Fitness Fun

The Best Time of Day to Workout: The Sweaty Reality of Midday Exercise

best time of day to workout

And now, for the moment of truth: sometimes you can master motivation, flawlessly fuel your workout, and have your gym and snack bags packed—and still not be able to fit exercise into your daily routine.

Not midday, anyway.

I’m an afternoon exerciser, because it’s my best time of day to workout. But even if you work out in the morning or after work, research says that everyone should be taking a midday pause to get some daily excersise. Sitting for 8 hours is great way to die early, no matter how active you are the rest of the day.

So, dutifully, I aim to work out in the afternoon. Only my “midday pause” typically turns into a three-hour affair. First, there’s mentally shifting gears between work and exercise. Then I have to eat a snack, change clothes, exercise for an hour, shower, change back into work clothes, eat another snack, and get back into thinking mode. And voila: I’ve spent three hours “squeezing in” a daily workout.

Which is why, most days, I rarely bother to peel out of my office chair. And I’m not the only one who has a hard time switching gears mid-workday. Most people don’t even break for lunch, let alone a workout.

But our legs, back and metabolism are begging for it.

Have you figured out how to weave workouts into your daily routine? If so, what’s your secret? Do you stair-sprint around the building all day? Rope your friends into a lunch break stroll?

If you’re cycling to work for National Bike Month, have you figured out how to duck into the supply closet for a wet-wipe bath before someone mistakes you for Edward Scissorhands? (Or am I the only one whose bicycle commutes involve ratty helmet hair, a bike-greased face and inexplicable clothing tears?)

I’d like to compile as much advice as I can for my next post, because this is becoming a critical issue for a lot of us as the average workday gets longer. So if you have some tips for “switching gears” to incorporate exercise throughout the day, please share them!

Read the follow-up post: 5 Ways to Stay Active at Work (Without Getting Fired)

Other Good Reads:

The Secret to a Fitness Routine that Sticks

The Exercise Conundrum–It Takes too Long

Why Exercise is Essential for Weight Loss




Chelsea Ratcliff

Chelsea Ratcliff

Writer and expert


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