If exercise is a part of your daily (or almost daily) routine, how or when do you squeeze in the time to make it happen?
I had no idea that 2018 was going to be the year that exercise finally became an enjoyable aspect of my life, and because I’ve become somewhat addicted to how it benefits me mentally and physically, I simply can’t not routinely exercise anymore. There’s no turning back!
Carving out time and figuring out where to routinely etch exercise into my daily schedule has been admittedly challenging though.
I once read a quote that went something like “You have exercise, cooking, parenting, marriage, friendship, work, and cleaning: pick four. You only have 24 hours in the day, so you can’t do it all.” Isn’t that so true? I knew that adding exercise to my daily routine meant that something else would likely fall to the wayside, but the problem was that I had no idea what to possibly cut out and replace with the exercise I now longed to get in.
Making a long story short, I decided a couple months ago to replace my daily 5-7 a.m. blogging time with an Orange Theory Fitness class four days a week. I really struggled with giving up my morning work time hours because that was when I fired away on blogging, but the lure of the 5 a.m. class pulled me in. I’ve dabbled with several schedules to see how best to make up that work time that I’m now missing (I obviously can’t give up 10+ hours a week of “work”), but to be honest, I’m somewhat in “coasting mode” until I can figure it out this fall when the girls are in preschool and I can rewrite my whole routine to fit in everything I want/need to.
Though setting my alarm clock for 4:20 a.m. isn’t my favorite thing to do at night, I’m continually motivated to do it because, like I said, I’m addicted to how much better I feel the rest of the day after spending an hour losing myself in a trainer-led workout. I get home around 6:15, get ready for the day with Jamie in peace since the girls are still usually sleeping, and by 7 a.m. we’re both usually in the kitchen making breakfast, unloading the dishwasher, and greeting a couple of cute bed heads who are ready for us to serve the heck out of them (ha).
Some of my friends tell me that they envy my motivation to work out in the morning, and I always joke that I’m envious of them for their mental stamina to work out in the evenings after a long day with kids or at work. I have never been one that enjoyed working out in the evening and can always talk myself out of it. At 5 a.m., there doesn’t seem to be much else I could accomplish (besides blogging). In the evenings, I always feel like there’s a zillion things I could do or people to see that would keep me from following through with my workout.
I was curious when other people worked out and why their routinely-selected time block works for them, so here were a few intriguing responses from others that I received on Instagram when I posed this question:
What time do you workout?
With a spouse
“5 a.m.! That gives me an hour to work out, then I shower, make smoothies for my husband and I, and get breakfast together for the kiddos. (My husband) and I both get up at 5 to work out, sometimes together, sometimes doing our own thing. I love getting it done first thing! It makes me a better mom and person when I’ve taken that time for myself, and know that I don’t have to worry about squeezing it in later in the day. Our garage is a home gym and it’s the best decision we ever made for our fitness!” – Claire
From a teacher
“I’m a teacher so during the year I workout in my classroom after school. Some days I squeeze it in before I have to pick my toddler up and some days I go get him and then workout in my classroom or at home. Now that it’s summer, I work out during naptime because it’s uninterrupted and I don’t have mom guilt for not playing with my son while I’m working out!” – Kathleen
On having “me time” after work
“I love having the outlet to workout right after work. I’ve been a social worker for the last year and have gotten yelled at, cussed at, and been “fired” by my consumers for not getting what they need. Being frustrated at work or with friends and family- being able to work out and put the phone away for 30 mins to an hour to focus on me is what I need after a long day!” – Brennan
From a soon-to-be twin mom
“First thing in the morning! If I don’t start making moves to get my workout done first thing, I know I won’t do it later on. I want to just shower and get myself together once for the day, so an AM workout makes me just get it done, I have energy the rest of the day, one shower and one time getting myself together for the day. If I go downstairs and sit on the couch, drink coffee, etc. I know I’m setting myself up for failure. Once my body starts to feel relaxed it’s very hard for me to find themotivation to get going again. Of course this is all soon to change, and I foresee myself hopefully getting my workout in during the babies’ first morning nap for the same reasons!” -Jackie
The best time to work out
“Lunchtime! I work full time and my work has a gym. I always heard, the best time to work out is when you’ll actually work out- and I am not a morning person.” – Ashley
Activities as exercise
“I try to do a big workout on my hubby’s day off like go out to yoga or an outside hike, day to day as a SAHM I squeeze in a 30 minute video or go for a walk after bedtime. I wish I was a morning person; I’ve just never been able to do mornings.”- Kimberly
The mom who juggles so much
I work out at 6 a.m. Monday through Friday. I am a full-time working mom with two children, one of which is special needs. Working out at 6 a.m. allows me to workout before my kids are up and need me. It allows me to make no excuses as I’m not exhausted from the day yet. We have multiple sports and therapy appointments which make working out in the afternoon a no go most days. There is never anything going on at 6 a.m. so I have NO excuses.” – Amanda
On including her child
“(I work out) normally about 8:30-9 a.m. I have to eat breakfast first, and I always include my toddler. She loves doing it with me and I love that shes learning to live a healthy lifestyle!” – Heather
Was Benjamin Franklin onto something?
“Totally a morning work out. Like to work out and then shower. Plus I firmly believe that Benjamin Franklin was correct. “Early to bed, early to rise makes a woman healthy, wealthy and wise. “. Assume that means workouts early in the day burn more calories, strengthen more muscles and make you all over better.” – Jill
No kids just yet
Well, we don’t have kids (yet), so (my husband) and I both go to 5:30 am HIIT boot camp on MWF. It’s so rewarding to get our workout in early. We love living on our post-workout high throughout the day. It’s also really fun to workout with your spouse. I’m a morning person so waking up at 4:50 am to get out the door by 5:20 am was a breeze. It took him a couple weeks fall into a routine of waking up early. Now we’re a year and a half in and wondering why we didn’t start it sooner! -Alex
So what about you? I’d love to keep this conversation rollin’ and hear what time of day works best for you, and why.
Hi! I’m a proud Army wife and mom to two little girls (ages 1 and 4), and I love sharing our lives with you. I blog all about motherhood, our time in the military, our travels, our meals, my fitness journey, my fashion favorites, and so much more. I truly enjoy sharing it all! I can’t get enough of birthday cake ice cream, weekend sunrise runs, or making my girls belly-laugh. I write almost daily about my family’s lives, and though I like to keep things light, I also share the messy parts too. Welcome! So glad to have you around. I’m active on Facebook and Instagram and would love to communicate with you there!