When I run

In this post I’ll tell you my favorite time of day for running, and why and how that changes.

Talk to any number of runners and you’ll find a variety of opinions and reasons why their favorite time to run is the “best” time.
Many runners prefer to get their run it at the first light of day (or even before the sun comes up), but I’m not one of them.

Morning is NOT my favorite time of day – though there are times when I do that:

  • When I am meeting friends for a morning run (watch for an upcoming post on running with friends)
  • When I am traveling  (watch for more on running and travel in another post)
  • When I plan on running in a race (since most have a morning/early day start
  • When morning is the ONLY time I will be able to get a run in during that day

My favorite time of day, and the time when I usually run is late afternoon/early evening – and I’ll tell you why that is the best for me.

  • If it’s a workday, my biggest plus for running after work is pure stress relief
  • My body is wide awake, muscles have been in use and are generally warmed up from the day’s activities
  • It helps me both keep my appetite under control and therefore eat more sensible portions at dinner time
  • By this point in the day, I’m motivated to go use my muscles, push myself, and fee my body perform
  • It give me an energy, metabolism, and emotional boost later in the day when I need it

You may find that right after work or late in the day is best for you too.   The only way to know is to try it and see if that works for you and if your schedule allows it.   It took me many years of back and forth to find my best time.  In my next post I’ll talk about finding your best time to run.

Questions, comments, or something to say about running – leave a comment below.

Is morning the best time of day to run?

Is there a “best” time of day to run, or a time when you can get the most benefit out of your running from a fitness standpoint?

I am asked this question frequently; people want to make sure that they are going to get the maximum gain from the effort that they put into exercise, and  I get it!  They want to get the most fitness benefit from the amount of effort that they are putting in to their exercise.

Is there a best time of day?  The answer to this that may surprise you, but makes a lot of sense (and has some good science behind it as well).  Before getting to that though, lets take a look at what is typically listed as the “best” time of day.  I’ll also tell you what is my best time of day, and the reasons for that.

Many people have heard that morning (first thing!) is the best time to exercise, and ask  about that.

There are a few reasons why morning is a good choice:

  • You will get a metabolic boost early in the day
  • By doing it first, there’s not much less opportunity to let the busy-ness of the day crowd it out of your schedule
  • If you run before eating anything, you are starting out from a fasting state, so you are more likely to get some fat burning effect from your running
  • Your running will likely curb your hunger somewhat and may help you with portion control at breakfast

There are also a few reasons why running first thing in the morning may not be the best:

  • Mornings are already rushed for most people, you may be tempted to skip your run if you’re short on timemorning alarm clock
  • Some people have motivation problems just getting up in the morning – adding running just gives them another poor excuse to hit the snooze, and then they never end up “getting to it later” in the day
  • Your body has been inactive all night, so you are not as limber and stretched as you are later in the day
  • Since you are in the process of waking up, you not run as hard or push your workout like you would later in the day


Overall, the morning is a good time to run.  Although it will not work out well for some people, and it is not what I would call “THE BEST” time to run, the morning does provide a couple of advantages and unique benefits.  For some people it is the best time to run – and they should make that their set or scheduled time to run.

In an upcoming post I’ll tell you my favorite time of day for running, and what factors affect and can change that.   If you have questions about running or anything related to a healthy lifestyle, I’d love to hear from you.  Use the form below for any feedback.

So what’s running going to do for me?

I often get asked this question in various forms when I talk to people about running.  Enjoying running like I do, it’s easy to talk about or recommend running to people who ask about adding it to there fitness routine or just want to find out more.
Here are a few of the benefits you can expect to get from running:

1.  Weight loss
This one is relatively simple – if you don’t change anything else about your lifestyle, but you add in running, you will start burning extra calories (about 100 per mille) – stay consistent and they added up quickly.

2.  Stress management
Running is a great way to deal with the stress and pressures of life and leave them out on the track or trail.  Aside from the benefit of the physical activity, you’ll also feel better and get a big boost from the endorphins that running can provide (heard of the “runners high”?).

3.  Availability7658716_s
Take your running shoes with you and can run just about anywhere.  Whether it’s joining some friends after work for a run on some trails or keeping up your fitness routine when you travel, there is almost always an opportunity to run – either indoors or out.

4.  Health and Longevity
Mentioned in the last post, numerous studies have been done that tie regular consistent running to a healthier and longer life.  One of those published in Time magazine is linked here – but if you search the internet you will find numerous studies that consistently show these benefits.

5.  It’s something you can do alone or with friends
There are many great things you can do for fitness, but this is one that you can do either solo, or in a group (and I do recommend running with others).  As an added bonus, planning for running with others, or signing up for an upcoming race can be a great motivation to get yourself to a new fitness plateau.

6.  Overall fitness
This is kind of a given since running aids your health and longevity.  It benefits you from a cardiovascular standpoint, from a strength and mobility standpoint, and can help burn off some of the stubborn body fat that you may struggled to get rid of.  This hits several points all at once and actually benefits joint health as well.  Just be smart about running shoes and where you run – more about that in an upcoming post.

