Thursday, August 30, 2012

Inspire Me Healthy: Workout in the morning or evening?

Is it really only Thursday? Hate to be a Debbie Downer, but this week is dragging. But I will survive because it's a 3 day weekend! Yippie! So here we are with another week of Inspire Me Healthy with Kristen and Raven!


Dont Quote The Raven


Last Week's Workouts
Friday: OFF
Saturday: 7 mile long run {9:35 pace}
Sunday: OFF - did a lot of walking around the zoo though!
Monday: 4 mile run {8:35 pace}
Tuesday: Track Practice - 2.5 miles total: 1 mile warm up - 4x200, 1x800, 2x400
Wednesday: 3 mile run {8:48 pace}
Thursday: 2 mile power walk with the pup this morning -- planning on getting some upper body strength in this afternoon!

Now the topic I want to post about today is working out in the morning vs. evening. This is my own personal opinion and you really need to figure out what works best for your schedule, your body and your mind. Remember that working out really is all about you!

Me - Julie - Andrea: 5:00am ready to go! I a morning person...can you tell?

Morning Workouts
Pros
  • Nothing better than starting the day off right! I'm a morning person and feel the most prepared for a workout before the day begins.
  • I have more energy throughout the day.
  • I feel good about myself because of my accomplishment
  • Workout is checked off the list, can do whatever I need/want after work
Cons
  • Sometimes I just want to sleep for just a little bit. Sometimes I cave. Not good when I have afternoon plans. 
  • It's darker outside, so you must be more aware and alert. Take caution when working out outside and be safe: shoe ID, flashing light, bright clothes, etc.
  • I find that I am hungrier throughout the day. My metabolism gets going and I feel like it doesn't stop!
  • I might eat something I usually wouldn't and say, "It's okay, I already worked out today." Not cool.

Afternoon/Evening Workouts
Pros
  • I work out right after work and before dinner so I don't snack and I build up a good appetite for nourishing food, not just food that sounds tasty. {aka I'm more aware of what I'm putting into my body}
  • I head straight for the gym or hit the pavement right after work. This keeps me active in the evenings and still allows for plenty of downtime with the hubs.
  • I don't have to wake up early! That extra hour of sleep can be crucial sometimes.
  • I feel as though I sleep better at night since I'm more worn out in the evening -- I think it would be harder to go to sleep if I worked out after dinner though. Too late!
Cons
  • I find an excuse not to workout - too tired, long day at work, just want to sit, now it's raining outside.
  • It is flipping HOT outside. This is pretty much Texas from April to October. May to September is pretty much nasty from heat and humidity.
  • If something else comes up, say happy hour with colleagues, free tickets to a sporting event, etc. then I end up missing my workout.
Before the Gladiator Rock 'n Run!

When it comes down to it, finding a time that fits your schedule is the most important thing. Being busy and having no time to work out is the number one reason that so many Americans don't! Figure out what works for you and have fun! Working out should be fun not a chore.

Research and studies have shown that working out in the afternoon/evening around 5:00pm is the best time for exercise because your body temperature is at its highest. Due to higher body temperatures, injury is less likely because our muscles are warmer and more flexible. Studies have shown that working out in the afternoon/early evening can improve sleep quality. This is, of course, if you don't work out too late. The later in the evening you work out, the harder it is to go to sleep due to an increase in adrenaline. This can also go the other directions as well because if you are waking up earlier to work out, more than likely you will become more tired earlier in the evening!

Research and studies have also shown that those who work out in the morning are more consistent because they can ensure that they don't miss their workout. You are also more alert and focused in the morning because you have a fresh start to the day and work hasn't drained energy from you. One key to morning exercise is to not skip your warm up since your body temperature is lower. This warm up not only gives your body time to get acquainted with the new day, but it also allows your brain to wake up and focus on what you're about to do!

When it comes down to it, exercising when your body's clock is ready is the most important. If your a morning person, see if you can set your alarm for one hour earlier. Don't like to wake up and know you'll hit that snooze button? Start a routine and plan out each evening you want to work out so you don't skip out on your workout! Easier said than done, but just think after 2-3 weeks of conditioning your body to keep on a workout schedule will make it more of a habit than a chore. And a healthy habit at that!

Did you giggle?
Source: someecards.com via Amy on Pinterest


Sources:
http://sportsmedicine.about.com/od/anatomyandphysiology/a/WhenToExercise.htm
http://www.livestrong.com/article/257223-is-it-better-to-work-out-in-the-morning-or-the-evening/
http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/features/whats-the-best-time-to-exercise

So what about y'all...do you prefer working out in the morning or in the evening? When I comes down to it, I workout in the morning much more often. It's the easiest for running! However, I do prefer to do strength and conditioning workouts in the afternoon!

Until next time...
With love and God bless,
 

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