Wednesday, April 24, 2013

What Time is Your Workout?

I'm beat, I'm worn down and it's only 7.15 pm (Tuesday afternoon). I'm avoiding my phone because 3 different people sent me messages and I simply have no energy to respond.  In fact, it's taking all my strength to type this blog right now.  Why am I so tired?

Junior-highers.  I'm currently doing a long-term subbing experience and, WOW, those 7th-graders are SO WILY .  Good kids, but OI!  how they do require so much more attention and repeating and reminding and PATIENCE (and they only account for 2 of the 5 classes I'm subbing).  Toss in my late twilight trysts with that dirty little time-whore, Insomnia, lasting anywhere from 1 to 2 hours (it seems Insomnia is needy and desperate and can't live without me), and add a dash of the hot, dry, windy town in which I'm subbing (it's much cooler in the mountains where I live, and as my acupuncturist once told me, I am allergic to wind) and... I'm just beat.

I haven't worked out since Sunday and I can't bring myself to get off this couch unless it means going to bed right now, reading (A Storm of Swords; what can I say, I'm a Game of Thrones addict) myself to my first round of sleep and forgoing my work out.  I keep saying, I'll wake up extra early and do my work out then, like I used.  But extra early means long before my current 5 am rooster crow and I just can't relinquish those few little extra hours of sleep when Insomnia stalks me out nightly.

I know, I know. I'm bitching to an audience that has long-since put on their big girl panties and made the decision to work out no matter how early/how late/how tired you feel.  And I'll do that, too (like tomorrow!), but it made me wonder how many of you are early birds or afternooners?  And did you choose that time out of convenience or because you read somewhere that then was the best time to work out?  

There is actually a lot of info on what the best time to work out is and the reviews are mixed.  Here are a few reasons why early morning workouts are so great according to an article on

-Over 90% of people who exercise *consistently*, exercise in the morning. If you want to exercise
consistently, odds are in your favor if you exercise first thing in the morning.

-When you exercise early in the morning, it "jump starts" your metabolism and keeps it elevated
for hours, sometimes up to 24 hours! That means you're burning more calories all day long just because you exercised in the morning!

-Many people find that morning exercise "regulates" their appetite for the day - that they
aren't as hungry and that they make better food choices. Several people have told me that it puts
them in a "healthy mindset."

-Research has demonstrated that exercise increases mental acuity. On average it lasts four to ten hours after exercise! No sense in wasting that brain power while you're sleeping. :)

And now, the defenses for an afternoon workout from a article:

-Everyone else is doing it: If procrastination is your middle name, it's easy to say you're going to work out, but then find a million reasons to put it off until it's 6 p.m. when you're too starved to even think about exercise. Around lunch is a popular time to sweat it out — you'll probably even notice a few of your co-workers slipping out of the office and heading out with gym bag in hand. Getting inspired by joining the pack at the same time every day is one way to make sure you don't skip out on your workout, and once you do it for a few weeks, it'll become a habit. 

-Reduced risk of injury: Since your body has been awake for several hours, it's had more time to move around and get the blood flowing. Heading into a noon workout means your mind is more alert, which can prevent injuries caused by morning grogginess (like falls or forgetting to use equipment properly). A warmed-up body is also less tense and more flexible, lowering your risk of a pulled muscle. As an added bonus, when your body feels more open, you're more likely to work out harder and longer. 

-Saves calories, burns calories: If you have plans to meet a friend for a noon yoga class, you know you can't down an enormous meal beforehand without feeling gassy and sluggish, so that's one way a noon workout saves calories. Plus you'll burn 300 or more calories on the hour-long workout, and since brisk exercise has been shown to suppress your appetite you'll feel inspired to eat something light and healthy for lunch afterward (instead of blowing all your hard work on a 1,400 calorie burger and fries).  That midday workout can also give you energy later on in the day, avoiding the need for a high-calorie late afternoon pick-me-up.

So the jury is tied...or is it?  What do you think?

Blogger Edit:  I did put on my big girl panties (and sweats) and squatted and lunged til my ass was on fire this afternoon.  Feels good, but I am certainly more energetic and enthused in the morning.

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