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Thread: When is the best time to workout?

  1. #1

    Default When is the best time to workout?

    Should I work out first thing in the AM before breakfast, after breakfast or in the afternoon or evening? What's going to burn the most fat and calories and give me the best overall benefits from working out?

    I am a SAHM, so my time is somewhat flexible. Nap time for the toddler is around 1 or I can try to get up before him around 7 and get it done then. Or I can do it in the evenings after hubby is home to keep kids busy so I can workout.

    Thanks for your help!
    "Pain is weakness leaving your body"
    HOOWAH!!


  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Default Re: When is the best time to workout?

    By far the most important consideration with choosing a workout time is making it as convenient as possible so you won't skip it. I've never seen any convincing info about time affecting calorie burn. But depending on the intensity/length of your workout, you may need to eat a little something beforehand.

    If you search the exercise forum for posts by Jennifer M, you'll find a wealth of reliable info on exercise of all kinds. Seriously, she is the best.
    Darci
    224.2/175/165
    Started WW 4/18/05~~60+ pounds gone 11/15/06~~trouble maintaining, back on program 10/14/07

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    central NY state
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    Default Re: When is the best time to workout?

    The best time to work out is whenever you can.

    As far as your metabolism goes, it doesn't much matter when you work out.

    Some people find that if they work out too late in the day, they have trouble getting to sleep, so that may be a consideration.
    Nancy

    Original SW 175 (1996)
    2008 stats: SW 153.6 12/31/07 ~ HW 156.0 09/15/08 ~ CW 153.2 09/22/08 ~ GW 137 ~ PGW 130
    My pictures!
    "Good food brings good health and longevity." - Chinese fortune cookie

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Halifax, N.S.
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    Default Re: When is the best time to workout?

    Over the years, I've worked out morning, noon and night. All were fine as long as they worked out with my work sked. For now, I'm on a mid-morning workout schedule as I work nights.

    Find a time that works for you and enjoy!
    Pat

  5. #5
    Chiclet Guest

    Default Re: When is the best time to workout?

    For me, right now, working out at night is my best option. I tried the morning, but let's face it, I am not a morning person, so I found myself skipping workouts. I tried it in the middle of the day, but when I wanted to use a step, or weights, etc. my daughter wanted to do it too, and we all know that does not work.

    So long story short, I work out at night. It works for right now, I don't make excuses like I did every other time of day that I tried to do it.

    So workout when you will do it. I do have trouble falling asleep, but that happens to me whether I workout at night or not.

  6. #6

    Default Re: When is the best time to workout?

    Ditto what Chiclet said -- all of it!

    Glad you asked the question, I'd been thinking about asking it, too -- not that I'd be likely to get up early to exercise, though, but I might try to fit it in earlier in the day.
    189.8 /140/140 /pg135
    Maintaining since 5/18/06

  7. #7

    Default Re: When is the best time to workout?

    My dh keeps telling me to workout in the AM before I eat and I'll burn 3X's the amount of fat, then if I were to do it later after eating.

    Thanks for the replies.
    "Pain is weakness leaving your body"
    HOOWAH!!


  8. #8
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    Default Re: When is the best time to workout?

    No offense, but DH is misinformed.
    Darci
    224.2/175/165
    Started WW 4/18/05~~60+ pounds gone 11/15/06~~trouble maintaining, back on program 10/14/07

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    South Carolina
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    Default Re: When is the best time to workout?

    For me, since I work during the day, if I don't do it first thing in the morning, it won't get done.
    I can tell myself over and over that I'll do it when I get home, but there's always, homework, laundry, dinner, etc. to get done.

    Since we leave the house at 7:00 am, 4:45 am is my time to workout. This way it's done and I don't have to think about it.

    Laveta
    SW: 225.6
    CW: 175.8
    HW: 245 (non-pregnancy weight)

    Rejoined 5/15/2010 to get to LIFETIME!

  10. #10
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    Default Re: When is the best time to workout?

    What everyone else said. The best time to workout is a time that you can consistently make - in order to make exercise a part of your daily routine. As everyone else noted, the time of day that works best for you may change over time. BUt it IS better to pick a time that works for you and stick with it, rather than vary the time each day. The more you can make your workout an "automatic" part of your routine, the more likely you will stick with it.

