Tuesday, 25 June 2013

What Is a Foam Roller, How Do I Use It, and Why Does It Hurt?

Self-myofascial release, also known as “foam rolling,” has transformed from a once mysterious technique used only by professional athletes, coaches, and therapists to a familiar everyday practice for people at all levels of fitness. Recent information, technology, and affordable products have introduced an increasing array of training and recovery methods to the average person.

Self-myofascial release is a fancy term for self-massage to release muscle tightness or trigger points. This method can be performed with a foam roller, lacrosse ball, Theracane, or your own hands. By applying pressure to specific points on your body you are able to aid in the recovery of muscles and assist in returning them to normal function. Normal function means your muscles are elastic, healthy, and ready to perform at a moment’s notice.

foam roller, foam rolling, myofascial release, self-myofascial release

Do I Have Tight Muscles or Trigger Points?

Trigger points are specific “knots” that form in muscles. They are unique and can be identified because they will refer pain. Pain referral, for our purposes, can most easily be described as the pain felt when pressure is applied to one area of the body, but the pain is felt or radiated in another area. A common example of a trigger point is felt while foam rolling your iliotibial (IT) band as it causes pain to radiate up to the hip or all the way down the leg to the ankle. When rolling or working on tight/sore muscles you will experience discomfort or pain. Think of it like the pain you get while stretching. It should be uncomfortable, but not unbearable, and when you are done it should feel better.

foam roller, foam rolling, myofascial release, self-myofascial release 

Why Am I Doing Something That Hurts?

For many, deep tissue massage is easy to understand. Ideally someone is able to work out the knots in your muscles, and it is commonly known this process may be uncomfortable and at times painful. Self-myofascial release provides the user the ability to control the healing and recovery process by applying pressure in precise locations, because only you can feel exactly what is happening. It is always recommended to consult with your physician or physical therapist for therapeutic/sharp pain and receive approval before starting self-myofascial release. For most people you will be cleared immediately and your doctor will encourage the practice.

Releasing trigger points helps to reestablish proper movement patterns and pain free movement, and ultimately, to enhance performance. Utilizing stretching alone is not always enough to release muscles tightness, which is why foam rollers have thrived on the mass market. Imagine a bungee cord with a knot tied into it and then envision stretching the cord. This creates tension, stretching the unknotted portion of the muscle and the attachment points. The knot, however, has remained unaltered. Foam rolling can assist in breaking up these muscle knots, resuming normal blood flow and function. The goal to any corrective or recovery technique is to get you back to the point of normal functioning, as if nothing was ever wrong. When was the last time you trained like you were a teenager, going hard without a second thought, and injuries were something that only happened due to physical trauma like a 250lb linebacker hitting you?

foam roller, foam rolling, myofascial release, self-myofascial release 

What Causes Trigger Points and Tight Muscles?

Both have the same contributing factors including training, flexibility, movement patterns, posture, nutrition, hydration, rest, stress, and other lifestyle factors. Our bodies learn to compensate for what we throw at them every day, but we can exceed our ability to recover via too many intense workouts, poor posture, and other lifestyle factors. This is when you need assistance using recovery techniques or through seeing a professional. If you lived a perfect life with everything in balance, you would theoretically never have either of these conditions, however I’ve yet to meet that person.

How Does Self-Myofascial Release Work?

Deep compression helps to break up or relax tight muscles and adhesions formed between muscle layers and their surroundings. Imagine you are tenderizing your own muscles. They should be soft and supple like a baby’s muscles. However, if our muscles are not taken care of properly we can experience loss of flexibility, adhesions, and painful movement. The compression allows normal blood flow to return and restoration of healthy tissue. Our bodies naturally want to be healthy and strong, but sometimes an extra boost is needed to achieve optimal muscle and tissue health.

foam roller, foam rolling, myofascial release, self-myofascial release 

How Do I Know What to Foam Roll and How to Do It?

Areas to focus on can be identified in two different ways. The first is through screenings. You may target specific areas/muscles that relate to the movements you are focusing on. If after using the foam roller your movement improves, you have a more specific strategy to follow. Secondly, trigger points and tight muscles can be found through self-exploration, utilizing the list of techniques below and exploring each one.

