Diary of a Fit Patriot: Exercising When You Can—Not Necessarily When You Want
Posted: April 18, 2016 at 1:17 pm, Last Updated: April 18, 2016 at 1:19 pm
By: Alison M. Hall
Many of us have a favorite time of day to exercise. For me, it’s early morning. I wasn’t always this way, but now I get my best workouts in when I start before sunrise, and I love teaching my 6:15am cycle class. I know others only can exercise at night. They use the energy from the day—positive or negative—to push themselves through. Still others love a good lunchtime workout. It resets them to get through the second half of the day. What happens when you can’t exercise at your favorite time of day? Do you skip the workout? Hopefully not. Hopefully you find a way to make another time of day work for you.
I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “attitude is everything.” In this case, it really is. Try to adjust your attitude toward exercising at a different time of day. Be thankful you have any time to exercise and embrace the time you have. If you’re an evening exerciser but have to get up early to get the workout in, try to focus on your favorite type of exercise during that session. It’s easier to get up for something you like. If you don’t trust yourself to get up, recruit a friend to join you. If you only have an hour to squeeze in your workout (and shower and travel to and from the gym) at lunchtime, go for a shorter, higher intensity workout. It can be good to shake up your intensity anyways. If you’re like me and have no energy at the end of the day, but you only have time to exercise then, try a fitness class. The energy of the group will help keep you going through the end of class.
Sometimes none of the above is possible. For example, you hate leg day but leg day falls on a day you have to get up early and your friends all laugh when you ask them to get up at 5:30am to work out. Or your evening cycle class is full by the time you get there so you have to ride a bike in the cardio gallery on your own. Just try it once. You might hate it—you might even feel like it was your worst workout ever—but at least you did something good for yourself. If it doesn’t work, try something different next time. However, it just might work, you just might find you like something different, and you just might have a positive experience you never thought possible.