The Best Time to Weigh Yourself, Shave Your Legs and Have Sex

The Best Time to Weigh Yourself, Shave Your Legs and Have SexThe Best Time to Weigh Yourself, Shave Your Legs and Have SexBy Leslie Goldman

Follow our by-the-clock guide to find the optimal time to take a power nap, squeeze in a workout and more.

1) The Best Time to Weigh Yourself
7 a.m.

People who step on the scale daily lost twice as much weight as those who weigh-in on a weekly basis, research shows. For your truest weight, hop on the scale early in the morning, just after waking up and using the bathroom. Resist the urge to step back on multiple times a day, though, as your weight can fluctuate by up to five pounds during the day depending on what you eat and drink and how active you are. That said, if constantly monitoring your weight makes you feel obsessive or anxious, ditch the scale and rely instead on how your clothing fits -- that's how Kirstie Alley keeps her new 100-pound weight loss in check!

2) The Best Time to Shave Your Legs
8 a.m.

Platelets are a critical component of the blood that allow it to clot when you cut yourself. They're at their stickiest and most abundant early in the morning, says Jennifer Ackerman, author of Sex Sleep Eat Drink Dream: A Day in the Life of Your Body, so any accidental nicks with the razor are less likely to leave you gushing. (Unfortunately, those same qualities make a heart attack more likely at this time, too). So shave carefully, but if you do cut yourself, you won't have to walk around with a leg full of Band-Aids.

3) The Best Time to Schedule a Doctor's Appointment
9 a.m.

It's best to get in there first thing in the morning, as soon as the office opens, says patient advocacy expert Trisha Torrey, author of You Bet Your Life! The 10 Mistakes Every Patient Makes. That's because your doctor is starting fresh and hasn't had the chance to run behind. (The second best time is 1 p.m., or directly after lunch, for the same reason.) If you've been told to fast for a cholesterol or glucose test, early morning appointments are easier on a rumbling tummy, too. Plus, the scale will show your most favorable number!

4) The Best Time to Take a Power Nap
1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Naps aren't just for babies and grandparents. These short spurts of sleep can improve your driving, sharpen your creativity at work and help you remember where you put your keys. Siestas may even save your life. Research from the Harvard School of Public Health and the University of Athens Medical School in Greece shows midday napping reduced deaths linked to heart disease by a third among both women and men. Prime nap time is the early afternoon when the "sleep hormone" melatonin rises, according to internist and medical contributor Keri Peterson, M.D. But don't snooze for longer than 20 minutes. After that point, your brain enters the deeper stages of sleep, leaving you more exhausted when the alarm clock sounds.

5) The Best Time to Pick a Healthy Snack
3 p.m.

More Americans snack at 3 p.m. than any other time in the afternoon, according to a survey conducted by Extra gum. Midday boredom, lengthy work meetings and wanting to joins kids in their after-school snack are the biggest afternoon appetite boosters. A healthy snack can raise your energy levels and keep you fueled until dinner. Unfortunately, 71 percent of the women polled admitted to reaching for a snack simply because "it's there." Too often, what's there is a bag of chips or a coffee cake on your coworker's desk instead of healthier snacks like organic string cheese and an apple. Aim to keep your afternoon nosh between 100 and 250 calories, depending on your daily calorie goal. Here's a list of 10 iVillage-approved healthy snacks we love.

6) The Best Time to Send an Important Email (and Clean the House)
4 p.m.

Our body temperature peaks in the late afternoon, explains Ackerman, which primes us for better eye-hand coordination and accuracy when proofreading, so you're less likely to send your entire company a congratulatory memo about its "Initial Pubic Offering." For the same reason, this is the best time to clean the house: Sharpened hand-eye coordination means you'll leave fewer streaks on the windows and nail more dust bunnies with the Swiffer.

7) The Best Time to Break a Sweat
4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

You'll get the most bang for your exercise buck with an after-work workout, since both endurance and strength max out in the late afternoon and early evening, according to research out of William & Mary College. In another study, people who trained in the evening enjoyed greater strength gains when performing squats than morning exercisers. Plus, a stellar workout will motivate you to eat a healthy dinner and deliver a good dose of stress relief after a long day of work or childcare. If you're an early-to-bed type, workout during the early end of that range so your body has a change to wind down and fall asleep with no problem.

8) The Best Time to Enjoy a Cocktail
5:30 p.m.

After work really is happy hour. "The liver is generally most efficient at detoxifying booze between 5 and 6 p.m.," Ackerman says. And a little early-evening vino might pave the way towards a healthier body when you're older. A 2011 study published in PLoS Medicine linked moderate drinking (one drink a day or less) with enhanced odds of healthy aging, defined as having no heart disease, diabetes or other chronic diseases, and no substantial cognitive declines, mental impairment or physical limitations at age 70 and older. Bottoms up!

9) The Best Time to Break Bad News
7 p.m.

Nobody wants to be the bearer of bad news, but if you absolutely have to drop a bomb on someone, try to do it in the evening, when blood pressure and heart rates are naturally lower. The worst time? Between 6 a.m. and noon, says Mark Di Vincenzo, author of Buy Ketchup in May and Fly at Noon: A Guide to the Best Time to Buy This, Do This and Go There. That's when our blood pressure and heart rate peak, placing stress on the arterial walls, which if blocked can cause a heart attack. In fact, he says, heart attacks are 40 percent more likely to occur between 6 a.m. and noon.

10)The Best Time to Rehearse Your Work Presentation
8 p.m. to midnight

The nervous system is particularly stimulated around 8 p.m., enhancing long-term memory. "Researchers theorize that when the nervous system is aroused, the brain pays more attention to information it finds important and interesting," says Di Vincenzo, making this an ideal time to give your big talk a dry run. Encourage your teenagers to hit the books at the same time -- they'll thank you for it when they nail their history exam the next day.

11) The Best Time to Have Sex
10 p.m. to 1 a.m.

We know you're exhausted, but don't pass out without fitting in a little late-night nookie. Our sense of touch and skin sensitivity peak as the moon rises, explains Di Vincenzo. Add to that the sheer practicality of getting it on later on -- post the crazy workday and getting the kids to bed -- late night is probably the only time couples with children can even make time for sex. Don't fret too much about losing precious Zzzs: A recent study in The Journal of Sexual Medicine found that for most people, just seven to 13 minutes of sex is ideal.

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