Whether you prefer to work out in the morning, afternoon or at the end of the day, exercise can help you work towards better physical and emotional wellbeing.
The production of endorphins which is triggered by physical activity acts as a natural remedy to help the body recover from the effects of stress.
So, regardless of whether it’s a case of group 'fitness classes near me' or you're visiting the gym alone, setting time aside to exercise can only be a good thing.
Pilates, resistance training, cardio, yoga, aerobic exercise, spinning, running – exercise comes in many forms!
However, it isn’t always easy to get started as a newbie to the fitness industry.
This is why many people choose to get support from a personal fitness trainer in the early stages so that they can get to know the basics from a certified fitness professional.
As an accredited fitness specialist, a personal trainer would be able to use their personal training program design skills to create a tailored fitness plan based on your body composition and physiology as well as your fitness assessment and, of course, your fitness goals.
Even if you decided that you wanted to continue alone after some time, the knowledge you acquire from a personal trainer will be useful throughout your fitness career.
Here are just a few things personal trainers can help with:
- Weight loss: Your coach would give you advice on effective training techniques as well as nutritional guidance
- Increase muscle mass: Private coaches can tailor training programs to specific objectives
- Tone your body: You’ll be advised on the best way to work out your whole body
Aside from the goals they can help their clients achieve, personal trainers also know the importance of working out regularly and at the right time of day.
They will explain that for each goal you set, there is an optimum time of day to have your training session to achieve the best possible results.
Why Time of Day Matters When Working Towards Fitness Goals
- Morning Workouts for Weight Loss
According to a study carried out by the American Council on Exercise, if you go for a run just after you wake up in the morning, before breakfast, it’ll be easier for you to train.
This is because exercising on an empty stomach means that your body isn’t using extra energy to digest any food, so you have more energy to use in your workout.
For this reason, working out before breakfast aids weight loss, as your body has to use up its stored fat to fuel your activity.
If you’re a morning person, ask yourself "Is there a personal trainer near me available to coach me at that time".
The optimum time to work out is between 6am and 8am.
During this two-hour period, the stress hormone, cortisol, is at its highest level.
Cortisol stimulates the body’s metabolism to turn fat and carbohydrate stores into energy.
An additional advantage is that early morning exercise reduces appetite throughout the rest of the day, meaning you’ll be less likely to snack and overeat.
So, if you’re aiming to lose weight, it’ll help if you make the morning your friend.
You may even find that after a while, you’ll not be able to imagine going to work without your morning jog.
- Afternoon Workouts for Regulating Your Bodily Functions
Scheduling your personal fitness training session in the afternoon helps to get your body clock on track.
This is all about regulating your circadian rhythm, which controls the sleep-wake cycle, so you can get a better night’s sleep.
Studies have shown that our body temperature is at its highest between 4pm and 5pm, meaning that this is the time when our muscles are at the warmest and most flexible, making workouts feel easier.
So, if you’re looking to improve your muscular strength, you should be training in the late afternoon.
This is also the case for endurance training since aerobic capacity is 4% higher at this time.
- Evening Workouts to De-Stress
Having your personal training sessions in the evening allows your body to release the tension it has built up during the day.
Working out after work, between 5pm and 7pm is the ideal time to engage in intense exercise, as your muscles have had all day to warm up, meaning that you can push yourself further and improve your performance.
However, take care to avoid intense exercise after 7pm since this raises body temperature, which can make it difficult to get to sleep.
Your personal trainer will recommend that you do yoga or practice your stretching later on in the evenings. This will allow your body to release the built-up tension and relax without vigorous exercise.
There are also times of day when it is not advised to do exercise.
For example, you should avoid exercising if you’ve not eaten for several hours.
So, if you want to work out just before you have dinner, make sure you have a light snack to fill your stomach an hour or two before you start.
Of course, working out before breakfast is an exception, since sleeping requires so little energy.
You should also avoid working out just after a meal since digestion uses a lot of energy - energy which you could put towards your workout.
Keeping Active at Work
Sitting in front of a screen all day means that many people don’t get nearly enough exercise as they should.
But your profession shouldn't get in the way of your wellbeing - hiring a certified personal trainer can fix this!
For those who go from office, to car, to sofa, and then to bed in the evenings, having to be at the gym for their personal training session can motivate them to get moving.
However, there are things you can do within your office walls to stretch your muscles and prevent them from becoming stiff.
So, here are 4 exercises you can do during your working day.
- Parallel Leg Lifts
Sit in your office chair and place your hands on either side keeping your shoulders and back straight.
Taking a deep breath in, keep your legs together and raise your legs until they are parallel with the floor.
