What is the BEST time of day to workout?

So what really is the best time to work out?  I am sure you could find 441,000,000 Google Pages (this number is fo' real!) on this exact topic, but what mom has time to research and decide which of the sources is correct?


The Best time of Day to Workout and Lose Weight:

Your body and your metabolism do not care!  Your body will burn the same amount of calories whether you kick start your day with a workout or snooze better because you worked out at night.

NFL  Cheer for a Cure!

Last week I found myself in a bit of a pickle.  Between filming two 12 hour days (a new Postnatal Boot Camp-YAY!), taking pictures for the new website, and performing with my daughter for Cheer for a Cure, not only was I starving, but my brain was at full capacity!  And the workouts just did not happen (minus the filming days) for the last 14 days.  So we all have our weeks,  just don’t let those be consecutive weeks.


The best time of the day to workout is when you WILL workout.  For me that means making a calendar every Sunday. Two days of the week tend to be 5 a.m. workouts and two days a week tend to be 9 p.m. workouts--except for last week:)  At first my 9 p.m. workouts were not successful, meaning my mind and body turn off the minute my kids are in bed.  But I HATE 5 a.m. workouts, so it was kind of my only other option!  And I am selfish and want to workout by myself, without kids crawling all over me.


So how do you properly prepare your body for working out?

First thing in the Morning: You can go on an empty stomach, half an apple, banana or one cup of juice.  (BTW I do not usually recommend juice since it can be a lot of empty calories, but it is just enough to amp up your glycogen storage for a tough workout).

Late Morning: After the kids are off to school and you have had breakfast, this is probably one of the best times for your body to workout.

Lunch: Well, this is a hard one.  More than likely you will have to schedule your lunch after your workout.  Try not to add an extra snack prior to the workout.
Late Afternoon: For all you moms that fall off the bandwagon about this time of day (I used to do it!), this could be the best time for you.  Just like late morning, it is one of the best times for your body to workout.  Your lunch is settled and glycogen stores are full of energy.  It also helps get rid of that afternoon slump.
Evening: For working moms, I recommend the evening workout before you pickup your kids (if this is possible), otherwise it just might not fit in your evening schedule.  For Stay-AT-Home-Mom’s (SAHM), I recommend the workout after you get the kids to bed; it will keep you on good behavior at dinner!

*Pregnant or Breastfeeding:  Make sure you eat a snack of protein and carbohydrates within the hour.  Some great snacks for example are: apple with peanut butter, milk and a slice of bread, yogurt and almonds.

If that is all you want to know, carry on with your calendar planning.  OR for the science…read on.

You can push yourself more if you have the energy.  A calorie is a unit of energy and it comes in three different forms: fat, protein and carbohydrate.  For intense workouts, especially when you push that anaerobic phase (anaerobic = the burpee you are cursing at or the point you have a hard time breathing = the good stuff that increases your fitness level), your body depends on glycogen.  Carbohydrates, like I mentioned above when I was talking about energy, refuel your glycogen stores.  These carbohydrates break down into smaller sugars after eaten and are used as energy.  What is not used, is stored in the muscles as glycogen, when the muscles are full, it gets stored as fat.  

Since glycogen is stored in the body, you are able to workout first thing in the morning.  And since most of us are not professional triathletes, our workouts can usually sustain the stored glycogen, theoretically.  But I will say, try it out.  See what works for you, your schedule and your energy.  And yes, there will be days that you have no energy no matter what and that is because you are a mom with 30 different jobs.

13 comments:

  1. AWW, Lindsay, I just love you and all of your advice! Thank you for helping all us moms out there.

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  2. Wow, great tips Lindsay! Something I like most about you is your honesty. I can see your honesty through! I am a 9PM workout person, but after reading your blog I am considering 2 days 5AM workout and 9 PM other days. Thanks for this article!

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  3. I saw on the Moms Into Fitness Facebook page that you have a new postnatal boot camp DVD coming out. When will it be available? I love your workouts and will purchase one of the older ones, but I'd love to get the newest edition!

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    1. Soon, I promise! We are in the final post-production stage. Maybe mid-Novemebr.

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  4. Hi! Im in my 2nd trimester and just purchased the 4 ct set that has the post pregnancy bootcamp. Im having a hard time finding the yoga section. Which dvd is it on? Thank you!

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    1. Shari, hi! It sounds like you purchased the video set at Target??? I know it is confusing and I apologize. Target only licensed our toning/cardio workouts so they could sell it at our lower price point. But the DVD version sold on our website has the yoga - the intro is the same on both versions. Sorry for the confusion!

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  5. I used to only like to workout mid-morning but starting when my son was about 5 months old that became impossible. So I only worked out about 3 days a week when my husband could watch the baby. Finally, I bought your Pretty Fierce Weight Loss DVDs (just completed a few weeks ago with amazing results). I made my self stick to the schedule which meant I had to workout at night. I actually really enjoy my evening workouts now. It is a relaxing part of my evening after the baby is in bed.

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    1. I hear ya, I thought I would hate evenings but it is a great "me time"!

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  6. So I have a totally random question... I am 8 weeks post baby number two and have started working out again. The workouts themselves are fine but scheduling the workout has been a bit of a challenge since my newborn still has a relatively unpredictable schedule. Some days I can complete a workout without interruption...other days not so much! :) So my question - if I have to stop a workout (change a diaper, baby is fussy, etc) when should I do another warm up? Obviously a quick paci fix isn't a big deal, but what if baby decides he's hungry and my break is a little long? Is there a time limit, so to speak? It's a silly question but I have seriously been wondering about this! :)

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    1. It's not a silly question at all! And I don't think I have ever read research on that! But in my opinion if you feel your muscles have gotten cold, maybe 10-20 minutes you should warm-up again.

      Newborns do crack the whip when they need something, so I get it:) I am glad you are ready to get back at it instead of losing steam!

      And maybe you can workout right after he is fed, that could help you get it all in.

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  7. I have a challenge for all your readers Lindsay! Here is the backup to why I did it. I have been an exercising and eat healthy fanatic for about 4 years (since I had baby #1). I now have two kids and I still going strong with my commitment to health, however I have found that as a woman I am overly critical of all my flaws and am constantly (mentally) bad talking myself. About two months ago I decided I was tired of working out just to jump on the scale and be disappointed...all that mattered was numbers, numbers, numbers! It didn't matter if my husband told me I was beautiful or if a friend complimented me because I only cared about the number on the scale. I finally challenged myself not to get on my scale for one entire month, I will admit that I cheated, but still, I only weighed myself 3 times in one month instead of three times a week, and since then I have been mentally so much better! I still like my scale for occasional weigh-ins so I don't go crazy off the bad wagon and I. To old habits, but day to day my mental image has improved.

    I am so grateful for my body. Uniqueness is such a gift and so is health!

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    1. That is awesome! And I feel the same way about counting calories. Once the knowledge is there, you can move forward without scales and calorie counting!

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  8. wonderful information, I had come to know about your blog  from my friend nandu , hyderabad,i have read atleast 7 posts of yours by now, and let me tell you, your website gives the best and the most interesting information. This is just the kind of information that i had been looking for, i'm already your rss reader now and i would regularly watch out for the new posts, once again hats off to you! Thanks a ton once again, Regards, Prabhas body workout plan




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