To foam roll properly, apply moderate pressure to a specific muscle or muscle group using the roller and your bodyweight. You should roll slowly, no more than one inch per second. When you find areas that are tight or painful, pause for several seconds and relax as much as possible. You should slowly start to feel the muscle releasing, and after 5-30 seconds the discomfort or pain should lessen. If an area is too painful to apply direct pressure, shift the roller and apply pressure on the surrounding area and gradually work to loosen the entire area. The goal is to restore healthy muscles - it is not a pain tolerance test. You may also use other objects to work on muscles such as a tennis ball, lacrosse ball, Theracane, or Trigger Point Therapy Kit.

Never roll a joint or bone. Avoid rolling your lower back. To target these muscles I recommend using tennis or lacrosse balls. If you are having issues with your neck, refer these issues to an appropriate medical professional, as these areas they can be more sensitive and require more advanced attention.

foam roller, foam rolling, myofascial release, self-myofascial release 

What Happens After Rolling?

You may be sore the next day. It should feel as if your muscles have been worked/released, however you should not push yourself to the point of excessive soreness. Drink plenty of water, get enough sleep, and eat clean. This will help to flush your system and fuel your muscles more effectively. Give it 24-48 hours before focusing on the same area again.

foam roller, foam rolling, myofascial release, self-myofascial release 

Original Article - http://breakingmuscle.com/mobility-recovery/what-foam-roller-how-do-i-use-it-and-why-does-it-hurt

Friday, 24 May 2013

Static Vs Dynamic Stretching

Every day I see the same thing with one client or another. After a long day at work, they will walk in and immediately start doing a static stretch: propping their leg up on something and holding it there. Putting an elbow behind their head and pushing down for 20 or 30 seconds. Every day I tell them they same thing: stop doing the static stretches before workouts and start doing dynamic stretches.
What are the differences between static and dynamic stretches, and which is more beneficial before a workout?

Static Stretching


Static stretching is a slow and constant stretch that is held at an end position for up to 30 seconds.  The benefits of static stretching  involve an increase in flexibility. A lack of flexibility seems to play a role in the development of chronic injuries such as patella femoral syndrome (knee pain), low back pain and shoulder pain. Many people report an alleviation of ailments and pain after a rigorous static stretching regimen has been implemented.  Since performance can be inhibited by inflexibility, static stretching done at the right time may help increase performance levels.

Dynamic Stretching


Dynamic stretching uses momentum, speed of movement, and active muscular effort to bring about a stretch. Unlike static stretching, the end position is not held. Dynamic stretching is similar to ballistic stretching except that it avoids bouncing motions and tends to incorporate more sports-specific movements. Dynamic stretching is useful due to its effects of reducing muscle tightness, which is a factor associated with an increased occurrence of musculotendinous tears.

Which Is Superior Before A Workout?


Pretty much beginning in grade school, people are taught the static stretches as part of a warm up before sporting events, training sessions, and weightlifting training. The problem with that is, static stretching is much less beneficial that dynamic stretching as part of a warm up.

Multiple studies have been conducted on this subject since the 1980's on the benefits of dynamic stretching during warm up. Studies have shown that the dynamic range of motion (DROM) is significantly increased for the angular displacement of the hip joint, especially compared to static stretching.

In a study testing the “effect of dynamic versus static stretching in the warm-up on hamstring flexibility”, twelve participants were randomly assigned to three interventions of 225 second stretch treatment on separate days:

  1. No stretching
  2. Static stretching
  3. Dynamic stretching

This is what they found: “The intervention study comparing the effects of static and dynamic stretching routines in the warm-up on hamstring flexibility demonstrated that dynamic stretching enhanced static as well as dynamic flexibility. Static stretching on the other hand did not have an impact on dynamic flexibility.  Static stretches may be useful in the cooling down period of training for long term gains in flexibility.”
Dynamic stretching will improve your performance by increasing flexion in the joints and increasing body temperature. Much like how the time of day can determine your body temperature, dynamic stretching will increase your body temperature, causing blood to flow more easily to muscles. The warmer the muscle, the less chance there is of injury. Static stretching decreases the ability to exhibit maximum power or strength for up to 30 minutes after stretching.

Too much static stretching can cause the length of the resting muscle to be too long, and one can encounter the problem of the stretch-shorten reflex to not work as well. Excessive flexibility such as the splits, can be counterproductive for sports that don't require it because it will decrease your ability in power or strength movements. 

The bottom line is this:

Dynamic stretches are most beneficial before exercise because they warm up the muscles and send blood to them. They also mimic the movements that will be taking place during the exercise.

Static stretches have their place and their place is not before stretching. They should only be done after a workout is finished. You won't be holding a locked arm behind your head during a workout, so why would you do that for a warm up?

Above all else, don't be one of those people that thinks they don't need to warm up. Because those people are stupid.

