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8295214_XXLMorning, midday or midnight — when’s the best time to work out?

Well, that depends on when’s the best time for you.

“The best time of the day is when you will do it most consistently, because the benefits of physical activity are tightly linked to the amount you do on a consistent basis,” said Russell Pate, Ph.D., professor of exercise science in the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina in Columbia.

Your best time is based on a “constellation” of factors:

  • location,
  • time of day,
  • type of physical activity and
  • social setting, among others.

“It’s not just what time, but what activity, with whom and where,” said Pate, who is also an American Heart Association volunteer. “This mix of factors for people come together to result in being consistent.”

Everybody’s Different

“Different people will have different preferences and predispositions with regard to how they respond to exercise at different times of the day,” Pate said.

For example, if you’re much more likely to work out consistently with a partner, “then you’re better off to opt for a social part regardless of the time of day,” Pate said. “On the other hand, some people like the solitude, the chance to get away.”

You might have heard that the best time to work out is early in the morning — to get your metabolism revving or to avoid unexpected distractions during the day that could derail your regimen. “Are there differences in working out at different times of the day? Maybe. But those differences would be minor compared to the overall effect of doing it consistently,” Pate said.

“If you’re not a morning person, it does no good for you to try to get up at 5 in the morning to work out,” he said. “Try to stack as many cards on your side of the table as possible by doing what’s most likely to work for you. The converse is, don’t make it as hard as it doesn’t have to be.”

Fit in Fitness

The American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) a week of moderate-intensity, or 75 minutes (1 hour and 15 minutes) a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity. But what if you’re tight on time? Then, be creative and break up your activity into daily bouts of 3-10-minute increments.

For example:

  • In the morning, park 10 minutes away from the job and walk briskly.
  • At lunch, walk 10 minutes in or around where you work.
  • In the afternoon/evening, walk briskly 10 minutes back to your vehicle.

And there you have a 30-minute workout!

“Accumulation across the day doesn’t have to be performed in one bout, but can be across the day,” Pate said. “More is better, but we’re absolutely certain even modest amounts are much better than being sedentary.” And remember, “exercise” is any kind of physical activity that gets your heart rate up for at least 10 minutes at a time.

So get moving — at the time that’s right for you!

Source: When is the best time of day to work out?

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22571019The good news is that no matter which is first, cardio will improve everything from your heart health to your mood and weight training will improve everything from bone density to metabolism. However, depending on your fitness goals, there may be some benefit to doing cardio first followed by weight training or vice versa.

If power, strength or building lean muscle mass is what you’re after, you don’t want to fatigue your muscles with cardio first, so do it after your hit the weights. If general fitness is your goal, then definitely mix up the sequence of aerobic exercise and resistance training on different days. Each sequence has advantages. Research shows that a person burns slightly more calories when they finish the workout with weight training. However, studies also show that since a person has more energy in the first part of a workout, they can train at a higher intensity which is advantageous for those doing resistance exercise first. So for variety and total benefits, mix up the sequence on different days of the week.

© 2014 Tiffiny Marinelli, Energy in Motion LLC

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We’re more concerned than ever with maximizing our workout efforts and getting the fastest results. Effective workouts demand complete nutrition, and these simple guidelines will help make the right choices to refuel the body.

Recovery should be thought of as a window of opportunity. Approximately 30 minutes after cardio, the body is optimized to replenish its energy stores— muscle and liver glycogen. For strength training, the window is extended up to two hours post-workout. Muscle protein synthesis occurs, setting off muscle tissue recovery and repair, replacing fluids, and helping the body adapt to the stresses of the workout.

Eating around your training is vital to your progress. Use this infographic to help get the nutrients you need for the best results in the gym!

Tiffiny Marinelli

Energy in Motion LLC

workout nutrition

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Muscle SymmetryIt’s not uncommon for one side of the body to be stronger than the other, which is why it’s important to assess the strength of each muscle group separately, as in the single-arm row and single legged leg extension tests. With testing, you may find each side has a different level of strength. Most often the dominant side of the body is the stronger side. It’s important to balance the strength of the muscular system, not just for appearances, but to keep a healthy, functional posture which helps prevent injury and pain due to muscle imbalances. The major muscle groups work in pairs and those muscle pairs need to be balanced in terms of strength and flexibility. Developing a symmetrical physique entails focusing on all muscle groups equally through the employment of a variety of exercises. Balancing the muscles in each of your major muscle groups allows for more efficient functional movements and improves performance. In addition, symmetrical muscles make many day-to-day activities easier, including lifting, pulling and pushing. If you find an imbalance in your body symmetry, you’ll need to incorporate unilateral exercises, moves in which you use one arm or leg at a time, into your regular routine to regain your strength symmetry. With unilateral exercises, always work the weaker side first so you don’t use a heavier weight for the stronger side. You can also work the weaker side slightly harder than the stronger side with an increase in weight, reps or sets.  This will allow you to focus on strengthening your weaker side without the risk of your stronger side taking over. A personal trainer or exercise physiologist will be your best partner in helping improve your muscle balance. They have the education and knowledge to assess your movement patterns and muscle strength, and based on the results, create an exercise program for your specific needs. Trainers can also encourage and assist you in working with the correct weight load for each side of the body.