Questions or comments?  Use the form below – I’d love to hear from you.



Run For Your Life!

I frequently get questions along the lines of “what exercise burns the most calories” or “what exercise can I do to lose weight, or burn fat”, or what is the best exercise.

The next few posts will look at running as exercise and some pros and cons that go with running.

Before I dive too deeply into the benefits of running though, it’s important to remember diet is more important that exercise.   By that I’m referring to the food you eat and the approach you take to food and nutrition, not going on a diet!  A healthy diet is really all about eating healthy and nutritious foods as a part of a healthy lifestyle.  Remember, your body really does want you to eat right, and it might take a little time to recognize the signals it gives you, but your body is signaling you all the time about the foods you eat.

© Stressbooster | Stock Free Images & Dreamstime Stock PhotosSo why do I recommend running?  Aside from the fact that I like to run and it’s one of my favorite fitness activities, one of the top reasons is that when people are ready to seriously confront fitness and to try to lose weight, you will be hard pressed to find any exercise that will give you as quick and dramatic result as running.  I highly recommend some moderation and common sense if you haven’t run before – don’t go out assuming you can run 5 miles on your first day!

But with the help of others, (and some good cheap or free training programs out there) you’ll find that running can quickly reward your weight loss efforts and that the pounds can start to drop off dramatically.

In some upcoming posts, we’ll look at how running can benefit you (not just losing weight), some suggestions on how to approach running (so that you won’t give up), and some tips and tricks to get the most out of it (and not sabotage your results).
Questions, comments – use the form below, I’d love to hear from you.

Listen to your body – it wants you to eat right

Listen to your body – it sends you signals about what you eat, how you eat, and how much you eat.

If you pay attention, it lets you know when you should stop eating, which foods agree with you or which foods cause you to not feel good, These are all signals your body is giving you to try to protect you from foods you shouldn’t eat and to guide you to eat the right amount of things it needs.

1.  Take your time eating, thoroughly taste and chew each bite – this gives your body a chance to begin the digestion process in the right way, and also gives it a chance to signal you when you have eaten enough.  There is a feedback mechanism built into your body – specific hormones that turn hunger on and off (ghrelin and leptin) – learn to “feel” and listen to these hormones and other signals that your body gives you that you have eaten enough.

2.  Pay attention to how you feel after you eat certain foods.image courtesy of kozzi.com
Headache in the afternoon some days?  Upset stomach?  Gassy?  Stomach that “just doesn’t feel right” or is flip-flopping?  You might find an interesting correlation between certain foods and when these symptoms occur.  This is another reason why it’s a good idea to keep a log of the foods you eat as you start to make changes to move you toward a healthier lifestyle.

Your body is talking to you all the time – you may need to relearn to hear it, and then listen to what it’s saying.  This is an important part of living a healthy lifestyle and maintaining and protecting your health.

Questions or comments?  I’d love to hear from you.

Don’t Give Up – Chart A New Course Instead!

A couple weeks into the New Year, and many people are either rethinking their New Year’s resolutions or are considering whether they should just give up altogether – they’ve already missed their goal so many times.

Adjust your resolutions if you need to; it’s more important to adjust and tweak your resolutions – even if you have to scale things

back – than to set such a high bar that you end up giving up all together.


Most people can identify things that they could add, subtract, or change in their life to be healthier.  The key to making lasting change is finding little changes to move you toward those goals; little changes that you can maintain that will consistently move you toward a healthier lifestyle.

If you made a big sweeping dietary resolution – consider scaling it back and making some small changes – and stage them; do them one at a time and build on your success.

If you made fitness or exercise resolutions, consider the same strategy; scale them back and build on your successes.  Instead of trying to hit the gym every day, start with three times a week. In the case of a specific activity (for example running) try going a shorter distance every other day – but do it consistently and build on your successes, and increase your frequency and/or distance over the course of the year.

Don’t abandon your resolutions, revise them to make them doable, and think about how much progress you will make and how it will feel at the end of the year if you take small steps toward a healthier lifestyle and build from there.

It’s a new year – now what?

Less than a week into the new year, many people are rethinking their New Year’s resolutions and thinking about whether they should give up on them already and considering how realistic they were in the first place.

Don’t give up!
Even if you’ve missed some days, you still have almost the entire year ahead of you.  I’d encourage you think about the positive Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photoscompounded changes you will be enjoying a year from now if you stick with it!  Don’t beat yourself up if you’ve already broken your resolution – any positive movement forward you make moves you closer to your goal than you were last year.

You didn’t get to where you are today overnight, and you won’t reach your health goals overnight either.  The important thing is to keep moving forward and keep doing the good things that move you toward a healthier lifestyle.  You should also continue to review what other little steps you can take to move toward a healthy lifestyle.  Consistently keeping little changes will add up to big changes over time.

