Is there every really a bad time to exercise? We all know how important exercise is, but when it comes to the time of day to get activity, anytime is a good time unless it interrupts sleep to under a full night of rest. If you do a little digging, you’ll probably find that some studies suggest that you might feel fuller throughout the earlier part of the day if you exercise in the morning. Then again, many fitness professionals believe that pain tolerance is greater in the afternoon, something that might make for an more powerful workout.
Ultimately, the best time of day for the average person who just wants to stay fit and healthy is to exercise whenever it works for you. When is it most convenient? What do you have the most accessibility to? How likely are you to stick with the routine? Anything that will make it easier for you works!
When it comes to life in general, there are certain points when you need to throw the workout bag and running shoes back in the closet and call it a day. The times I tell my clients to ease off of exercise is 1) when they’re injured or 2) when they’re sick or 3) when they’re stressed!
YOU’RE INJURED: I’m not talking about a bruised pinky. Think ankles, knees, hips, shoulders. If they’re giving your grief, and pain interferes with your day-to-day activity, you need to get the inflammation that’s affecting your body under control. Read The Belly Burn Plan, ease off for a couple days and listen to your body.
YOU’RE SICK: Feeling under the weather isn’t an automatic pass from exercise, but illness is generally a sign you should slow down a little. Wondering whether or not you should head out for a run? Do the “neck check.” If your cold is from the neck down (chest), ease off. Exercising with a chest cold, stomach flu or fever can make things worse, sometimes severely. On the flip side, if you’re experiencing a cold is from the neck up, such as a running nose, sore throat or a little congestion, it’s probably ok to workout, just modify it to your comfort level. If there is every a question about what you should do, talk to your doctor.
YOU’RE STRESSED: This is the one most of us ignore. Don’t fight ongoing stress. Take it from a mom with three kids, if you’re having a hard day – whether it’s work-related, money-related or just plain life-related…PLEASE give yourself the TLC you deserve. If you’re pushing yourself to get into the gym because you feel you have to burn calories despite mounting stress, you’re throwing your efforts in reverse. Cortisol needs to reset. Insulin needs to regulate. Our minds need to relax. Take a hot bath, read a good book and pick up your workouts in a couple days.
When I wrote The Belly Burn Plan, it was with the intention of readers doing workouts 3 to 4 times a week (max), not everyday. The focus was (and remains) on health, eating right and managing stress. You can’t exercise away a bad diet. Rely on healthy foods. It will pave the way!
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