How to Determine the Best Time to Exercise

Any time of the day you can commit to exercising is a good time for getting active. The best time for exercise is different for each person. Consider your lifestyle and exercise goals to help find the right time for you.

EditSteps
EditConsidering Lifestyle Factors
Determine when you have the most energy. Do you struggle to get out of the bed in the morning or do you wake up energized and ready to go? Are you a night owl and never get to bed before midnight?[1] Once you establish what your sleep tendencies are, you will have a better idea of when your body is most inclined to exercise.
If you are not a morning person, do not schedule an early morning workout. You are more likely to hit the snooze button instead of getting a workout in.

Sacrificing sleep to get a workout in can result in poorer performance and make it difficult to develop a consistent routine.

Consider your daily schedule. When are you the busiest? When do you tend to schedule your most important tasks? Try to fit in your exercise before or at least around these events if possible. Some people would prefer to get it out of the way first thing, while others prefer to put it off until the end of the day when they are all caught up.
If you tend to have a lot of activities after work, you may want to exercise in the morning.

If your mornings are hectic and you have trouble making it out of the door on time, an evening workout may be best.

An afternoon workout may be good if you have time on your lunch break and do not want to sacrifice your evening or morning time.

Determine your exercise goals. Are you trying to lose weight? Are you trying to improve your performance? Are trying to develop a consistent exercise routine? [2]
If you are trying to develop a routine, you may want to exercise in the morning. People who exercise in the morning are more consistent. You may not feel like exercising after a long day of work, errands, or being out on the town.[3]
If you are trying to improve your performance, afternoon or evening exercise may be best. You may experience less fatigue, quicker reaction times, and more strength and flexibility in the evening.[4][5]
If you are trying to lose weight, you may want to exercise in the morning before you have eaten. When you exercise in a fasted state, your body is more likely to use fat instead of carbohydrates for energy.[6]

Factor in the location of your exercise routine. Your house provides the most flexible time options if you own fitness equipment, but if you have a gym down the street or along the route home from work, that will make it more convenient to squeeze in a workout.
If you have an onsite gym at your job or school, afternoon and evening workouts may be most convenient for you.

Fitness DVDs and videos are other convenient at-home options.

Experiment with both morning and evening workouts. Start by working out at different times of the day to see how you feel and find the time that works best with your schedule. Keep an exercise log to help you evaluate each time. Ask yourself some questions such as:.
How did I feel?

Did I have trouble falling asleep?

Am I tired throughout the day?

Do I perform better in the morning or at night?

Do I feel more energized? Am I sluggish?

EditExercising in the Morning
Weigh the pros and cons. Morning workouts are associated with lower blood pressure, better quality sleep,[7] higher energy levels throughout the day, and increased mental alertness; however, you will have to wake up earlier than usual and may have low energy if you do not eat before you work out.[8]
If you plan to exercise at a gym, there will be fewer people in the gym if you go in the morning.[9]
People who exercise in the morning also tend to follow the workout with a healthy breakfast and plenty of water. This could set you up for a great start to the day.[10]

Sleep in your exercise clothes. Workout clothes are usually comfortable. Sleeping in them can motivate you to exercise as soon as you wake up. If you do not want to sleep in your clothes, have your outfit laid out so you can roll out of bed and get dressed.
If you are exercising at a gym and plan to get dressed there, pack your gym bag the night before so you can just grab your bag and head out the door.

Adjust your sleep schedule. Try waking up 30 to 60 minutes earlier than usual to fit in a workout. You may need to go to sleep a little earlier to accommodate your new wake up time. If you are exercising at a gym, consider your travel time to your gym as well.
Allow an extra five or 10 minutes for your warm up.[11] Your body temperature is lower in the morning. If you do not warm up your body, you are more likely to get injured.[12]
If you typically do not eat in the morning, add in some extra time for breakfast. Your body needs food to recover from exercise.

EditExercising in the Evening
Understand the pros and cons. If you are focusing on increasing muscle strength and muscle size, an evening workout may be best.[13][14] You have eaten throughout the day so your body has plenty of fuel and your muscles are warm.[15] On the other hand, evening workouts can be easy to brush off. If you have a lot of evening commitments or are usually fatigued at the end of the day, it will be hard to find time the time or energy to exercise.[16]
You are less likely to get injured during evening exercise because your muscles and joints have been working all day.[17]
If you plan to exercise at a gym or outside, know what time your gym closes and how much daylight you will have in the evening.

