait and there’s many ways of making money.
But you only have 1 body. If you lose it, everything else falls apart. That’s why you need to squeeze out time for exercise, no matter what.
With the heavy workload, I found it more and more tiring to go workout in the evenings. I had less energy, couldn’t lift as hard, easily ran out of breath and just wanted to stop after 30 mins of working out. I knew it wasn’t my body less fit, it was because I was simply exhausted after a full day of work and cannot handle it anymore.
So I started to go to the gym in the mornings to start my day. Get the blood flowing so my body is stronger and mind is clearer. At first, my body was not used to working out at 6 or 7am in the morning, nor abs first thing in the morning- but I knew it can be done. There were a few things I did:
- Sleep at 10pm every night, so I get a full 8 hours sleep. Sleeping at such time meant I can’t watch as much TV as before — which is good as what does TV do for you anyways?!
- Not eating after 6pm in the evening except an apple and a cup of peppermint tea which aids digestion, or eating as little as a small handful of food in the evenings. This helped me to get a better quality of sleep, since my body doesn’t have to spend much energy on digesting the food.
- Eating well in the morning so it fuels my workout, which includes blended items like a mixed berries smoothie and banana oatmeal shake. Blended meant that my body can absorb the nutrients quickly, and the food choices had slow releasing energy which could help me last through the workout. I don’t want start lifting weights in the morning on an empty stomach as it impedes my performance!
- Eat whenever I feel hungry. There was never the question of, ‘ How long should I wait to eat after a workout?’ If I’m hungry, I eat. But I eat healthily, such as eating a banana as a snack. Once the hunger is gone, I stop eating. This helped me to maintain my blood sugar and helps my body to recover.
So you can see that trying to fit in time for a good workout really means making some lifestyle choices. There are certainly sacrifices such as less TV time, and means not eating that breakfast muffin/pancake in the mornings.
But together with these changes, you will definitely feel the differences in your body and your work quality. For me, since I started working out, I only got sick max. twice a year. Though my workouts are gradually getting harder, my muscles recover faster — long gone are the days where I can barely get out of bed because of muscle aches. At work, I had more creative ideas and worked faster, and got a promotion after 4 months in a new job. Basically, I get more out of my life by exercising. And it didn’t matter if I did my abs workout before or after meals. No matter which time it was, it was always the best time when I have most energy to finish a whole routine.
So the question becomes: what’s YOUR best time to do exercise? You need to find the way that works best for YOU. Everyone is different according to their schedules and body functioning.
Also, you need to find the exercise that you like, that makes your heart beat faster (literally) when you think of it. Something that makes you excited, and motivated to go.
What time of day is best to exercise for you? Comment down below!
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