What Time Is It?

by Stacy Yoshioka


Ok, time to come clean.  I haven’t blogged in over a month and, truth be told, I was waiting for a time that I could sit alone with my computer and ramble in to the night about whatever came to mind.

It’s not for lack of ideas that I have been silent for over a month.  After subbing for a trainer at my chiropractor’s office (www.wellbalancedchiropractic.com ) for their 8 Weeks to Wellness program I wanted to blog about communication and how important that is to my work, the drive it can give a person and the results a client can achieve with the proper communication.  I’ve been re-reading my Facts and Fallacies of Fitness book by Mel C. Siff to find common questions that you as a reader might want to have my humble opinion on and was looking to do an entire entry about the value of planning out your workouts (programming) rather than flying by the seat of your pants.  My usual blogging time is an evening that I don’t get caught up watching something on TV and I don’t have to get up particularly early for an early client.  Well guess what, I had a whole week off with no early morning clients and did I blog?  Nope!  I got caught up in everything else that I thought was “more important” and now here I am, home at 7:30 am after a 5:45 am training session, desperately wanting to take a nap before I have to continue my day.  Interestingly enough, it was my client early this morning made me realize something, what better time than now to get things done?

Transient

Just to give you some background, I wake up 3 days a week when it is still dark outside to go downtown to a client who has been the source of a great amount of inspiration for this blog post.  I see her 3 days a week at 5:45 am at the gym in the basement of her building.  Sometimes when she needs to, we will train as early as 5:15 am based on her schedule!  She is one of the hardest workers I have known and will do whatever she can to be sure her workouts are completed for the week to stay on track.  When asked how she has the motivation to get herself up that early she answers with simply, “I just want to get it done.  If I work out first thing in the morning I know it will get done and it will be over, plus I feel great after getting up and moving”.  I think she doesn’t give herself enough credit.  I think her answer is true but you also have to look at the amount of effort and dedication a person has to have to themselves to be as disciplined as she is.

I’m not saying that you all have to run out and change your schedules and start getting up at the earliest possible moment to get your workout in.  I’m saying that I believe that we need to look in the mirror and see what kind of value we put in ourselves.  After we successfully place value in ourselves we need to figure out a schedule and stick to it.  Part of that schedule is determining what time of day works best for us to find that motivation to “get it done and get it over with”.

Let’s look at the three times of day a person might choose to work out, MORNING, AFTERNOON and EVENING and list some pros and cons.  I love my pros and cons lists!  It’s the most sure fire way for me to make a decision when there are many factors up in the air.  Remember, there is no right or wrong answer to what time is the best time to workout.  It’s all a matter of what works for you and these lists are merely my opinion.

Transient

When I looked at the MORNINGS I realized this is my favorite time to get things done.  I can set the tone of my day by starting off the morning with a run or a workout.  I will rarely cancel on myself since I will have most likely scheduled my sleep the day before to accommodate to the early morning workout, and after I workout in the morning I feel like a million bucks!  The post workout shower is a great way to wake up and feel refreshed and I start the day with a sense of accomplishment.  I know that when I am done I have dedicated time to myself and can really feel the value I found when I looked in the mirror.  The only real drawback to the morning workout is how early it is, the scheduling problems with the evening before and the sheer motivation to get up and get out of bed rather than hit snooze over and over again until I know I have to get up to go to work but all of those things seem to be negated by the sheer amount of energy, the positive note, the sense of accomplishment and the value I feel in myself when I start my day.

AFTERNOONS came with a pretty even list of pros and cons for me.  Sometimes the afternoon workout is great to break up the monotony of the day and can give you a real energy boost in smack in the middle of the day when you might need a pick-me-up.  You get the sense of creating “me time” in the middle of what can be a very stressful day and you allow yourself the opportunity to remember that value you place in yourself when you first looked in the mirror and sometimes your energy will be higher based on the assumption that you have gotten enough sleep the night before since you didn’t have to wake up earlier than normal to work out.  On the cons side I find it very easy to cancel on myself when I don’t think I have enough time between my daily tasks to complete the work.  Sometimes I find myself short changing the workout time because something in the morning ran late or I wasn’t motivated enough to get started on time and now have to finish early so as to not miss my next task of the day.  I find it easy to think that I will make up the time missed in the evening or the next day which usually doesn’t happen.

EVENINGS are the worst for me but can be the best for some based on the pros and cons I found.  Let’s look at the pros.  If you work out in the evening you can push yourself to your outside limits knowing that when you are finished you are done for the day and don’t need to exert any more energy than the energy it takes for you to chill out, eat dinner and get to bed.  As always, you have a sense of accomplishment when you work out and working out in the evening is no different.  You walk away from the workout knowing that you put value in yourself and ended you day with dedicated “me time” that reinforces that value.  The biggest con I found is the ability to “put it off until tomorrow” if you are too tired and “tomorrow” never arriving.  If I do get up the motivation to work out in the evening I feel that my energy level is never as high as it could be since the day is almost over and I never feel that I get the best possible workout.  Sometimes I have a hard time winding down after a workout because of the increased energy which ends up cutting in to my sleep time and sometimes my schedule just doesn’t allow me to work out in the evening.  These are all excuses I know, but they are all the things that I combat when I don’t get my workout in earlier in the day.

So here’s the answer to my long drawn out question, find the time that works best for you.  Hold yourself accountable to reinforcing the value you have in yourself.  Take a look in the mirror and claim your “me time”.  Tell yourself that you are dedicated to your self...

...and balance your value with your time.