Pay attention to how well you sleep. Evening exercise helps some people fall asleep while it gives others an energy boost. Evening strength training in particular may help you fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night.[18] On the other hand, high-intensity training may cause you to be more alert and have trouble falling asleep.
If you find that you have trouble going to sleep at night, yoga or stretching exercises can help you relax.[19]
You may save your evening workouts for low-intensity exercises (i.e. walking, yoga, stretching) and do more high-intensity workouts (i.e. running, cycling, interval training) in the morning.

Adjust your meal time. It takes your body two to three hours to digest a meal and absorb nutrients. Eat a snack before your workout and have dinner when you are finished. If you want to eat dinner first, eat earlier than you typically would.[20]
Foods such as white rice, pasta, bread, and potatoes encourage sleep. Eat them at least one hour before you plan to go to bed. If you plan to go to bed at 11:00 pm, you need to eat before 10:00 pm. [21]
Eating turkey and/or pumpkin seeds can also help you sleep.

Do not sacrifice sleep. Try to finish your workout about two hours before it is time for you to go to bed. This will give your body time for you to wind down. For example, if you plan to go to bed at 11:00 pm, be finished working out by 9:00 pm.
Your melatonin (i.e. hormone that makes you sleepy) levels peak around 10:00 pm. Your workout performance and form may suffer if you are tired and exercising this late.[22][23]
Sleep is just as important as exercise and helps your body recover after exercise.[24]

EditWarnings
Do not attempt to make any major changes to your fitness routine without first consulting your doctor.

EditRelated wikiHows
Increase Your Metabolism

Exercise During a Fast

Adopt an Intermittent Fasting Diet

EditReferences
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Today in History for 28th March 2019

Historical Events

1556 – Karel V’s son Philip II crowned King of Spain
1919 – 78th Grand National: Ernie Piggott wins aboard Poethlyn; shortest price winner in history at 11-4
1952 – US Mens Figure Skating championship won by Richard Button
1962 – Military coup in Syria, President Nazim al-Kudsi flees
1977 – 39th NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship: Marquette beats North Carolina, 67-59
1986 – John N McMahon, ends term as deputy director of CIA

More Historical Events »

Famous Birthdays

1853 – Rudolf Kittel, German theologist (Psalms), born in Eningen, Württemberg, Germany (d. 1929)
1900 – Fosco Giachetti, Italian actor (Wastrel, We the Living), born in Sesto Fiorentino, Tuscany, Italy (d. 1974)
1932 – Sven Oskar Lindqvist, Swedish writer (Myten om Wu Tao-tzu), born in Stockholm, Sweden
1941 – Alf Clausen, orchestra leader (Mary, Simpsons), born in Minneapolis, Minnesota
1949 – Milan Williams, American keyboardist (Commodores-Three Times a Lady), born in Okolona, Mississippi
1974 – Scott Mills, British radio disc jockey

More Famous Birthdays »

Famous Deaths

1896 – E Rundle Charles, writer, dies
1939 – Francis Matthew John Baker, Australian politician (b. 1903)
1996 – Roscoe [Charles Barnet] Harvey, British soldier, dies at 95
1999 – Freaky Tah, American rapper (Lost Boyz) (b. 1971)
2012 – Hans van den Doel, Dutch politician and economist (PvdA), dies at 74
2016 – James Noble, American actor (Benson, 1776, Airplane II: The Sequel), dies of a stroke at 94

More Famous Deaths »

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How to Clean a Slate Hearth

If you have a slate hearth around your fireplace and it’s been there for more than 2 months, it’s probably a little dirty. Slate hearths need to be cleaned regularly to prevent and remove the grime and stains that build up on them. Luckily, it’s pretty easy to clean your slate hearth, as long as you have some ordinary household cleaning supplies and a few specialty items from a home improvement store.

EditSteps
EditPerforming Routine Cleaning
Sweep, dust, or vacuum the slate to remove any loose dirt. Remove any dust, ash flakes, or other debris items from the surface of the slate hearth before you proceed to clean it with the dish soap mixture. You can also use a dry mop if you have one.[1]
Make sure you remove any dust or dirt in the grout trenches between the slabs of slate as well.

