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When (Exactly) Do You Work Out?

When (Exactly) Do You Work Out?

Last year, I got really into exercising. I learned to not hate running and found a favorite class. Doesn’t it feel great to stretch your legs? But recently…

My workout routine hit a wall.

I always made grand plans to exercise — the route! the leggings! the podcast! But after a long day of work and rowdy children, when 8 p.m. rolled around, getting changed into workout clothes seemed like an insurmountable obstacle. The only thing I wanted was a chilled glass of wine while watching Master of None. So that I would pour, and that I would watch.

I was kind of okay with it, until I a) noticed myself feeling more anxious/worried than usual, especially at night, and realized that exercise really helps in that way, and b) remembered this hilarious Mindy Kaling scene and identified with it completely.

My friend Lanie told me that she fits exercise into the “in between” moments of her day — she’ll jog home from work, or do sit-ups while watching TV. At the playground, she’ll do pull-ups on the monkey bars, just to get her blood pumping.

Also, what about mornings? Over the past couple weeks, I’ve been trying something new: I change from my pajamas directly into workout clothes. After dropping Toby off at school around 8:15 a.m., I take 30-minute bike ride — as quickly/vigorously as I can manage:) It’s not a huge amount, but it feels good and refreshing, and I can do it almost every day.

So, my question for the group: When do you exercise? What do you do? I’d love to hear…

P.S. Sneaky exercise, and two birthday revelations. Also, Toby’s first ride!

(Photo by Ana Gambuto for Cup of Jo. My beloved bike is by Priority Bicycles.)

  1. Kate says...

    I cant run in the morning as i need to eat and drink some time before run or i get dizzy. The evening i have tried but then the routes i can safely take suck and i m also tired. So i run in the middle of the day – im lucky enough to have a cycling/walking route right in front of the office so i just get up on the middle of the day, right now between 2-3 pm and run for 30 minutes. The i just go back to office and stay in my sporty outfit for a while still red faced and in my sport clothes. Once i cool off i dry myself and change clothes again. When its get warmer i will start having a shower at work to (right now i dont smell much so i am fine not having one). For me this works the best! When the sun will be out for longer i will probably start running around 6pm. Right now i want to make sure im done before it gets dark as there is no light on one side of the trail

  2. Elise says...

    Like many of the others, I have to workout in the morning otherwise it doesn’t get done. I am a full time physician with 2 boys (6 and 2) and there is no time for me at the end of the day. I am a runner and will run outdoors year round, but after my second son was born we moved out of town to an area where I don’t feel safe running in the dark (mountain lions and bears, oh my!). So now I workout at home in our family room. I am addicted to Cathe Friedrich’s workouts, which are a combination HIIT, weights, boxing, you name it! She is amazingly strong and working out with her has increased my strength and shred the post pregnancy weight. I feel stronger than ever though I do miss the morning runs in the winter. We are debating getting a treadmill but what I love about running is being outside, feeling like I’m escaping for an hour or so, so I’m not sure I’d like the treadmill.
    Mornings are tough and I don’t get enough sleep, but I feel more awake at work and happy that I made time for myself before the boys get up and the chaos begins.

  3. Kaity says...

    Best advice I ever received was from one of my very first coworkers – exercise in the morning! Getting up for a 6am class is SO hard for the first week, but you will get used to it and it will be worth it! By the time you get home for the day, you can crash with a glass of wine knowing you’re done ;)

  4. Courtney says...

    Yoga with Adriene on YouTube has changed my life. I look forward to doing her routines and you can do it in the comfort of your own home – all you need is a yoga mat! She has so many different types of yoga routines, as well as 30-day challenges, and it feels really nice to pick a routine that fits with how I’m feeling that day. I have been doing her routines almost daily for over two years now and I mix it with walks or running depending on the day. I think the most important thing is not to feel obligated to do a certain kind of exercise – find what truly brings you joy and you will stick to it. Don’t force it. A 30-minute walk with an audiobook can work wonders, so can a 2-mile run, or a 25-minute yoga routine. Just find what works for you!

  5. Kelly P says...

    I belong to a crazy expensive (in my opinion) gym, so that actually gets me there more than any other factor. At my gym it’s group HIIT workouts – about 45 minutes long. I used to go every weekday at 6:30am before my husband complained it woke him up when I left and he couldn’t fall back asleep :-/ So, we compromised and now I go to two 6:30am classes and three 5:15pm classes and it is sometimes really hard to get there after work (so many excuses!), but again, wasting the money kills me so I really, really, REALLY try to make it happen.

  6. Gemma says...

    I’m from Spain (I hope soon from Catalonia) and here all the things happen too late. I have two kids and my husband arrives at home at 8:30 pm, so, I workout mondays and wednesdays from 9 to 10 pm on a gym. On mondays I do strong and on wednesdays I do steps.

  7. Kelsey says...

    I have found that planning my workouts in advance at the beginning of the week is important. On Sunday nights, I’ll sit down with my calendar and figure out which days I can commit to a workout. I go to a very high intensity 45-minute spin class in my neighborhood, three times a week, which I love. Like many other people have mentioned, exercising in the morning is hard, but I’ll do it if that’s the only time I can make it during the week. I just turned thirty, and it’s only in the last two years where I have realized how important exercise is for me to feel healthy and fulfilled. It’s a commitment I’ve made to myself, so like anything else, I make time for it because it’s important to me. It’s also helpful to pack your bag in advance with everything you’ll need before/during/after class, so there are no excuses!

