Posted by: Shannon @ A Dash of Sparkle | August 1, 2012

Best time to exercise debate rolls on… but sparks a new challenge

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There has been so much debate on when the best time of day is to achieve optimal results of a workout.

I’ve heard through one of my fave bloggers (Carrots ‘n’ Cake) that some new studies have claimed one is better than the other yet again, and that now it’s the evening workout that can be most beneficial. No doubt the debate will continue to carry on.

The truth is though, no matter when the “optimal” time to workout actually is (according to whatever the latest survey says at least), the best time to workout is in fact, whenever you can.

This has proven so undeniable true for me in the last few weeks when some random late work nights and inconsistent sleep quality has plagued my preferred routine. I have been barely able to drag myself out of bed in the morning with enough time to get ready, never mind work out.

I’ve tried all sorts of things to get myself back on a regular sleep and workout schedule, tried limiting my pre-bedtime exposure to electronics (computer and TV), and have even picked up my always effective sleep-inducer, reading. The truth is though, I just can’t control what else happens in my day, everyday. Sometimes, I need to be up late. Sometimes, I’m just too wound up by one thing or another that I can’t get relaxed enough to sleep.

The basic thing of it all is that I love the feeling working out gives me. I want to reach my fitness goals and not regret sitting around when I could otherwise be up and about.

So starting this week, I’ve decided to give myself a little challenge to see if can get back on some kind of track. It will be similar to my daily blogging challenge in June, which I wasn’t able to maintain every day, but that got me back into the habit of posting to my blog more regularly.

My  challenge for the next month (which technically began yesterday) is to workout in some way 6 days a week.

I’m not going to dictate when I should workout, but just focus on squeezing workouts in almost daily wherever and whenever I can.

They won’t be the HIIT workouts I love every day, that much I know, since doing 3-4 days of those workouts leave the body literally aching for a day or two off. Instead I’m going to focus getting back into the habit of doing something almost every day so that my ideal routine (whether it turns out to be in the evening or mornings or both) reveals itself to me. It’s better than me failing to push through a routine that may not fit the rest of my life right now.

I’ll try to post my workouts so that I can track my successes and identify when and what types of things work when.

I kicked this off yesterday, when I failed to get up for my scheduled morning run, but instead opted for a 30 minute HIIT workout instead. So here it is – Day 1!

MONDAY WORKOUT:

Warm Up:

  • Skipping with Rope for 8 minutes of 16 rounds of 10-20 second intervals
  • 3 minutes of stretching

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Serendipity Bodyrock Workout: 12 mins of 12 rounds of 10-50 second intervals (Completed 3 sets of below)

  • One legged push ups w/ cross toe touch (alt legs)
  • Burpee with push up & jump tuck
  • Sandbag swing (35 lbs)
  • Side jump lunge & touch

Bonus Ab Workout: 6 minutes of 6 rounds of 10-50 second intervals (Completed 2 sets of below

  • Side plank leg tap (forward and backward= 1 rep) on Right side
  • Straight leg toe touch reach across
  • Side plank leg tap on Left side

Cool Down:

  • 5 minutes marching and stretching

The whole workout took me about 40 minutes in total, but I was completely wiped out after. The skipping really takes it out of you right off the bat, but is a great warmup! I tracked all my scores for the workout in my journal so that I can compare next time as well.

Anyone else up for a challenge? Feel free to join in if you want!

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