This is a question that we often ask ourselves. Our schedules are so busy that we think we don’t have the time to work out, so we usually never start. We say to ourselves that we will work out when our schedules get less busy, but then that never happens. Or if our schedule does seem to free up some time and we start working out, it doesn’t tend to stick because something else comes up and the schedule gets busy again. So, the question tends to repeat itself again, “When should I work out?” Let’s see if we can help with that…
Early Morning Workouts
Many people who work out regularly like to start their mornings with a workout. This has lots of advantages. It starts your day off right…and when we start our day off with a workout, it kind of sets the tone for the day. We tend to eat healthier that day simply because we worked out that morning and we don’t want to “throw away our workout this morning” on a bad lunch. Working out in the morning also makes sure you get it in. If people are going to start reaching out to you for things, it is generally after 9am. So, if you can plan for early morning workouts, you decrease your chances of being interrupted and increase your chances of getting it done every day before something else comes up.
One of the down sides to early morning workouts are…the early mornings. I find it difficult to get up early and work out. It can be tough to leave a warm, comfy bed to put your body through a hard exercise routine. My body just doesn’t want to get started early in the morning and I feel like the tin man from The Wizard of Oz. I tend to need some oil to get the joints moving. I use to work out in the mornings, but since I don’t enjoy them, I don’t any more.
Lunch Time Workouts
Lunch time workouts can be a great idea as you get a chance to break your day up and get out of the office or house. You also tend to skip the not so healthy lunch out with office mates and friends in exchange for a good workout. Then after the workout, you can get yourself something healthy to eat and either work at your desk or knock out some paperwork at home. Everyone takes a lunch every day so making that your workout time can really work for some people.
I use to do the midday workouts and found them pretty good. But as I got into efficiency, it didn’t quite seem to fit in my schedule. My workouts usually lasted about 60 minutes, after which I would be sweaty and need a shower. By the time I worked out, got my shower, and made my lunch, I was away from my desk for a little more than 90 minutes. This was cutting into my work time, so this didn’t seem to work for me anymore.
After Work Workouts
After work workouts can be great because you can wrap up one part of your day and jump right into the next. You also can take any stress or frustration from your day and throw it into your workout. Workouts are great stress relievers and can help you release that tension before you come home and put it on your family. Additionally, if you are working out after work, guess what you are missing…happy hours!!! That’s right. It is common for people to hit happy hour after work. But if it is your routine to work out after work each day, then you have a great excuse to miss happy hour. This will help you save money and avoid unnecessary calories.
One of the challenges of after work workouts is that something could come up that makes the workout impossible to do that day. You have a whole day of opportunities for other things to take priority. It takes a lot of discipline to avoid the temptation of letting other things affect your after work workout.
I find that this is the best time to work out for me. I like to release the stress of the day this way. I also like the idea that I will get everything out of the way I HAVE to do for the day, that way I can enjoy uninterrupted time with family and friends after. True, it makes for a longer day, but as the 5and2Guy, I have accounted for this 5 days a week.
Late Night Workouts
Late night workouts can be great because the gyms tend to be less crowded and you have the place kinda to yourself. You can really focus and get into the zone. The challenge here is that, like after work workouts, challenges and opportunities can come up during the day that could impact your workout. So you need strong discipline to make this happen. I feel like this can work for people for a short amount of time, but will be tough for the majority of people to maintain long term. Sure, there are some exceptions to this, but the majority of people will find it tough to maintain this workout schedule.
I personally like the after work workout, because it allows me to divide my day between “work things” and “family time.” Sure there are some interruptions here and there, but I am committed to working out at least three times a week. Since I have seven days to get at least three work outs in, I find it pretty simple to maintain. For people trying to figure out a time to work out, it may be easiest to work out first thing in the morning. I find it takes less willpower and discipline to work out in the morning than it does any other time. Sure you have to have the willpower and discipline to get out of bed, but that is just one thing you need to tackle, as opposed to the hundred things that can happen during the day that could stop you.
Regardless of when you decide to work out, the main thing is that you are working out and exercising. You need to take care of yourself and make your health a big priority in your life. Pick a time you can work out each day and commit to it 3x a week. Talk with your doctor about working out 3x a week and make sure you are healthy enough and what work out type would be good for you. Once you have the doctor’s approval, stick to your workout schedule and change your life!!!