Bend your knees and return to your starting position whilst exhaling.
Take a few seconds to rest, then repeat the exercise 10 times.
This is a gentle way to strengthen the muscles in your legs and core.
- On Tip Toes
If you spend a lot of time on your feet, make the most of it and strengthen your calf muscles!
Pulling your tummy in, extend the full length of your body from top to toe, standing on tiptoes.
Hold this position for 10 seconds.
Repeating this exercise throughout your time at work will strengthen and tone your calf muscles.
If you want to work on your leg strength, you should also take the stairs rather than the lift – these small exercises all add up!
- Arm Stretches
Sitting in your chair, straighten your back and lift your arms above your head.
Bring your hands together with your palms facing the ceiling.
Inhale and exhale whilst pushing your palms higher for 5 seconds.
Then, stretch to the right for another 5 seconds and then release.
Do the same on your left side.
Repeat this cycle 10 times.
- Foot Holds
Sitting in your chair with your hands either side of you, keep your shoulders and back straight.
Lift your legs 5cm in the air and hold this position for 10 seconds, keeping your abdominal muscles tight.
Repeat this exercise 10 times.
Am I Too Old for Personal Training?
These days, there are as many ‘older’ people as younger ones working out in gyms and visiting health clubs!
The more mature athletes among us are also setting fitness goals for themselves and achieving them with the help of private fitness instructors and like-minded individuals in their gym classes.
In addition to being good for the soul, exercise is great for getting healthier and keeping in shape, no matter how old you are!
The advantages of senior fitness include:
- Reducing the risk of falls
- Reducing obesity risk
- Alleviating stress and preventing heart disease
- Helping lower cholesterol
- Relieving symptoms of osteoporosis
Sport has no age limit.
If you’re not convinced, just look at the figures.
Every year, thousands of ‘senior’ athletes complete challenges that many young people would never dream of attempting, such as marathons and triathlons.
For instance, the Canadian runner Ed Whitlock was the first person over 70 years of age to complete a marathon in under 3 hours!
Whitlock also destroyed the half marathon world record time in his age category, with a swift pace of 5.15 km per hour.
And his 10km personal best was 44 min 22s.
So, if this 70-year-old runner did it, why can’t you?
As long as you’re careful and don’t push yourself too far, you can keep fit at any age.
Having a personal trainer to guide you along the way can also add a layer of safety if you’re worried about hurting yourself during your workouts.
You may want to pay the doctor a visit before you start training, just so extra peace of mind before you start your fitness program.
Once you’ve got the green light from a health professional, you’re free to go ahead!
Here are some important points to remember if you’re a senior athlete who is new to exercise:
- Don’t do too much too quickly, give yourself a day or two to recover before your next workout – training is progressive
- Avoid races and competitions – you don’t want to push yourself too far!
- Wear appropriate footwear and dress in light, breathable clothing so you stay as cool a possible
- And last but not least, make sure you drink plenty of water! Hydration is key to a successful workout
There are many sports that are well-suited to older athletes that can be practised with a personal trainer, such as yoga.
Yoga is all about gentle movements, stretching and breathing techniques to relax the body.
Your personal trainer will show you the different movements that can improve your flexibility and relieve tension, without pushing you beyond your limits.
Nordic walking is also good for older people, as it gently works the arms, pectoral muscles and the shoulders.
You can do Nordic walking with a guide, with friends, and even your personal trainer!
Gymnastics and golf and just some of the many activities that could be added to this list.
Am I Too Young for Personal Training?
Strength training in the teenage years is becoming a reality as more and more young people dream of toning their bodies.
However, this form of exercise can prove dangerous when practiced at a young age.
As teenagers are essentially children who are still growing, their bones are fragile and need to be looked after.
For this reason, youngsters shouldn’t be lifting too much weight, and they shouldn’t be alone during their training sessions.
Getting a personal trainer for your child can provide them with appropriate guidance and be a good supplement to their training in sports such as football or tennis.
Calling on a fitness specialist will enable you to:
- Discuss: Personal trainers can identify with their attitude to training and competition, and can keep an open dialogue with the athlete
- Exchange: The coach and the athlete can share their thoughts and ideas to create the best possible training plan for the trainee’s needs
- Observe: Your personal trainer will watch your child’s attitude and response towards training to make sure they remain motivated throughout their programme
- Advise: One on one sports coaches can provide advice on many topics relating to health and fitness, such as fitness nutrition and recovery
When it comes to personal coaching for young people, good communication with their fitness instructor is key.
Keeping an open dialogue about your child’s progression towards their goals will ensure that their overall wellbeing is at the centre of their programme.