The best time to exercise is ANY TIME that you will do it and it is most convenient for you. There is no right or wrong time, as long as you do it! Do not think to yourself, “I don’t have time”. You do! Something that has worked for me is to get up 45 minutes earlier and get my workout done for the day! If you are like me and are not a morning person this may be hard for you to visualize, but it really is the best feeling to wake up early and have my workout done for the day. My energy is better all day because of it.
To include 30 minutes of heart pumping activities into your daily routine. This includes anything that is fun and enjoyable and do-able for you. Walking, jogging/running, biking, group fitness class, rollerblading, skiing, swimming, you get the idea.
Common questions and answers:
Should I stretch before I start?
If you feel like a body part is tight or needs attention, then a gentle stretch to that area is okay. The better choice is to warm up with the gentle or slower version of the activity you are going to do. Be sure to complete your session with some gentle stretches because the muscles are warm and circulation is optimal at this time. Listen to your body and do what feels good.
Should I eat before I workout? You don’t want to be starving, but you don’t want to be full or have just eaten a major meal. Digestion requires energy and blood to our digestive organs, and exercise requires energy and blood to our muscles. So for optimal function and performance of both, keep digestion and workouts separated. You will have to plan for this if your workout is during the day. If you do your workout first thing in the morning, then eat after. If you feel you must have something to get you going, fruit like apples, oranges, and pears digest fairly quickly.
Can I do more or less than 30 minutes? Yes, but ongoing, more than 30 minutes may cause burnout, and less may not give you the results you are looking for. If you want to do more, add some variety, and don’t go overboard every day. On days you feel energized and you have the time, go for it! Just try to keep 30 minutes as a minimum everyday. Life happens, and if you absolutely can’t fit in 30 minutes, then do 20. Everyone has 20 minutes! I use my mini trampoline for days like these. Bouncing for 10-20 minutes can be a great substitute, with amazing health benefits.
My job is physical, isn’t that enough? Taking time to take care of yourself, means you will perform better at anything you do. 30 minutes of continuous heart pumping activities separate from your day to day events, will only enhance your level of fitness and vitality. If you are on your feet all day, bike ride and do some push-ups. If you lift heavy boxes all day long, step up your cardio and do some core and abdominal strengthening. The possibilities are endless!
Photo credit: State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory, http://floridamemory.com/show/138492