    I, too, have never seen any convincing SCIENTIFIC studies showing one time of day better than another. But there IS some evidence, as the others pointed out, that working out close to your bedtime may make getting to sleep more difficult. But everyone is different, so experiment and see what works best for you.

    If you DO decide to workout in the morning, it IS a good idea to have a light, easily-digestible snack beforehand - or else you may go hypoglycemic (low blood sugar). Try something like a yogurt/fruit smoothie, or some toast with a dab of peanut butter.

    When my kids were toddlers and nappying consistently, that is when I worked out. I would get dressed for my workout, get them down, and then literally make a beeline for my basement Nordic Trac skier. Baby-monitor at my side, I'd crank out a 30 minute cardio workout, and if they took a long nap, add some weight training at the end. It was great - then they gave up napping!

    Good luck,
    Jennifer
    ACE-certified Personal Trainer
    & WW Lifetime Member




  11. #11
    Join Date
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    Default Re: When is the best time to workout?

    PS to my previous post (warning: bit of a rant coming...)

    I just finished my previous post, and it occurred to me that many of the questions on this forum are along the lines of "what is the PERFECT way/time/method/weights/reps/type of exercise/ratio-of-cardio-to-strength-training (etc. etc)?"

    I think sometimes (maybe more often than we'd like, and at a subconscious level) we get caught up in this all-or-nothing mentality. I mean, if we can't do it PERFECTLY, why bother, right? It also indulges our fantasizing to read about yet another new, "right" way to exercise, because that excuses our lack of progress. (If we had been doing it the "right" way all along, we'd all look like supermodels by now, right? So it must be HOW I'm exercising that's all wrong....)

    OH, and did I mention that the "gurus" out there have a vested interest in convincing us they have "the" solution for us? (For an introductory LOW! LOW! LOW! price of $9.95 per month....) No, my friends, we have the POWER to get fit all by ourselves, in all our imperfect glory. (OK, so we may not set any Olympic records on fire, but who cares!?)

    THE BIGGEST BATTLE I FIGHT WITH MY CLIENTS IS EXERCISE ADHERENCE. PERIOD.

    It's all about sticking with it for the long term folks. And you know what? It really doesn't matter WHAT you do, as long as you DO it - for an average of 30 minutes EVERY DAY. (Well, for one day a week, it's OK to do something LOW intensity - but still, get out there and take a leisurely walk, or throw the ball around with the kids)

    Moreover, DO WHAT YOU CAN. Maybe your day goes haywire, all your plans are upended, and you're not going to make that 30 day workout you intended to. Well, can you at least still do something for 15 minutes? 10? 5? Do SOMETHING, regardless. Hey, it'll help with the stress relief, if nothing else.

    I find this "expectation intervention" particularly hard to do sometimes, because I am USED TO doing a 30 minute, high-intensity workout. Anything different feels like it "doesn't really count," somehow. I have to take a mental break and remind myself that it DOES. Even if it's "just" some stretching at my desk, or on the train, or in a traffic jam, or a walk at lunch. Whatever. ALL movement is good (well, maybe not extreme sports!), and it doesn't have to be "perfect".

    'Nuff said.


    - Jennifer
    ACE-certified Personal Trainer
    & WW Lifetime Member




  12. #12
    Join Date
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    Gilbert, AZ
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    Default Re: When is the best time to workout?

    Sigh. I love you, Jennifer.
    Nikki
    SW: 183 (1/8/06)
    CW:145
    WWGW: 146 (MADE IT! 9/5/07 LIFETIME 10/17/07)
    next minigoal: Get back into the 130s

  13. #13

    Default Re: When is the best time to workout?

    Quote Originally Posted by modthyrth
    Sigh. I love you, Jennifer.
    Me too! Thanks for the rant.
    • HW-142 CW-118
    • Success is not built on success. It's built on failure. It's built on frustration. Sometimes its built on catastrophe.--Sumner Redstone

  14. #14
    Join Date
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    Default Re: When is the best time to workout?

    Aw, gee, you gals are making me blush!

    Now, get back out there and give me 5! (minutes of exercise, that is!)

    - Jennifer
    ACE-certified Personal Trainer
    & WW Lifetime Member




  15. #15

    Default Re: When is the best time to workout?

    I agree with what everybody else said about

    JUST DO IT

    especially Jennifer M, who is fabu.