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© 2013 Tiffiny Marinelli, Energy in Motion LLC

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Reps, Sets, Weight? Strength Training Help!Don’t you hate it when, after your cardio workout, you only have 10 or 15 minutes left in the gym before you have to head home? Here’s a secret to getting in a well-rounded strength workout in minimal time: instead of choosing two or three exercises and committing yourself to three sets of each, choose four or five exercises and cut your number of sets down to two. Opting for greater exercise variety over a larger number of sets per exercise will allow you to target your muscles using more angles. Also try increasing the resistance you use so that your reach muscular fatigue with a smaller number of reps. A challenging but quick workout? Who says you can’t have it all?!

Want to combine your  cardio and strength training workout to make the most of you time? Check out our blog post, 5 Benefits of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), to learn more.

Happy training! Tiffiny, Energy in Motion LLC

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Whether you’re looking to loose weight, reduce stress, strengthen your body, or get in overall shape, we offer exercise programs to help reach your goal! Our new client in Wayne, NJ is offering 3 exercise classes to choose from. Contact Energy in Motion LLC at info@einmotion.com with any questions. You can also find us on Facebook.

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arm-exerciseHumans have three different types of muscles – skeletal, cardiac, and smooth. Skeletal muscles, which comprise about 40% of your body weight, is the type of muscle used during exercise. Skeletal muscle contains three types of muscle fibers (including gradations between them):

  • slow-twitch (type I),
  • fast-twitch A (type II A)
  • fast-twitch B (type II B)

Slow-twitch fibers are recruited for endurance activities such as running, cycling, and swimming. They contract slowly, release energy gradually, and are efficient at using oxygen making them resistant to fatigue.

Fast-twitch B fibers are recruited for explosive activities needed for strength, speed and power, such as weight lifting, sprinting and jumping. They contract quickly, release energy rapidly and fatigue easily.

Fast-twitch A fibers, are a transition between slow-twitch and fast-twitch B fibers. Both have endurance and power characteristics and are recruited for prolonged anaerobic activities requiring relatively high forces, such as running a long, controlled sprint and carrying heavy objects.

When exercise intensity or speed is low such as with jogging, slow-twitch fibers may be the only fiber type recruited. As exercise intensity or speed increases, as with sprinting or heavy weightlifting, slow-twitch fibers are recruited first, followed by fast-twitch A and, if needed, fast-twitch B. Fast-twitch fibers are also recruited to pick up the slack of fatiguing slow-twitch fibers, even when intensity and speed are low.

We have a certain proportion of each fiber type in our bodies and only genetics determine the proportion of each type. This is a significant reason why some people excel in endurance activities and other in power/strength activities. Aerobic athletes have a greater proportion of slow-twitch fibers, while anaerobic athletes have more fast-twitch fibers (Ricoy et al. 1998). Your fiber type proportion plays a major role in the amount of weight you can lift, the number of repetitions you can complete in a set or interval workout, and the amount of muscle mass, strength and endurance you can develop.

Although fiber type proportion can not change, muscle fibers will adapt to specific types of training. For example, if your goal is to increase power, strength or muscle mass, the proper training will lead to an increase in the diameter (hypertrophy) of your fast-twitch fibers, leading to greater strength gains. So even though the number of fast-twitch fibers remain the same, they are taking up more space. However, hypertrophy only occurs in those muscle fibers that are overloaded, therefore training intensity must be high enough (fewer then 10-12 reps to fatigue) to recruit the fast-twitch B fibers. Conversely, if your goal is endurance based such as running longer distances, you need to chose a training program focusing on the hypertrophy of the slow-twitch fibers and the endurance capability of the muscle will increase.

I know this information is a little on the “techy” side, so please feel free to comment with any questions.

© 2012 Tiffiny Twardowsky, Energy in Motion LLC

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