Original Article - http://www.liftbigeatbig.com/2012/01/static-vs-dynamic-stretching.html

Thursday, 9 May 2013

What Counts as Water? Stay Hydrated and Healthy

Water doesn't get the same media attention as green tea, antioxidants, and the latest fad diets. Yet it plays a much more critical part in our daily lives and our bodies.

Our bodies are made up of about 60% water, and every system depends on water. So water is important for healthy skin, hair, and nails, as well as controlling body temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure.

"It's definitely essential," says Jim White, registered dietitian and personal trainer in Virginia Beach, Va., and American Dietetic Association spokesman.
"What we're finding is so many people are deficient," he notes. "We're seeing a huge decrease in athletic performance and fatigue that's caused by the lack of hydration."
You can stay fully hydrated throughout the day by drinking water and other fluids, as well as eating foods that are hydrating.


What Counts as Water?



Fruits are an excellent source for water. Watermelon is 90% water, so it ranks highest on the list. Oranges, grapefruit, and melons like cantaloupe and honeydew are also strong contenders.
Vegetables, though not as full of water as fruit, can also provide a nutrient-rich water source. Stick with celery, cucumbers, tomatoes, green peppers, and Romaine lettuce.

There are plenty of hidden sources of water in your diet, says White. If you want to tap into these foods, reach for oatmeal, yogurt, soup, and smoothies.

Besides guzzling water, milk is a top choice to refuel. Sodas, even diet ones, get a bad rap for lacking nutritional value, but they can still be hydrating. Juices and sports drinks are also hydrating -- you can lower the sugar content by diluting them with water.

Coffee and tea also count in your tally. Many used to believe that they were dehydrating, but that myth has been debunked. The diuretic effect does not offset hydration.

Alcohol is a huge dehydrator, says White. You should try to limit your intake, but if you are going to raise a glass, aim for at least a one-to-one ratio with water.

If you don't like the taste of plain water, White suggests adding lemon to it. Or test out your own concoction, like sparkling water with raspberries with a sprig of mint.


How Much Water Should I Drink?



Parents should make sure that children and teens are getting adequate hydration throughout the day. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children drink plenty of fluids before starting any exercise and continue to drink during physical activity.

During exercise, the AAP suggests drinking about 3-8 ounces of water every 20 minutes for children 9-12 and about 34-50 ounces per hour for adolescent boys and girls.

Athletes need to take precautions to avoid dehydration. White recommends drinking 16 ounces one hour prior to exercise, 4-8 ounces every 15 minutes during exercise, and another 16 ounces an hour after exercise. The amounts can vary depending on your personal response, heat index, and the type of activity.

"If you're sweating, you're losing water," says Nancy Clark, MS, RD, sports dietitian in Chestnut Hill, Mass., and author of Nancy Clark's Sports Nutrition Guidebook.

How can you tell if you're getting enough fluids during the day? You can tell by checking your urine color and output. If you're urinating every two to four hours, the output is light-colored, and there's significant volume, then you're probably well-hydrated.

"That's a very simple, easy way to monitor hydration," says Clark. "If you go from 8 in the morning until 4 in the afternoon without peeing, then you're dehydrated."



Signs of Dehydration



How can you tell if you're dehydrated? You might feel tired, cranky, moody, or get a headache. "As the body gets dehydrated, the heart has to work harder to pump blood through the vessels," explains Clark.

To get a better handle on your hydration levels, White recommends keeping a water log. "Everyone tracks food. How often do we track our water intake?" he asks.

For techie types, there are free apps that pop up with water reminders throughout the day. Whatever method works best for you, drink up and stay well hydrated.

Original Article - http://www.webmd.com/parenting/features/healthy-beverages

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Spot Reduction – Is It A Myth?

You’ll often enter the gym to see people doing thousands of crunches in an attempt to reveal their six pack, or squats and lunges to trim their legs. Spot reducing fat from certain body parts isn’t possible, and may be a waste of your training efforts.

Why Spot Reduction is a Myth

So you want to get a six pack – what’s the first thing you’re going to start doing in your training plan? Probably sit ups and crunches, right?



When trying to lose fat from certain areas of the body, most people think that they need to work that particular area as hard as possible to burn the fat from it. Unfortunately though, this isn’t the case.

