Walk Talk Series
Day 36 – Best Time to Exercise
You are half way through the 10 weeks of the Walk of Life Program. Review the goals you set in Week 1. Have you reached any milestones? Can you take your belt in a notch? Are you walking faster or easier?
- 35-70 minute walk in the fat-burning zone at 60-70% of your maximum heart rate
- Warm up with 5 minutes at a very easy pace
- Find a safe spot with a wall or pole to do a 5 minute easy stretching routine
- Now resume your walk at a comfortable pace.
- End with 5 minutes of gentle stretching.
Advance Walker: Distance Walk
Exercise: Abdominal Exercise
What’s the Best Time of Day to Exercise?
Daylight Savings Time comes early again this year on Sunday, making it more attractive to walk in the afternoon but even darker to walk in the morning. Is there a best time of day to walk? Research says there is a conflict between the time that’s best for motivation and the time that’s best for performance. Research on lung function, body rhythms, temperature, and hormone levels says one thing — to exercise around 6 p.m. Surveys on exercise habits say another — to exercise in the morning before other commitments distract you, or during the day when you have a free period of time.
The Very Best Time
Walking can only do you good if you do it. The best time to walk is the time that will fit best into your schedule so you can do it consistently. Experts agree — it is not the time of day that matters as much as finding the time you can set aside consistently for your workouts.
- The majority of people who exercise consistently do so early in the day.
- It is easier to form the exercise habit through morning exercise.
- Fewer distractions and schedule interruptions.
- Can make time for exercise by getting up a bit earlier
- Raises your heart rate and metabolism to burn more calories earlier in the day.
- Gives a feeling of physical energy for hours
- Improves your mental acuity for hours
- Cooler temperatures in summer
- Lowest air pollution levels in the morning
- Body adjusts to your exercise time, so if you are training for a morning walking event, train in the morning
- Can make a habit to walk and exercise at lunch and break time
- Can use a walking and exercise partner at work, school, or in your neighborhood
- Body temperature and hormone levels are higher than first thing in the morning
- Can help regulate the amount of food you feel like eating for lunch, and help you avoid break-time snacking
- Improves blood flow to the brain so you are sharper in the afternoon
- Stress relief from work, school, or home stresses.
- Research shows that afternoon (3 p.m. to 7 p.m.) is the best time to exercise for both endurance and for building muscle.
- For most people, body temperature and hormone levels peak at 6 p.m.
- Exercising 3 hours before or after the peak will give you the best workout for both endurance and building muscle
- Research shows lung function is best at 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.
- Muscles are warm and flexible
- Perceived exertion is lowest — how hard you feel yourself to be working at exercise. So you may be able to work out harder or faster by doing so in the afternoon
- Can help regulate the amount of food you feel like eating for dinner
- Stress relief after a day at work, school, or home.