One of the best gifts

Each one of us has been given a marvelous body, and life itself.

One of  the best gifts you can give is the gift of health; taking care of your body and helping those that you love take care of theirs.
Do all that you can to make sure you can be around to enjoy your family and those you love by caring for your body and living a healthy lifestyle.   If you’re not there yet, there is no better day to start than today.  Choose one thing; one dietary habit, one lifestyle choice, one activity or exercise that can start you down the path to a healthier lifestyle today.loving couple in kitchen

If you are already there, come alongside a family member or loved one and help them make healthy choices today.  Don’t overwhelm them or guilt them into changing everything, but gently help them see that there the little things they can do to begin to move toward a healthier lifestyle – and they can take the first step by choosing one little thing today.

You want to be there for the ones you love, and you want the best for those you love; start today by taking a little step toward a healthier lifestyle (or helping a loved one).  You don’t have to change everything all at once, but you can move toward a healthier lifestyle one little step at a time.

Listen to your body – it wants you to avoid illness

Listen to your body – it sends you signals every day.

If you pay attention, it lets you know when you should stop eating, which foods agree with you or which foods cause you to not feel good, it lets you know when you should sleep, and when you should get up – and if you’re getting enough rest.  If you listen to the signals it gives you, it lets you when you’re exercising hard enough, and when you can push yourself a little harder.  It also sends you warning signals when you’re run down and when you are more susceptible to illness.

This time of year when people in the norther hemisphere spend more time indoors and there tends to be higher incidence of cold and flu, listening to the signals your body is sending (warning you) about impending illness is especially important.  Our bodies are amazing creations that not only provide defenses against potential illness, it also sends you warning signals when you are most vulnerable and potentially about to lose the fight to prevent illness.  There are two things you can do to benefit the most from these warning signals that your body sends out.Copyright (c) <a href='http://www.123rf.com'>123RF Stock Photos</a>

1.  Learn to listen and pay attention to your bodies signals and the feedback it provides.  Many people have trained themselves to ignore the signals their body sends; this is true for many aspects of your body – including your immune system.  Unfortunately, many people have taught themselves to ignore the signals it sends – not just the scratchy throat, itchy eyes, and stuffy sinus, but even more subtle but important signals like slight chills, or strange headache, a general feeling of “not feeling well” or tummy that “doesn’t feel right.”
These are important signals that your body sends that you need to learn to notice if you want to avoid illness.  Kids are great at this – they will tell you when they “don’t feel well” or when they “don’t feel right”.  Many adults teach themselves to push these feelings off, and it might take a little time to learn to pay attention to these signals if you’re not attuned to listen to them any more.  This is a valuable first step in avoiding illness – but only if you take the next step.

2.  Stop and take immediate actions to avoid the impending illness.
These can be many and varied – as you learn to listen to your body, you also will learn the things that work best for you.  Often it’s just a matter of going home and getting in bed; don’t think you can just “push through the rest of the day and then get rest tonight” – think back – these are the times you wake up the next day sick, wishing you’d gone home to rest the day before.

While rest is probably the most important thing you can do so that your body is freed up to fight illness – there are many things you can do as well:  extra vitamin supplementation, extra chlorophyll or other detoxing agents, mouthwash with hydrogen peroxide, hydrogen peroxide in each ear for a few minutes, a hot bath to sweat out toxins (stay in there until you really sweat!), plenty of fluids, and positive thoughts.

Your body is talking to you all the time – most people just need to relearn to hear it, and then listen to what it’s saying.  This is an important part of living a healthy lifestyle and maintaining and protecting your health.

Questions or comments?  I’d love to hear from you.

Start a new pattern today

Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos

You might have a pattern in your life that feels like a shadow – everytime you look, it’s there and it follows you wherever you go and no matter what you do or try.

You know you shouldn’t buy that stuff from the snack machine.
You know you shouldn’t just sit on the couch all night.
You know you shouldn’t be eating ….

The shouldn’ts can feel pretty overwhelming and make you want to just give up on trying to be healthy or change your lifestyle to help you become more healthy.Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos

Today – instead of focusing on all of the things you aren’t doing or the things you are doing wrong, decide to start some new patterns; healthy patterns that will help you move toward a healthier lifestyle on little step at a time, with today being the first step.

Do plan to have a healthier diet by starting a pattern of choosing healthy snacks.
Do start a new pattern today of beginning to eliminate soda from your diet.
Do go to bed 30 minutes earlier so that you don’t hate the alarm in the morning (because you didn’t get enough sleep)

Copyright (c) 123RF Stock PhotosMake today the day you start some new healthy patterns, and note them on your calendar.
It’s OK if you don’t change everything all at once; you didn’t get to where you are today overnight, and lasting positive changes are more important than changing everything – only to give it all up in a week or two.

Tomorrow you can repeat the successes of today, and take another little step toward a healthier lifestyle.



Questions or comments?  Use the form below – I’d love to hear from you!