It seems pretty logical – you want to trim up somewhere, so you work that area really hard, and the fat falls off, but they body just doesn’t work like that. Stubborn fat is a pretty common issue for a lot of people. Generally, women hold their fat around the hips and thighs, while for men it’s around the stomach and lower back. You’ll get people who have excess fat other places too, like the arms, upper back and chest, but generally it’s the stomach and thighs that get the most attention.
Muscle and fat are two entirely separate components though – they’re not really linked at all. If we use the most common example of spot reduction – doing crunches and sit ups to burn stomach fat, and look at why this doesn’t work.

Losing fat is all about calorie balance

Firstly, losing fat is all about calorie balance – to lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you consume, so that your body has to burn its stored fat for energy. Clearly, the best way to do this is through diet. By lowering your calorie intake by 500 calories per day, you can burn a pound of fat per week without even doing any exercise. Diet is a far more effective way of losing fat than exercising, although that’s not to say that exercise isn’t important.

Crunches, however, are a very low calorie burner, as they’re easy to perform, and require very little effort, meaning that they don’t do much in the way of burning fat. Chances are you will feel a real burn in your abs after crunching for a while, but as muscle and fat aren’t linked, this does little in the way of burning stomach fat. This goes for all other exercises too – squats don’t specifically burn leg fat, curls don’t directly burn biceps fat, and so on.

The other issue is hormones and genetics

Your genetics play a huge role in where you store most of your fat, hence why women and men store fat in different places. This means that while it is certainly possible to lose fat from your stubborn areas, your body will always decide where to lose fat from first. Most people will see fat loss first from their face, and from the stubborn areas last.

Even if you do every exercise under the sun for your targeted body part, and do one thousand reps every day, you can’t tell your body where it’s going to lose fat from. The problem areas discussed above – the stomach and hips are often linked to hormone levels too. Without going into too much detail here, there isn’t that much you can do about your hormone levels, meaning that again, while you will eventually lose your stubborn fat, it will be the last thing to go.

Original Article - http://www.steadyhealth.com/articles/Spot_Reduction_____Is_It_A_Myth__a2277.html

Monday, 29 April 2013

12 Ways to Improve Back Pain

Like the nearly 80% of Americans who will experience a back problem during their lifetime, Beverly Hayes suffers from back pain. For many, the injury is triggered by a strenuous activity, like gardening or weight lifting. Others simply bend down to pick up a pencil and their back gives out.

“It felt like a screwdriver was piercing through by bones,” the 46-year-old Chicago artist says about the pain that developed shortly after she ran a half-marathon. “It took over my life. I couldn’t bend down or sleep — I was petrified I would never feel normal again.”

Mary Ann Wilmarth PT, DPT, OCS, a spokeswoman for the American Physical Therapy Association and chief of physical therapy at Harvard University, says it is critical that people address any back pain or injury right away. “Early intervention can help prevent a chronic problem from developing and obviate the need for medication and surgery,” she says.

Thanks to a combination of activity, core strengthening exercises, and physical therapy, Hayes says her symptoms have improved dramatically over the last year. Here are 12 ways to help alleviate back pain:

1. Limit Bed Rest

It may seem counterintuitive, but studies show that people with acute low-back pain who rest have more pain and are less able to perform daily tasks than those who stay active.
“Patients should avoid more than three days of bed rest,” says Mike Flippin, MD, an orthopaedic surgeon who specializes in back and spine care at San Diego Medical Center. “I encourage my patients to get moving as quickly as possible.”


2. Keep Exercising

Activity is often the best medicine for back pain. “Simple exercises like walking can be very helpful,” Wilmarth says. “It gets people out of a sitting posture and puts the body in a neutral, upright position.”
But remember to move in moderation, Flippin says. “Stay away from strenuous activities like gardening and avoid whatever motion caused the pain in the first place.”


3. Maintain Good Posture

The pain may have started after a long workout at the gym, but the strain that caused it has probably been building for years. Wilmarth says most people perform their daily activities with poor posture, putting unnecessary strain on their back.
“Little things add up,” she says. “You can increase the pressure on your back by 50% simply by leaning over the sink incorrectly to brush your teeth. Keeping the right amount of curvature in the back takes pressure off the nerves and will reduce back pain.”


4. See a Specialist

Developing an individualized exercise plan is essential to managing chronic back pain, says D. Scott Davis, PT, MS, EdD, OCS, an orthopaedic physical therapist and associate professor at West Virginia University.
“There is no magic aspirin that addresses lower back pain in everyone,” Davis says. “Some patients need more core strengthening while others benefit mainly from stretching and improving flexibility. Find a physical therapist, exercise physiologist, or chiropractor who specializes in back care. They will match you with the right exercise plan.”

