"The LORD is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear?"

- Psalms 27 : 1

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The Weight Loss Diaries : When Should You Workout?

Ever since I embarked on the journey to a healthy lifestyle, I have had a lot of questions from my entourage and readers. One of the questions that keeps coming up is, "when should I workout?". This question is very relevant and what you decide will define your workout experience. 

When asking yourself this question, there are a few things you must know: firstly, depending on the time of day and what you are doing, your body reacts differently.
Secondly, when compared to someone else's body, your body will also react differently.
Thirdly, your state of mind is also a deciding factor when it comes to when you should workout.

Now that we've laid that foundation, let me share a few things that will help you decide when you should workout :

1. Pick the times that are suitable with your schedule. There is no point trying to make time where there is not. If you have a job that requires you to get up before dawn then a morning workout might not be for you. Be coherent. Trying to work out when you cannot make time ultimately leads to frustration, lack of motivation and eventually desisting.

2. Experiment. After establishing when you can squeeze in a workout,  it's time to try out which one of them best suits you. 

3. You must feel comfortable. The one sign you should look for when doing a workout is to feel comfortable. I don't mean comfortable like you are lying down on your bed sort of comfortable but your body should be able to keep up and you should have a certain level of motivation. If you find yourself feeling very tired, so much so that you are stopping every other minute or you cannot wait for the workout to end, then your body is trying to tell you something. Most likely, your body is not prepared for the workout or it's bad timing. I've had such experiences before and looking back now, I can say it was bad timing. Remember what I stated above, your body will react differently, depending on the time of day or what you may have been doing before.

4.  No rushing. When picking when to workout, give yourself a big enough marge. For example, when planning to do a 30 minutes workout, warm up and cool down included, you can add 10-15 more minutes of marge because you never know what could happen while working out (you might get a phone call and might need to add more time) or you might just get carried away with some exercises. This is especially important if you are working out in the morning and might need to get ready after that for work or school. When you start rushing your workout you don't get the total benefit and you do not enjoy it as much because all you'd be thinking about is finishing on time.

5. Listen to your body. It is important to be aware of how your body reacts. If your body is tired or not getting enough nutrients, it will complain and doing a workout under such circumstances can do more damage than good. Avoid working out when you know you will be tired (for example at the end of a 8-hour shift at work) and give your body rest when you need it. This is also part of a healthy lifestyle.

6. Stick to it. Once you think you've found the right time for you, it's time to work with it. If a few days later, you realize you have to change it, you need to ask yourself if it was ever right at all.  

7. Be flexible. This is not a deciding factor, but something you should have at the back of your head. Life is too dynamic to be rigid. Some days things are just not going to go the way you want it so have a back up plan. If you cannot do your workout when you want to, always be ready with plan B. Maybe postponing it to later in the day or doing a totally different workout? You choose. Just have it ready, if ever you may need to change your plans.
Failing to be flexible may lead to frustration and discouragement.

Now that you know how to choose when you should workout, let me share why I prefer a morning workout to a night workout :

1. My body. When I get up in the morning, though I may be tired, my body can easily keep up during the workout which is the complete opposite when I workout at night. At night, my body is all fired up at first, but then slowly get tired. I guess this makes sense when we think of how tiring the events of one day can be. 

2. My mind. While working out at night, I tend to find myself slowly replaying the events of the day, which can be quite tiring and draining. Whereas in the morning, though I may be thinking about what I need to do during that day, it is not so overwhelming and I can easily take my mind off such things.

3. My day. Working out in the morning really prepares me, physically and psychologically for the day. Sometimes, while working out, I can get a revelation, be reminded of something or just find myself letting go of excess luggage that would have otherwise weighed me down during the day. I cannot explain it but there is something about taking time before starting the day to pray, read, workout, write or anything else in which we find ourselves alone, quiet and attentive. But I guess that's a post for another day ;)

Whatever YOU decide, workout when you are at your best, to get the best results.

Live strong


  1. This was so helpful Funbi. I just started working out few months ago.
    I enjoy working out in the mornings like you suggested, sometimes I have to finish it up at night though.
    Now, I just have to work out earlier in the day, so I can be done with my workouts in the mornings and not go back to it at night.
    I like that it helps clears my mind
    These tips are very helpful. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Hi Funmi!
      I am so glad the post is helpful.
      Wow! Morning AND night.That's determination right there. I have also done that a few times when I could not finish my workout in the morning but it takes a lot of will power and I do not like the fact that I'd be thinking about it during the day.
      Waking up early is something I've had to really work on to but it pays off at the end if you prefer doing your workouts in the morning.
      It's really my pleasure sis.
      God bless you richly as you keep living strong


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