I had a reader inquire recently about the best way to approach physical fitness and what do I believe is the best time of day to exercise for weight loss. My first response is “Do not over complicate it”. Of course professional personal trainers might tell you differently, however, there really are no magical formulas which you need to memorize. If you are new to physical fitness, forget all about those theories about having to maintain muscle confusion in order to find success. Forget about most everything you may have ever heard that might have prevented yourself from venturing into the world of physical fitness. You can worry about the fine minutiae of exercise once you have found an activity you love to do that also gives your body a healthy benefit. Until then you just need to become committed to good health and then be:
Firm! Fair! and Consistent!
But, firmness, fairness and consistency are leadership traits. You might be wondering how in the world does that apply to the best way to approach physical fitness and the best time of day to exercise for weight loss?
It is simple!
Once you have decided to begin a physical fitness regimen of any type in order to become healthier and to lose weight, you are going to have to be a leader unto yourself, you will have to be a self starter. And here is how these traits will apply to you and and your new routine:
Be “Firm” in your resolve!
Face it, if your family and friends are not into physical fitness, do not expect them to be as committed to your cause as you need to be. You will find family and friends to often be like crabs in a bucket. The harder you try to crawl out of that bucket with them, the harder they will try to pull you back in. Therefore you are going to have to be firm in your resolve in getting healthy, fit and trim. You need to create your own exercise schedule and then be firm in using that schedule. You will find that your out of shape loved ones will not respect your exercise schedule and will not understand why you have to exercise all the time. They will attempt to get you to go out for fun when you are getting ready to head out for a run, or to your gym. You cannot let them stray you from your schedule. Once you let them do this, you have lost your battle since they will always believe themselves capable of manipulating you away from that which they do not have a care in the world for. Treat your workout schedule with the same importance as you do your job. It really is that important.
Don’t try to fit workouts in haphazardly; put workouts on your calendar or have a set time each day. I have found that most who work out in the morning have greater consistency than those who work out later in the day. Things will often occur throughout the day to sidetrack your workouts, and this is less likely to happen in the morning.
Be “Fair” to yourself!
Sometimes life is going to get in your way of having a good workout. This is true for all of us who have incorporated physical fitness into our lifestyles. Maybe you have been sick or exhausted from work and you could not put in a full effort, or maybe none at all.
If something out of your control causes your workout to be less than stellar, don’t ever beat yourself up about it. Do not let a small setback derail your efforts, sometimes life circumstances just happen without any of our control. Once you have been at physical fitness long enough, you will come to understand that there will be days when you are feeling strong and your workout will suck anyhow. There will be days when you go at it feeling weak in the beginning and then finish stronger than you ever have. There is not always any rhyme nor reason to this, so just be fair to yourself and feel satisfied that you still gave it your best effort no matter what the circumstances. Take any kind of setback in stride and vow to “lean forward and drive on” with your next workout.
Lastly on fairness; never, never ever, compare your capabilities to that of others. We all have a different story, and different goals with different visions in how we are going to accomplish our goals. No matter how strong or fit you might be, your personal best might be the warm up exercise for someone else. You might also find yourself striving to be like one who has a losing and non sustainable strategy to last for the long run. You just never know…
Be consistent with meeting your schedule for exercise.
You need to be consistent for the beneficial changes of exercise to occur in your body. Just doing a little exercise just when ever you feel like it is not going to bring you much benefit. Consistency in working out will bring more substantial results than periodic extreme fitness routines. Without a doubt consistent training is the most important aspect of athletic success and forward progress. The single main ingredient that keeps people from reaching their fitness goals is their lack of consistency! People tend to be impatient when it comes to exercise. Too many times people do not give their exercise plans enough time to reap the benefits they are looking for, and as such, they fail to ever realize their original goals.
Even a poorly designed or random training program will produce results if followed consistently and training occurs regularly. In my experience, those who are still performing well into their 40s, 50s, and beyond all have one thing in common: they’ve trained consistently over the years and rarely gave up ground. If you have tried consistent exercising and failed, think about the different methods of exercise. Most people try one exercise routine over and over again—going to the gym, walking around the neighborhood, etc. But if your routine isn’t working, switch things up. Start biking, swimming, hiking, rock climbing, playing with the dog, lifting weights, or yoga. There is a vast multitude of fitness routines available online and through programs. If after giving a routine a truly valiant effort over a month or two, try something new and learn to enjoy the many benefits of consistent exercising.