Hey, y’all! How was YOUR Turkey Day? Did you make those tough choices while sitting at the dinner table? I mean, I tried my hardest (and let me tell you, it was reallyyyyy hard). My one weakness was the pumpkin pie! I just can’t resist the pumpkin pie (I did, however, use fat-FREE Cool Whip…that has to count for something, right?) Truth be told, a little give and take will help keep you sane when trying to eat clean during the holidays. Aside from my pumpkin pie addiction, I stayed true to my fitness journey and didn’t, “gobble ‘til I wobbled.” That being said, are y’all ready to get back on the workout grind?
I’ve noticed it’s a wee bit harder to feel motivated or set aside time to work out during the holiday season (HI DECEMBER!). Not to mention everything that goes along with the holiday season: the house needs to be cleaned, the family is in town, it’s crunch time at work, and let’s not forget the kids’ playoff football games. Seriously, sometimes I don’t know how everyone does it. KUDOS to those of you who balance it all, because y’all are my personal motivation and inspiration. I mean have you ever finished a workout and said, “Man, I regret that 45 minute, 500 plus calorie burn, happy endorphin-releasing workout.”
Yeah, no me neither. FUN FACT: Working out not only improves your personal appearance, but it’s also actually proven to put you in a much better mood. Happy endorphins are welcomed all around. Aside from short-term mood enhancement, working out is linked to alleviating long-term depression. Take it from someone who’s an emotional roller coaster trying to balance the stressful work week and personal life craziness. But y’all better believe I take my grumpy little hinny to the gym (or studio) on a regular basis! I leave feeling like a whole new person!
I don’t know about you, but my best workouts are on the days when working out is the last thing on my mind. As soon as I step foot into the gym, I’m greeted with a “hey, what’s up? Hello!” HA, no. But seriously, at my gym, everyone knows everyone. One cheerful hello from a fellow member is sure to brighten your day. THEN you get to workout. Like hello? Who doesn’t want to release a little anger or grumpiness on some heavy squats, deadlifts, or on the treadmill? For me, I would much rather sprint my little heart out repeatedly than deadlift 125 plus pounds like my workout partner, she’s insane. Motivational sure, but none-the-less, insane.
I was curious about what time of day is the best time to workout? Before work? During my lunch break? Or after work? Here’s what I found.
The EARLY Bird Catches the Worm:
From one non-morning person to another, don’t talk to me until I am on my second cup of coffee. That being said, research has proven that exercise gives you energy (duh), but starting your day with 30 minutes of cardio or strength training will wake you up better than those two cups of coffee will. Exercise is a much healthier stimulant to get you through the stressful work day than caffeine! Not to mention, you’re basically starving after a workout. SO, if you workout in the morning then you most definitely won’t skip breakfast (it’s the most important meal of the day)! I also learned that those of us who regularly workout before heading into the office have an improved ability to concentrate, make those tough decisions, and simply be more productive. You’re awake, you’re happy, and you’re getting the job done.
The LUNCH HOUR Workout:
I know this option isn’t realistic for someone like me (I take FOREVER to get ready) but for those of you with some serious planning and coordination skills, working out, eating, and showering all within 60 minutes is totally doable. Does it have to be a heavy lifting workout? No. A quick cardiovascular workout should do the trick! Try interval training on the treadmill or plyometric (“plyos” – jump training) exercises. Within a time crunch, you will have no option but to work harder, stay focused, and be way more efficient. WORKOUT INTENSITY IS KEY!
Once you finish that brutal workout, you can refuel with a healthy lunch—no way you’re going to want to ruin that workout on poor food choices. Once you’ve worked out, drank your protein, and scarfed down that meal prepped lunch, it’s back to the grind. But this time, you’re more energized, you’re more focused, and you’ve got happy endorphins fueling your body! That’s definitely not a bad way to break up the stressful workday!
AFTER that Stressful Work Day:
If you’re anything like me, this is the only realistic option. Don’t get me wrong, I wish I could work out in the morning—or shoot, break up my hectic workday with a quick workout—but the timings aren’t conducive with my crazy schedule. Working out after work (or in the early evening) is when your body is more physically prepared: you’re definitely awake and your body is fueled with all the healthy food you’ve eaten throughout the day. Because you’ve fueled your body with just the right foods, you can lift heavier weights, do more reps, and thus burn those extra calories during AND after your gym sesh.
Not to mention safety. During the evening workouts, you will be safer in performing those explosive exercises—such as power cleans and squats. Personally, I love ending the day with an intense workout. I’m able to forget all about the hectic workday and walk (or crawl) away surprisingly relaxed or maybe it’s sheer exhaustion, but regardless, it’s ALL good!
Ultimately, the time of day in which you choose to workout is up to you! There is no right or wrong time to workout, JUST DO IT!
P.S. Tune in next week because I have found some AWESOME “healthy” cookie alternatives for the holidays!
- Peace, Love & TruFit