Make a cleaning solution out of water and dish soap. Mix a few drops of mild dish soap into a bucket filled halfway with warm water. Use a long wooden spoon to stir this mixture together until the dish soap is completely mixed with the water.[2]
Use a mild dish soap to avoid inadvertently damaging the slate on your hearth.

You can also use an all-purpose surface cleaner if you don’t have any mild dish soap.

Avoid using a bucket that’s too small. You should mix the dish soap with at least of water.

Scrub the slate with a cloth or mop soaked in the soapy water mix. Dip your cloth or mop into the mixture, then ring it out slightly to get rid of excess moisture. Then, scrub the slate using circular motions to clean it.[3]
Don’t apply too much pressure when you go to scrub the slate. If a gentle once-over isn’t enough to clean off any dirt and grime on your hearth, use a more powerful cleaning solution instead.

Pay special attention to the corners, as this is where a lot of grime can build up unnoticed.

Rinse the slate with clean water to get the soap off of it. Spray small amounts of water onto the slate with a spray bottle in order to rinse the hearth without making a mess. You can also use a sponge soaked in clean water if you don’t have a spray bottle handy.[4]
You should also allow the hearth to air dry overnight if you intend to polish it after you clean it.

Use a clean towel to dry any excess moisture off of your hearth. You can use any ordinary towel to dry the slate, so long as it’s clean. If you plan to do any further cleaning, allow the hearth to air dry overnight first.[5]
Get as much of the water off of the slate as possible. Any excess moisture left on the slate may cause water stains.

Wipe down the slate with teak oil to polish your hearth. Use a soft cloth to apply a thin layer of teak oil to the surface of the slate. Then, use a second clean cloth to remove any excess oil from the surface.[6]
You can buy reasonably priced teak oil at most large hardware stores.

You can also use slate oil instead of teak oil, although the former is usually more expensive and a bit harder to find in stores.

Teak oil also helps hide scratches on your hearth, making it easier to seal.[7]

EditRemoving Stains
Make a cleaning solution out of hydrogen peroxide and water. Mix equal portions of water and hydrogen peroxide in a small spray bottle. If you don’t have a spray bottle, you can also mix these ingredients in a bucket and use a sponge to apply it.[8]
You can also use a mixture of equal parts of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide to provide stronger cleaning power.

You may also use 1 part rubbing alcohol with 8 parts water as an alternative.[9]

Spray your mix of water and hydrogen peroxide onto the stain. Apply a thin layer of the water and peroxide mixture directly to the surface of the stain. Let the mixture sit for 5-10 minutes before proceeding.[10]
Avoid spraying this mixture near any colored grout, since the bleach in the mixture can discolor your grout.

Scrub the stain with a soft scrub pad or brush. Scrub in a circular motion without applying too much pressure in order to clean the slate without damaging it. If you used baking soda and hydrogen peroxide instead of the water mixture, use a moist cloth to scrub the slate.[11]
Refrain from using steel wool, as this might cause damage to the slate.

Allow the slate to air dry after you’ve scrubbed the stain clean. There’s no need to wipe the solution off of the slate after you’re done. For best results, allow the slate to dry overnight before putting anything on it or using the fireplace.[12]

Use a Trisodium Phosphate (TSP) mix on tougher stains. Make a cleaning paste out of TSP and water, carefully following the manufacturer’s instructions for use. Spread the paste onto a sponge and use that sponge to scrub the slate. Finally, soak a separate clean sponge in water and use it to remove any residue from the slate surface.[13]
This method is particularly useful if the stains on your slate were caused by smoke or soot.

You can also use a commercial fireplace cleaner to help remove soot and smoke residue.[14]

EditTips
Clean the slate around your fireplace every 2-3 months to prevent the buildup of grime and stains, even if the hearth doesn’t look dirty.

Seal the slate with stone and tile sealer to help protect it against moisture and stains.[15]
EditWarnings
Avoid using acidic cleaners, like vinegar, since they can etch and damage the slate.[16]
Don’t let water pool up on your slate since the water will absorb into it.[17]
EditThings You’ll Need
EditPerforming Routine Cleaning
Water

Dish soap

Cloth or mop

Bucket

Spray bottle

Towel

Teak oil

EditRemoving Stains
Water

Hydrogen peroxide

Spray bottle

Soft scrub pad or brush

Trisodium Phosphate

Sponge

EditSources and Citations
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