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Choosing Your Prime Time For Exercise

December 16, 2009

I’ve written a lot about my South African fitness experiences. I hope you’ll bear with me for a bit longer – I get back to Atlanta in a few weeks so not much longer now. I’ve just had so many revelations over here that I feel compelled to share them!

By far the most profound change in my fitness routine has been the time of day when I exercise. I am unequivocally NOT a morning person. For my whole life I’ve exercised in the evenings after work, or late morning on weekends. This has worked for me to an extent, but lately life has gotten in the way and I’ve found the exercises shrinking both in length and number. So last year, I started to incorporate a few lunchtime workouts per week. That helped a lot because it allowed me to squeeze in some weights and have time after work for cardio and tennis.

Here in South Africa, I’ve suddenly become that morning person. Five days per week my alarm rings sometime between 4:30 and 5 a.m. Yes, Mom, it’s me writing this post. This was not my initial plan. But I met a friend and personal trainer who I really wanted to work out with – and she does mornings, so that was that. I’m not gonna lie and say it was easy, but her awesome workouts kept me coming back for more. And it also helps that the sun rises here at 5 a.m., and that it’s summertime over here.

I go back to Atlanta in a few weeks and am wondering how in the world I’m going to keep or any semblance of this up then. It will be winter, dark, and I won’t have my workout partner (and so far none of my friends or my fiancee has volunteered their pre-dawn services). Do you have any advice on how to maintain this kind of motivation?

This blog post from Divine Caroline provides a great overview of the benefits of exercising at various times of the day. Which time of day do you prefer – early morning, midday, or evening?

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