Tagged as: personal trainers

Crack of dawn, or after dark? The best time to workout

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Quite a few of my clients lately have been asking me- when is the best time during the day to work out? Some like to get up before dawn for a run. Others could never bring themselves to break a sweat before noon. The truth is that while there could be some calorie burning advantages to working out in the early morning- it’s certainly not for every one.

 

Why? Well, I like to work out early, but my body clock is probably not the same as yours. Your body’s circadian rhythm determines whether you’re a night owl or an early bird, and there’s not much you can do to change that.

 

The earth’s 24-hour rotation governs your circadian rhythm. The rhythms influence pretty much everything about your body- blood pressure, body temperature, hormone levels and heart rate. All of that plays an important role in whether you’re ready to exercise or not. Of course, most of us also have to take into account our work schedules and family obligations.

 

Bottom line- the most important thing you can do it to choose a time of day you can stick with, so that exercise becomes a habit.

 

Why early morning? That could be best, especially if you have problems with consistency. Get your exercise in before other pressures interfere- like work and family.

 

Of course, to feel like exercising in the morning, you need to have a good night’s sleep. Good, regular bedtime habits help get your body ready for rest so you can get your eight hours. Late night physical activity or eating late can sabotage your body’s urge to sleep.

 

For some people, lunchtime is the best time to exercise, especially if they enjoy company, like co-workers who are willing to hit the gym or take a run or a walk. One thing to keep in mind- eat after you work out, not before. If you eat before, the blood that needs to go to your muscles is going instead to your digestive tract to help you break down that meal. Remember what your mom told you about swimming? Wait 90 minutes after a heavy meal to work out.

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You don’t have to be an expert on circadian rhythms to determine the best time to exercise. Simply try different times of the day. Work out in the morning for a few weeks, and then try lunchtime, then early evening. Discover which time you enjoy most and which makes you feel the best? Then, make every effort to keep that appointment with yourself.

 

Most importantly is to find a time that makes working out a consistent part of your life.

 

Jason Stone

Icelandic Fitness

Staying in shape when it’s cold outside

Staying in shape when it’s cold outside

Yep. Its still winter. If you live in Colorado, the only reminder you need is the snow you had to shovel off the driveway and sidewalks this week.

It’s sometimes hard to get motivated to work out when it means heading outside into the weather, making an extra trip to the gym. And, if it’s just you responsible for pushing yourself, “tomorrow” might look a whole lot better.

Well, on those days you just don’t feel like it, here are some sneaky tips to help you burn some calories and stay in shape when it’s cold outside.

1) Stair Climbing
It’s low impact and you can probably do it at work. Take a break from your desk, head to the stairs and walk up and down a few flights. Or, climb stairs during lunch, or before or after work. Climbing will pump up your cardiovascular capacity and give you stronger legs without too much impact on your joints.

2) Jumping Rope
Just like when you were a kid, jumping rope can be a fun way to burn calories. And, you can increase your agility, balance and endurance. Just make sure you have a big enough space to jump. An area that’s three feet-by-four feet should do it.

3) Video Games
They’re not just for kids. If you already have a video game system, consider buying active games like like Wii Fit, Wii Sports or Dance Dance Revolution. To play, you have to get up and move! Not only will they get you off the couch, but they can also be very entertaining for the whole family.

4) Dance Classes
No matter what the dance style, you’ll burn calories, strengthen your balance and coordination and learn a skill. Dance classes also get you out with a group of folks just like you, who are interested in staying active. That can be a big motivator. Check with your local dance studio for group classes, they’re generally very low cost.

5) Indoor Athletic Leagues
No matter what shape you may be in, there’s probably some kind of league for you. Try tennis, racquetball, volleyball, indoor soccer or basketball. Denver even has a dodge ball league. Not only will league play help you stay in shape, it’s also a great way to meet other motivated folks who could turn into workout buddies.

6) Personal Trainer
Keeping you motivated and in shape is what we do at Icelandic Fitness. No matter the weather or time of year, we can help design a work out plan that fits you and your goals. You can get real results in as little as a half hour a week. Contact us to set up a visit.