With a hectic lifestyle, exercising might be low on your list of priorities. Whether you’re consumed with work, family, travel, a social life, a side hustle, a major life event, or all of the above, finding time to exercise is critical in remaining healthy and happy. But when your schedule is busy, it can be extremely difficult to fit a sweat session onto your calendar.
Keep reading to discover the benefits of working out regularly, including how morning versus night workouts affect your body. You’ll also learn how to stay fit while at your desk, why any movement is beneficial, and how to prioritize daily physical activity!
When is the right time to work out? In general, the best time to sweat each day is when you have the time, whether that’s in the morning, on your lunch break, or in the evening. However, you might yield different benefits with physical activity depending on the time of day. Here’s how making time for exercise, day or night, can boost both your mental and physical wellness.
Advantages of a morning workout
Are you a morning person? It may play to your advantage. For people who don’t totally love working out, pre-work exercise can work well because it allows you to check it off your list first thing in the morning. It makes you feel accomplished and ready to tackle the day ahead, as opposed to dreading an after-work workout. Other benefits to working out in the morning include increased energy and elevated mood throughout the day, as well as lower blood pressure and a decrease in cortisol (a stress-response hormone).
Benefits of exercising in the evening
If you’re more of a night owl and can’t find the motivation to get moving in the morning, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Getting your sweat on in the evening allows you to get a longer workout in if you have more hours to spare. It’s also a superb way to let go of pent up stress after a long day at work. Evening workouts may also help you build muscle faster and get to sleep more easily.
When it comes to working out, every little bit of movement counts. You can even make some adjustments and develop certain habits to sneak some exercise in at your desk!
One of the more obvious solutions is to get a treadmill desk or a standing desk. With a treadmill desk, you can send emails and take calls while burning calories as you walk in place. With a standing desk, you won’t burn quite as many calories, but you’ll burn more than if you were sitting all day. Plus, you’ll reap additional benefits such as increased blood flow and better focus.
If you can’t come by a standing desk, don’t worry: Your traditional desk-and-chair setup is a personal gym in disguise! There are tons of discrete workouts you can do in mere minutes to help you stay active throughout the day. Here are a few:
You’ve got a lot of priorities. And while your main focus might be on work, family or other obligations, it’s also crucial to view daily exercise as a priority. How can you hold yourself accountable to working out regularly? You can sign up for an exercise class, meet up with a friend for a walk or jog, invest in a standing desk, or put your workouts directly on your calendar. Just make sure you’re doing something to prioritize fitness each day.
Even if you feel like you don’t have time to exercise every day, it’s important to keep your body moving. Whether you’re completing a 30-minute workout, running for an hour, exercising at your desk, standing instead of sitting, or walking on your lunch break, the goal is to keep your body moving no matter how busy you are. Every minute counts.
The best way to make sure you exercise in the middle of your busy schedule is to be adaptable. Exercise around your life. With a hectic calendar, there’s a good chance that no two days will look exactly alike, and the same goes for working out.
You might have time for a spin class on Monday, but on Tuesday, you may only get the chance to take a brisk walk on your lunch break. Wednesday might be filled up with meetings, so you take the stairs and try to sneak in some workouts at your desk.
Prioritizing exercise will look different for everyone––do what works for you! Just make sure you’re making the time for fitness and not giving it a backseat to everything else life throws at you.