5. Strengthen Your Core

Most people with chronic back pain would benefit from stronger abdominal muscles.
“The torso is a combination of many muscle groups working together,” Frank B. Wyatt, EdD, professor of exercise physiology at Missouri Western State University, tells WebMD in an email. “If the abdominals are weak, other areas must pick up the slack. When we strengthen the abdominals, it often reduces the strain on the lower back.”


6. Improve Flexibility

Too much tension and tightness can cause back pain. "Our goal in increasing flexibility is to put an equal load throughout the body from the feet all the way up to the head,” Davis says. “One good exercise is to sit on the edge of the bed with one leg extended and the other one on the floor. Give your hamstrings a stretch by leaning forward while keeping your back in a neutral position.”


7. Ditch the Brace

It’s tempting to baby your back muscles, but Davis says braces should be used sparingly. “Braces are helpful for strenuous activities, like heavy lifting, but only keep them on for 15 minutes at a time,” he says. If you wear a brace all day, the muscles — which should be providing stability — weaken and you will have less core strength.


8. Apply Ice and Heat

Heating pads and cold packs can comfort tender trunks. Most doctors recommend using ice for the first 48 hours after an acute injury -- particularly if there is swelling — and then switching to heat.
But "it is difficult to say if ice or heat is more beneficial,” Flippin says. “I recommend that patients use whichever they find comforting as long as their skin is protected.”


9. Sleep the Right Way

The amount of rest you get is important, and so is the position you get it in. “Sleeping in a bad position or on a mattress without support can cause back pain,” Wilmarth says.
Some pointers:
  • Back sleepers should put pillows under their knees.
  • Side sleepers should place pillows between their knees to keep their spine in a neutral position.
  • Stomach sleeping causes the neck and head to twist and can put undue stress on the back.


10. Quit Smoking

Lighting up doesn’t just damage your lungs; it can also hurt your back.
A study recently published in the American Journal of Medicine found that current and former smokers are more likely to have back pain when compared with people who have never smoked. 
“Nicotine causes the small blood vessels to constrict and decreases the delivery of blood to the soft tissue,” Flippin says. “I tell all my patients that quitting smoking could help alleviate their back pain.”


11. Try Talk Therapy

Back pain is often associated with underlying psychological issues such as depression and anxiety, says Alex Moroz, MD, associate professor of rehabilitation medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center.
“Your emotional state colors the perception of pain,” Moroz says. “Therapy can be a helpful part of rehabilitation.”


12. Use Relaxation Techniques

Research shows that practices such as meditation, deep breathing, tai chi, and yoga, which help put the mind at rest, can do wonders for the back.
“If you can induce a relaxation response, it will help reduce the perceived pain level," Moroz says.

Original Article - http://www.webmd.com/back-pain/features/back-pain-remedies-and-tips

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Eating Before Bed

What and when you eat at the end of the day can have a large impact on your weight. If you eat the right thing at the right time you can actually lose weight while you sleep. Eat the wrong thing at the wrong time and you can plan on waking up with a little more body fat in the morning.

To succsufully loss weight, you'll need to stop eating two - three hours before going to bed. YOu shold not feel starving before bed but you should feel slightly hungry. When you're trying to lose weight, slipping into bed at night feeling slightly hungry is actually a good thing. It's your body telling you that what you did that day is working -- you're losing body fat. If you don't feel this way, you're probably not losing fat.

Now lets say you follow your brain's directive and eat close to bedtime, your body will not dip into the fat it has stored away, and will probably even store some more. Every time you eat, your metabolism increases slightly. But this effect is lost or minimized late at night. You don't get the same metabolism-boosting benefit when you eat just before bed, because a couple of hours after dinner, your body begins preparing for sleep. This natural slackening of your metabolic rate overrides any metabolic boost you might get from eating. So once you hit the pillow, the only calories you're going to use are the basic calories you need to keep your heart beating and your lungs breathing and allow your eyes to move in REM sleep. This is only a minimal number of calories.

Believe it or not, eating late at night can also inhibit your calorie-burning potential the next day. Say, for instance, that you treat yourself to a sandwich and some fat free chips at 9.:30 P.M. one night and are fast asleep by 10:30. When your alarm goes off the next morning at eight, the last thing on your mind is going to be breakfast -- you're still full from the sandwich and fat free chips you ate the night before. Chances are, you're going to skip breakfast and lose all the metabolism-boosting benefits you'd get from eating a morning meal.