    I'm thinking of doing a morning workout on the days I have evening meetings. Like somebody else said, I'm not a morning person, so it may never happen. But I get at least four workouts a week in now, so things are going quite well for the moment.
    Jean in Colorado
    SW 176
    CW 170
    WW goal 135.0
    GW 122
    The future depends on what we do in the present.
    Mahatma Gandhi

  16. #16
    Join Date
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    Default Re: When is the best time to workout?

    Beautiful, Jen...I think that rant deserves it's own posts! Even a place in the training manual!
    Amy-SAHM of 4

    HW: 217
    CW: 217

    Starting WW's new plan (again for the millionth time) 1/2/12


  17. #17
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    Thumbs up Re: When is the best time to workout?

    Quote Originally Posted by youngfrankenstein
    Beautiful, Jen...I think that rant deserves it's own posts! Even a place in the training manual!
    I second the motion.
    Darci
    224.2/175/165
    Started WW 4/18/05~~60+ pounds gone 11/15/06~~trouble maintaining, back on program 10/14/07

  18. #18

    Default Re: When is the best time to workout?

    I totally agree Jennifer!! I usually workout for 30 minutes 5-6 days a week, and take off on Sunday. I was just wondering if there was any validity in the am workout before eating plan (to burn 3x more fat) like my dh has told me about.

    He has sent me excerpts from the book he has been reading and it makes a lot of sense. That's why I posted the question.

    I will continue to workout like I do now. But dang if there was a way to burn 3x more fat at a particular time of day, then heck yea, I would want to do it. I don't know if the guy is right or not. I'll just keep doing what I'm doing. It's working for me and I love feeling GOOD!

    Here's to burnin' fat and buliding muscles!
    "Pain is weakness leaving your body"
    HOOWAH!!


  19. #19
    Join Date
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    Default Re: When is the best time to workout?

    Any advice that will make the giver money is automatically suspect in my book. I don't care what the advisor's credentials are (author, workout guru, doctor, etc), I don't swallow advice like that whole. Scientific reasearch is another matter, because there's no (or should be no) material gain involved for the researchers. But even valid research findings get blown all out of proportion, so you've still got to apply critical thinking to it.

    Bottom line- we're all vulnerable to the hope of a quick fix (cream to get rid of cellulite, working out in am 3x more effective than pm, etc.) If these things work so well, why are there still so many fat people?
    Darci
    224.2/175/165
    Started WW 4/18/05~~60+ pounds gone 11/15/06~~trouble maintaining, back on program 10/14/07

  20. #20

    Default Re: When is the best time to workout?

    Quote Originally Posted by youngfrankenstein
    Beautiful, Jen...I think that rant deserves it's own posts! Even a place in the training manual!
    I'll do you one better. It's in the training manual AND it's a sticky here.

    Great post Jennifer!
    Joanne
    SW 252.6/WWG 157/2013 Restart 192.6/CW189

  21. Default Re: When is the best time to workout?

    I am another evening exerciser

    My mornings are just too hectic and quite honestly- when I work out in the AM - I find myself eating more throughout the day.
    I eat dinner at 5pm spend the next few hours with the kids - and then at 8am (bedtimes) the next hour is mine...

    I wind down for the next hour - watch news, etc and I crash -So I guess I often am pre-eating my AP's but I prefer to think I am more on a 24 hr clock for them
    212/182/155/161/
    HW/SW/Goal/CW/
    Lifetime Reached 4/24/07

    Been up and down since 2007- focusing back on the DOWN as my new personal goal is 155.... Rejoined Dec 6, 2010

  22. #22
    Join Date
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    Default Re: When is the best time to workout?

    Quote Originally Posted by plcm111195
    I'll do you one better. It's in the training manual AND it's a sticky here.

    Great post Jennifer!

    Thanks, Joanne! (Does this count as my 15 minutes of fame?)

    - Jennifer
    ACE-certified Personal Trainer
    & WW Lifetime Member




  23. Default Re: When is the best time to workout?

    I wish I was a morning person so the best time for me is early evening or night. I say whichever works just do it!

  24. #24
    Join Date
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    Default Re: When is the best time to workout?

    I agree. The best time to do workout is the time you will stick to. If you're not a morning person, forcing yourself to get up at 5:00a.m. for an early morning run won't cut it. Do what works for you.
    Ann
    SW: 158.6 Dec 2010
    G.W. 137

    C.W. 125, Dec. 7, 2018



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