Regularly exercising is one of the most beneficial things we can do for our health. Exercise keeps our cardiovascular system working properly, our muscles strong, and even keeps our bones from becoming weak or brittle. It has benefits for our mental health, our immune system, and assists with maintaining healthy weight. Simply, our bodies are designed to move, and when we do, we reap the benefits. Does It Matter When I Work Out?
With the hectic schedule most people keep, however, finding time to exercise can pose a challenge. Between work, taking care of family obligations, and finding some time to relax, for many, it seems nearly impossible to find any time to commit to exercise. Couple this with the fact that our modern lifestyles seem to positively discourage us from moving, and you have a scenario where most people find themselves sedentary.
There are a couple of important things to remember. As little as 150 minutes a week, or 30 minutes a day for five days, is all you need to begin gleaning the benefits of exercise according to some of the most recent research. So a half hour walk is all you need to promote cardiovascular health, lower the risk of cancer and other diseases, and support your health. Even for the busiest of us, this seems like a very possible task.
For many people, the natural time of day to carve out time for exercising is first thing in the morning. Before all the other responsibilities of the day rush in, taking time to get out and get the blood flowing can set the stage for a productive day. There might be some benefit to this, too. In the mornings, when we are in a fasted state, our bodies are most depleted of glycogen, which is the storage of sugar in the liver that is our bodies back up energy reserve. When that glycogen is depleted, our body taps into its fat reserves for energy to fuel the body’s functions. (You can augment this effect by including intermittent fasting into your regimen.)
For some people, the thought of waking up early to workout is less appealing. So is your day ruined if you don’t start it with working out?
Any time of day you can exercise, that is when you should work out. If it is on your lunch break, after work, or the last thing you do, you are going to reap the benefits of exercise. There is no single right way to take part in exercise, and exercising at one part of the day versus another will not lessen the benefits. Even if you space your exercise throughout the day, whether it is taking multiple brisk walks or taking your bike to and from work, there is no wrong way to get in some physical activity. In fact, there is some research that says people who stay active throughout the day––as opposed to just getting an hour in for part of the day and then being sedentary the rest of the day––are actually getting the most benefit from an active lifestyle.
Ultimately, you should choose to move your body whenever you can, and whenever it is convenient for you. Whether it is preparing your own food, or making time to workout, it is important to orient your lifestyle around the things that are important to you, which should include things that promote health, vitality and longevity.