Definitive Proof that THIS Is The Right Time of Day to Work Out

Note: there is no right time.

clockDon’t you just love headlines that lead you to believe there is one right answer for something? Unless it is the correct way to refer to pi, which is, in fact, apple with cinnamon crumble topping and not 3.14159 as some might think.

The right time to work out is anytime. As long as it is sometime. Simple as that. If you are trying to move, you are doing it at the right time of day, i.e. the time that works with your schedule. Whatever time you prefer to get active, here are tips to ensure you work out at some point in the day:

IN THE MORNING:

Skip the coffee. Please. The sloshin’ won’t be a pleasant knockin’ on an empty stomach.

Lay out your exercise clothes. The less thinking required in the morning, the better, so select your outfit the night before and it set next to your running shoes for easy dressing. Rumor has it some people sleep in their exercise clothes, but you can’t prove that unless doing something extremely awkward.

Make breakfast ahead of time. Pre-work out opt for a one cup-sized fruit and veggie based smoothie made the night before to jumpstart your routine. Post-workout finish off the most important meal of the day with eggs or plain oatmeal that give you a healthy breakfast in just minutes.

IN THE AFTERNOON:

Do a shoe swap. Bring comfortable walking shoes to change into during your lunch break. Dress shoes won’t get your motor running to take a brisk walk between meetings, so be sure to come prepared with proper footwear.

Brown bag it (in a reusable bag, of course). The worst way to derail a fitful afternoon is the need to make a mad grab for fast food. Pack a healthy lunch the night before and set a reminder to actually bring it with you. Consider packing a meal that can be snacked on walking around if you have little time on your breaks.

IN THE EVENING:

Prep the vegetables.  Everyone knows you should eat lots of vegetables, but sometimes if you need to wash, cut and prep them for cooking it can take some time. Do this ahead of time and portion out your vegetable helpings and ensure you aren’t wasting away in the kitchen until the wee hours of the night.

Eat a hearty lunch. If you are aiming to exercise right after the rush hour, make sure you have a healthy lunch or late afternoon snack to give you the energy to make it through your workout and deter running to the nearest Pizza Hut. Nuts and fruits are the best options for long-lasting energy that will bring you home to dinner time.

Get an early start. The closer you workout to bedtime, the harder it can be to fall asleep. Try to finish working out at least 3 hours before you will go to bed. Exercise will improve your sleep patterns, so be sure to find the right time and hit your sweet spot.

Is it your time to get active? Off you go!

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Why Stretching is the Greatest Feeling in the World

blog-thought-bubble-subheadlineStretching feels good. Darn good. That sweet release in your arms, legs or back is like a punch to the hypothalamus. An instant stress-reliever that tells your crappy day to flush itself down the toilet.

But it doesn’t get all the glory of the Prom Queen cardio workout. Or the artistic reverence reserved for the balanced diet. It’s The Brady Bunch’s Jan of the fitness world. It gets the “Go away, Jan. No one has time for you. Oh, Jan.”

peacesignThis middle child of exercise deserves a little recognition. After all, did you know that stretching burns calories? And it does so without too much sweating. You could do stretches on a first date and it’d be completely normal and ick-free (maybe). Also, stretching regulates breathing. Which, you know, is important, for, like, breathing and stuff.

Stretching is the perfect anecdote to your day-long impersonation of a stone edifice in an office chair. Every little move helps improve strength and flexibility.

So, who’s going to say it? Anyone? OK, we will. So, um, what do you stretch? What are the time-tested, only-things-that-are-certain-are-death-and-taxes types of stretches to do?

Well, we’d start with a few classic yoga moves like these. They’re pretty easy even for the most inflexible person, and the girl demonstrating them in this article doesn’t seem like some crazed gym rat that can simultaneously bend her legs over her head and snort protein powder up her nostrils. She seems like an okay gal. A happy pal who wants to buy you a dairy-free frozen yogurt. (Totally would go get that yogurt with her, by the way.) She’s got one of those faces that says her voice is soothing and her hair can be automatically swept up into the perfect messy bun. But you don’t even hate her for it because she just wants to help you stretch. Authentic.

You may learn to love stretching so much that you become one of those people with a sign on your door that says “Privacy, please. Stretching.” Stretching what, exactly, visitors won’t know, but you’ll be too deep into the good feels that it won’t matter. Or you’ll become one of those cheeky bumper sticker owners with a real gem that reads “Stretch This.” Classy.

Another perk of stretching? You can look at beautiful photos while you do it. Photos like these. Ones that happen to have a tiny Chester in them. Enjoy!

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koi

 

beach

 

Fitbeast is Friend, Not Food

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Chester thinks of himself as your friend. Really, he does. Did you know that? He thinks you have something special. He’s here for you. Like an Amazon Prime package delivered two days later on the dot. He’s like clockwork, packaged with a piece of paper that says “Enjoy your gift! It’s Chester!” He arrives to you ready for duty.

Have you thought about how great it could be? Just you and Chester out in that great big world, ready to meet your fitness goals with gusto. He’ll keep you in check as you try to remember to work out, take a walk, or reject that piece of cake your coworker keeps thrusting at you. (Chester would help deliver that perfect one liner that says they should show some respect to those cutting back on sweets and DO THEY WANT TO BE HIT IN THE FACE WITH BUTTERCREAM BECAUSE THAT WILL HAPPEN SO MOVE ON KTHXBAI).

Chester’s fitness goals aren’t complicated. You won’t find him all beefed up in some gym oozing testosterone and dusted in protein power. (Most of the equipment isn’t built for four legs, anyway.) He just wants to be healthy and feel good.

He likes the good feels.

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So simple, right? But sometimes it seems like we forget that exercise gives you good feels. As if when some wise person were to inscribe, “exercise makes you feel good” on a fortune cookie, it would be this mind-blowing experience to read. And then stomach-blowing to eat. It defies comprehension. Almost as unfathomable as why Kourtney Kardashian continues to have babies with Scott Disick. It echoes the definition of insanity.

The answer? Take a walk (queue Passion Pit chorus). Are you a little down on the pudge collecting over your jeans? Not feeling like your hot Scar-Jo self? Get outside. Move around. It’s simple, really. Exercise – even the mild, over-the-counter, minimum-sweat “is-this-really-helping-me” kind of exercise – is, indeed, helping. Chester gets it, and he wants you to get it too. Put simply, it’s better than nothing. And one step up from nothing is something. So this is the year to do something.

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