The American Council on Exercise recommends working out between 4 and 6 p.m., when your body temperature is highest, making your workouts more productive. But that’s not an ironclad rule, says MH fitness director Lou Schuler. “It’s much more important to exercise consistently than to focus on a particular time of day,” he says. “Some guys can’t get motivated in the morning, and others are too burned out after work. So pick a time that’s right for you and stick with it.”
2. Warm Up 15 Minutes Before the Main Event
Researchers at the University of British Columbia and the University of Otago in New Zealand found that a 15-minute warmup at an intensity of 60 to 70 percent of your full capacity improves your range of motion and enhances your anaerobic performance.
3. Wear Cross-Trainers When You’re Walking the Dog, Lifting at the Gym, or Hanging Out on Weekends
But when you hit the long road, opt for running shoes instead; cross-trainers are too heavy and don’t provide enough cushioning to keep runners injury-free.
4. Listen to Your MP3 Player When You’re on the Treadmill
Music will motivate you and keep your mind off the monotony of running indoors. The editors of Runner’s World recommend that you never wear headphones outside, even on running paths, lest your groove distract you from potential dangers like rottweilers, traffic, and Ned Beatty.
5. Replace Your Running Shoes Before You Log 500 Miles
After that, the midsoles are bound to have deteriorated, says Runner’s World deputy editor Bob Wischnia. Most quality running shoes will last anywhere from 300 to 500 miles. Heavier guys should replace shoes more often. Lighter guys can let the mileage run up a little more. And since shoes don’t come with built-in odometers (yet), write the date of your first wearing somewhere on the inside with a permanent marker. It’ll make it easier to figure out when that pair’s reached the end of the road.