If you do a quick google search, you’ll find the answer to that question. The problem is…. there’s a LOT of answers. One site will tell you that the best time to exercise is early evening, one will tell you first thing in the morning, another will tell you midday, when your energy is highest.
I am not an expert on fitness and exercise.
What I know is that the best time to exercise is the time you WILL exercise.
For instance. I prefer to exercise in the morning. I would prefer to get up, first thing, go to the gym and work out for an hour or so before my family gets up. That way, I get the exercise in that I need and want, and they get the time with me that they need and want. Seems like a simple solution, no?
My husband is a night owl (so am I, actually) and our children are not totally settled in for the night until 9pm. If I am to get up at 5.30 or 5.45am to exercise, that means having to go to bed between 9.30 – 10pm. Not much adult time. Plus there’s a few shows on I enjoy watching. My ACTUAL bedtime is around 11 – 11.30pm.
Which means that when the alarm goes off – my body protests and I hit the snooze button. And again. And again. And again. Until its about 6.30 – 6.45am. I leave for work at 8am. No time to exercise there.
For a long while, I was going to the gym in the evenings. This worked for me, mostly. I got to go to the gym around 7.30, work out for an hour or so, then head home in time to tuck my kids in for the night. The problem with THAT is that given that I don’t get home from work until 6pm – working out in the evening means that I miss out on that time with my family.
So what’s the best choice?
Going for walks with my family is a good choice – it allows me the family time I need. I don’t get as intense of a workout as I’d like though (hubby walks a slower pace than I do *snicker*). I’ve done the Wii Sports thing with my kids – and that’s fun… Dance Dance Revolution is fun too. Going for hikes with my kids on weekends is a great way to get in some fitness as well. Swimming with the boys – but that’s usually playing in the pool – not an actual workout.
So the best time to workout for me?
That remains to be seen. If I can get my body on a sleep schedule that allows me to go to the gym, I’ll be there in the mornings. I’ll also take the time I need in the evenings. But I’ll make sure that, because this IS about lifelong fitness and health, I incorporate fun family activities as well.