In the morning
In a 12-month study at the Mollen Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona, 75% of morning exercisers stuck with their routines compared to only 25% of evening exercisers. A morning workout will fire up your brain, improving cognitive function, concentration, and kick start your metabolism. Early workouts also limit disruptions later in the day, run-ins with an afternoon slump, or a revved up feeling that can make falling to sleep difficult. To maximize your body’s ability to burn fat first thing, snack with a good protein-to-carb ratio, such as a smoothie made with frozen fruit and Greek yogurt.
That time of the month
Only applicable to the ladies, but when you’re feeling crampy, your first instinct is to curl up on the couch. But endorphins - the feel-good brain chemicals released during exercise - can improve your mood and relieve period pain, according to the Women’s Health magazine experts. The hormone shift in your body during your period can make you feel more powerful, and recover faster.
In your lunch break
A workout break will not only relieve stress and boost your mood but also offer job benefits. Research shows that midday exercise improves mental sharpness, time management and productivity. Even if sitting back down in a sweaty state doesn’t inspire you, pop on some trainers and go for a brisk 10-minute walk.
Lace up your trainers between 4 and 5pm when your body temperature is at it’s highest. Studies have shown that this factor will boost your workout as your muscles are more flexible, your strength is at its peak and your perceived exertion is at a low, making exercise feel easier. As your muscles are sufficiently warm and alert by the afternoon, injuries are prevented and the workout will help expel stress in the body that has accumulated during the day.
Avoid exercising when suffering from flu-like symptoms, in very high temperature weather or after a full meal, which can lead to further illness, heat stroke, or dehydration, respectively. After a meal your body circulates blood to the organs that need it most, and here your muscles and stomach would be in serious competition. Always wait two hours post-meal, make sure to check weather conditions, and always take a bottle of water. Find a time that works for you, and get settled in a stress-busting, results-achieving routine.
features writer & lifestyle blogger and avid shoe wearer.