Morning, Noon or Night
We all face the challenge of fitting a workout into our busy daily schedules. Our families, friends and communities deserve our attention, and today's work world involves many job-related demands. Our personal time is becoming very precious. How do we fit it all in?
To start with, make a daily appointment with yourself for your own health and fitness. It is not selfish; it is necessary. In order to care for the other people in your life, you must first take care of yourself.
People frequently ask me: what is the best time of the day to run? Here are some insights I have received from thousands of runners over the years. As you will see, there is no "best" time. There is, however, a best time for you. Experiment to find the time of day that works with your individual schedule.
For me, the perfect time to run is when time calls me to run! I travel frequently across the country and find myself facing time zone adjustments. A short run is a proven way of grounding me by helping me adapt to the local time. When faced with a busy day I try to run early, since the rest of the day can bring reasons or excuses not to run. Other times, an evening run is a marvellous way to close out the day. The bottom line: fit a run into your personal daily routine, and you'll be glad you did.
Many runners are faithful believers in the early morning run. It starts their day off right and gets them into a positive mental state. They find that they eat less, are more productive throughout the day and come home to relax without the stress of having to run when they are tired.
People with busy evening schedules may use their lunch hour as a time to run. It breaks up the day, gives them a refreshed attitude for the afternoon and forces them to eat a light lunch. Many workplaces now have shower facilities to encourage this healthy practice among employees.
These runners say they may be mentally fatigued when they come home from work, but when they go for a pre-dinner run, they return feeling rejuvenated. Fitting in a run after work and before supper makes them enjoy their evenings more, and for many of them exercise is an appetite suppressant.
Some runners tell me that the late-evening run is grand because it relaxes them for the night. They skip the prime-time TV shows and use their run to meditate about life's challenges and find the simple solutions that come from clearing their mind. They claim that the run revs up their metabolism, which continues to burn fat as they sleep.