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  • The Best Time to Workout for Weight Loss

    By Travis Steffen on Tuesday, June 23, 2009in Plans & Programs  

    i2magesOf course we know that committing to a well designed exercise routine plays a huge role in how effective our weight loss program is. The best weight loss programs generally recommend a combination of cardiovascular (see cardio exercises) and resistance training (see weight lifting exercises) at a minimum of 3 to 4 sessions a week.

    I am often asked what time of the day is the best time to workout. That entirely depends upon the individual. In order to reap optimal benefits from your weight loss exercise routine, you’ll need to schedule your workout for a particular time of the day when you know you will be feeling wide awake, energized and ready to focus entirely on the workout without interruption.

    Many people believe they need to exercise first thing in the morning, on an empty stomach in order to burn the most fat. The theory is that after fasting all night, glycogen stores are low and the body will go straight to using fat for energy. While there may be some truth to this, it certainly isn’t necessary. It is far more important to be energized and capable of working out at your full capacity, with an all out effort, so that a signifcant amount of calories are used and you cause a spike in your metabolic rate.

    Some people are early risers and enjoy completing their work out routines first thing in the morning so they can get it done and out of the way. If you feel your best first thing upon rising and choose to schedule your workouts for that time of day, that’s what it is best for you. The best time to work out is simply whatever works for the individual.

    Some of us (like me) just aren’t awake when we roll out of bed and need a couple of strong cups of coffee and a big bowl of oatmeal before even considering a workout. Different strokes for different folks. I normally get my workouts in about 4 or 5 hours after I start the day. That’s when I feel most energetic and when my schedule allows for a break from work. Usually I’m at the gym sometime between 11a.m. and 1p.m.

    Perhaps you’re a night owl and get a second wind later in the evening after the dishes are done and the kids are in bed. That works great too!

    My point is, don’t get too wrapped up in scientific formulas that suggest you must workout in a fasted state to optimize fat burning. Don’t worry about hormone fluctuations, cortisol levels or anything else for that matter. The best time to workout is whenever you can schedule it and devote your full attention and effort to it. At the end of the day all that matters is that you burned some calories and worked those muscles. Just be sure you’ve got a correctly designed exercise routine and you’ll be good to go.

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    About Travis
    Travis Steffen is a Master Trainer and founder of WorkoutBOX. After years of experience training professional athletes and thousands of others just like you, he knows exactly what it takes to get you in serious shape. Follow his expert guidance and you're guaranteed to get amazing results.
    Want to hear even more of what Travis has to say? Keep in touch with him on Facebook and Twitter!

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