Things to Remember:

• Eating too much food, especially carbohydrates, late at night increases your body fat stores
• Eating high-glycemic carbs (pasta, potatoes, white rice, sugar, etc.) right before bed will spike your insulin levels and blunt nighttime Human Growth Hormone (HGH) production.
• That's very bad because about 80% of this fat-burning, muscle-building "super hormone" is released during sleep.
• If you fast for 11 hours (8 PM to 7 am for instance) your body will begin burning significant amounts of fat around the 5th hour (1 am) and continue to do so until you wake up.

Here are a few simple tips to make sure you get the most from your last meal of the day:

• Eat about 3 hours before going to bed - you'll have some time to burn off calories but you probably won't get too hungry before going to sleep
• Eat frequently throughout the day - small, healthy meals and snacks spaced about 3 hours apart - to minimize hunger cravings at night
• Your last meal should consist mainly of a lean protein (like baked chicken breast) and low-calorie, fibrous carbohydrates (veggies and fruits) - avoid all starchy carbs close to bedtime (breads, pastas, rice, potatoes, etc.)
• If, like many of us, you get big-time carb cravings right before bed.....eat some carbs! Just make sure they're the high-fiber, low-glycemic kind: apples, berries, peaches, plums, bran cereal, fresh vegetables, vegetable juice, etc.
• If you're currently strength training to build muscle, a great end-of-the-day meal option is low-fat cottage cheese (full of slowly-digested casein protein) with no-sugar-added fresh or canned fruit.

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Is There Really a “Best” Time of Day to Exercise?


When Should You Workout?


The short answer here is yes, there is a best time of day to exercise. The longer answer is that you may face some difficulty when it comes to finding that magical hour in which you’ll get the most out of your workout regimen. The problem is that we are all different and thus, what works for one person may not be at all ideal for another.

For example, you may hop out of bed in the morning the minute your alarm goes off, raring to go and ready to throw on your jogging shoes. On the other hand, you might have no frame of reference for people who can rise even earlier than usual to get in a workout before a full day of work.

It could be that you prefer to exercise after work as a way to refocus and relieve stress. Maybe you like to head to the gym late at night when no one else is around to get in your way. Or perhaps you enjoy the hustle and bustle of other active adults moving all around you. The point is that everyone has different wants and needs when it comes to exercise, and they could play a role in finding the best time of day to workout.

How to figure out YOUR best time of day to work out


So how can you figure out your personal “best” time of day to hit the treadmill, grab some hand weights, or join a spinning class? There are several criteria you might want to consider.

  • You may find that particular times of day work better for physical reasons. Perhaps rolling out of bed and into the gym is no good because you feel nauseous if you don’t eat before you work out, or because you’re stodgy and uncoordinated until you have your first cup of coffee. Maybe at the end of the day you feel exhausted.

  • You have heard that testosterone levels are highest in the morning, so you want to make the best of your hormone levels. This is a scientifically known fact, but how much does a high t-level actually affect your workout? Blood sugar is also lowest in the morning, and some folks can’t tolerate workout out on a nearly empty stomach, so morning workouts might not be the best choice.

  • Maybe forcing yourself to get up instead of letting your body wake naturally leaves you in a foul temper that is less than ideal where motivation is concerned. But then also consider that once you’ve completed your workout, the endorphins will probably kick your mood into hyper-happy overdrive. The tradeoff might be worth it.

  • Or it might be that you can’t exercise at night because you’re too tired after a long day of work, or alternately, because it leaves you so energized that you can’t get to sleep at night. You might be inclined to hang out with your family at night, or maybe you have a part time job. In this case it might be best to try to workout at lunch after a hearty breakfast.

We all react differently to exercise, so finding the golden hour can be a daunting task. However, trial and error should help you here. The more pressing concern for most people is finding the time to fit exercise into a busy schedule. In some cases, the best time of day to exercise revolves not only around when you feel like doing it, but when it is practical to do so.

For some people, this could mean rising an hour early, hitting the gym during a lunch break, or waiting until the kids are in bed. Others may have to squeeze in 10-minute speed sessions throughout the day in order to get in a full workout.

Consider your ideal workout venue

It might also be a good idea to evaluate an actual gym membership, versus seeking discount ellipticals, treadmills, and free weight sets for in-home. In this regard, price and convenience could be the deciding factor.

Before you decide that morning is the best time simply because that’s when your spouse exercises, or that going to the gym after work will produce the best results because that’s when classes are scheduled, you need to consider several factors that may play a role in maximizing your efforts and your results. In this way you can truly select the perfect time for you daily workout.