Do you prefer to go for a run first thing or are you partial to an evening workout session?
What really is the BEST time of day to exercise to help keep the weight off? Is there even one?
Scientists have endeavoured to find out…
When is the best time to exercise?
Scientists from Brown Alpert Medical School in the U.S. studied the physical activity of 375 participants as part of a study.
Experts found that it doesn’t matter whether you’re a morning jogger or a late night spin class regular. It’s CONSISTENCY that helps you keep the weight off.
If you really want to make the most of what you do, then you should aim to do it at the same time every day.
“Repeatedly exercising in the presence of consistent cues, such as at the same time of day or in the same location, may help to establish cue exercise relationships,” say the study researchers.
“It will also be important to determine whether there is a specific time of day that is more advantageous for individuals who have initial low physical activity levels to develop a physical activity habit.”
However, working out whenever you can is better than not at all
Another study found that people who exercise in the morning, between 4am and midday, are more successful in their weight loss. This may be because you have more energy first thing.
We at The Healthy Mummy think the very best time to exercise is every day, whenever you can. After all, doing something is better than nothing!
We are all busy mums and may find it difficult to dedicate an hour at a specific time of day to regular exercise.
Instead, we recommend squeezing in blocks of activity whenever possible.
Another way to think about it is to work out what time of day you have the most energy and then work around that.
So if you are a morning person, why not get up before the kids, or use the crèche at the gym, or organise a babysitter, so that you can get moving in the morning.
Many people believe that the morning is a great time to exercise as you can get it out of the way before the day unfolds with its inevitable interruptions and errands to run.
If you work out first thing, be sure to have a good breakfast afterwards, such as a Healthy Mummy Smoothie. By exercising on an empty tummy, you are less likely to feel sluggish and tired halfway through your workout.
After lunch exercise
This is a popular time to fit some exercise in for those of us whose children nap at lunchtime. It’s also a great way to fight the 2pm sleepiness that can often hit us after a busy day.
Working out at this time will also give you the energy to face the rest of the afternoon, including witching hour that can strike a household at around 5pm.
The exercises on the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge App are designed for busy mums so you can do them whenever you want!
If evenings are better for you when the kids are asleep and you are ‘off the clock’ then do whatever you can to make evenings your time to shine.
Set up one night per week where you head out to a fitness class while your partner does the bedtime routine, or set up The Healthy Mummy exercise videos on YouTube in the spare room and get your workout in.
You can use the time to reflect on your day and think about what you need to do tomorrow.
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