  8. Awww, so happy I’m not the only one feeling this way! By the time by kids are in bed and I do everything that needs to be done, it’s super late and I don’t want to exercise!! But I do. Yup. And it feels good. But man it’s hard to get myself going! Yes, I want wine, not exercise;)
    I also try to fit stair climbing during my lunch breaks, or at least a walk. It’s good for the body and soul!
    Thanks for this post, love it!

  9. Ali says...

    Love this! I had been struggling for awhile to figure out how to fit exercise into my day since moving house and having a longer commute, and my mental health was suffering! Then I was reading an article about productivity/priorities that said instead of saying “I don’t have time for that” say “that’s not a priority for me” … and I realised that by not fitting in excercise I was basically saying that my mental health wasn’t a priority for me!.. which basically gave me a massive kick in the ass and now I aim for just 20 mins a day, either walking up and down our steep driveway a few times, doing a body weight workout or a youtube yoga practice.

  10. Tiffany says...

    I live in Brooklyn and work in Manhattan so I try to run to work 2 or 3 times a week. I pack my clothes in a running backpack and shower at the gym across the street from my office. In the winter, I’ll sometimes bring in extra shoes & an extra coat on Monday so that I don’t have to run with too much stuff in my bag. I looooove skipping a subway ride and it’s less stressful than biking for me. It saves time (I run from 8-9, shower at the gym from 9:00-9:20, and at work by 9:30) and if you bundle up with warm running tights, it’s really nice to get a good dose of sunshine in the morning since it’s dark by the time you get out of work. Running home works too but I have less energy after work and apparently the air quality is better in the mornings. I do worry about my lungs with NYC pollution.

  11. Sanaa Murray says...

    thank you this post- I have a 9 month old and have been having the EXACT SAME STRUGGLE and feeling like a total failure about it– I am going to try and start small too- maybe some yoga stretches in the morning. Feels good to know I’m not alone!

  12. Natalie T. says...

    I’m feeling the same way Joanna! I find “workout commutes” have been helping me lately. I always feel invigorated after but I know I need to do more with weights/HIIT training. That’s where I get stuck: in finding a group to do this with and not paying for a pricey gym membership.

  13. Jo says...

    I am a mum to a toddler and exercise gets slotted into the pickup from daycare. I pop on a podcast, some runners and do a 30 minute run and finish at daycare a sweatier and happier mummy! Days we are together I try and do some form of workout from youtube while she naps. I manage to get something in most days and next weekend I am running a marathon! Fingers crossed!!

  14. Christina says...

    I get up at 5:12 am two days a week to run for an hour, and slightly later than that on Wednesdays for cross-training. We do our long runs on the weekend and usually don’t start until 6:15. I am really lucky, because I have crazy friends who will do this with me and we are very careful not to get out of habit even when we aren’t training for a specific race. I have to go to bed at 9:30 and drinking that glass of wine is not in the cards, but I find it worth it . . . most of the time.

  15. I cannot be a morning workout-er. As much as I try. My legs just don’t move without a cup of coffee and a good hour of “wake up me time” so it’s night workouts for me. I fit it in post-work, pre-dinner so that I can still have that chill, dinner + wine + netflix sesh even if just for an hour or two (which is probably all I need honestly!) It does make the post-work hours feel short but that’s the sacrifice, I suppose.

  16. Jen says...

    Morning is when it has to happen for me or it gets pushed down on the list. And just as you said Jo, after getting my two boys down, the last thing I have energy for is a workout. I wake up super early to make sure I have time for myself and that includes working out.

  17. My new favorite blogger and workout guru is Nia Shanks. She talks about how the best workout schedule is the one YOU WILL STICK TO. In other words, don’t sweat it if you only have 30 minutes to work out between dropping the kids off at school and getting to work. And don’t worry if you can “only” work out twice per week. Two workouts a week over the course of a year is 104 workouts. That’s way better than no workouts! I usually hit the gym after dropping the kids off, but I realize that will not be realistic forever, like when I eventually go back to work. So I will try to be okay with working out when I can!

  18. Julia says...

    All of these comments are so inspiring! I seem to be much more laissez-faire than most of the other commenters – I don’t have a schedule and merely fit things in when I can. I’m also extremely cheap, so my routine reflects that. Here’s the assortment of things I do:
    I highly recommend getting some gym equipment for your home! I use this elliptical (super cheap): https://www.amazon.com/Stamina-55-1610-InMotion-Elliptical-Trainer/dp/B000VICRO8/ref=sr_1_5?s=exercise-and-fitness&ie=UTF8&qid=1506872261&sr=1-5&keywords=elliptical I use this a couple times a week while I watch Netflix after work. There are also a lot of stationary bikes on Amazon that fold up nicely and can fit in your closet.
    I also enjoy Yoga with Adriene on Youtube, or sometimes I just make up my own yoga routine with my favorite poses.
    On the weekends, my husband and I try to be really active. We aim to go on a hike each weekend (it’s easy in the Bay Area), and often add in a bike ride or tennis as well.
    Finally, I walk a lot and live on top of a massive hill. I also have a walking buddy at work, and we’ll power walk during our lunch break. I really enjoy each and every one of these activities, which I think makes a big difference! Exercise shouldn’t be torture.

  19. Frederieke says...

    I joined the gym beneath my work. So twice a week I’ll go to the gym for a class and then straight home. If I have to go home first, I’ll never get to the gym, just can’t be bothered.

  20. Emily says...

    I’m a SAHM weekend of 3 kids. I hadn’t worked out regularly in over 6 years. But i heard about mommastrong.com, and it has really changed EVERYTHING for me. It’s the first and only routine I’ve every been able to stick with. Courtney is AMAZING. The community of support is amazing. It’s doable. It’s effective. And it’s real- no bikini-body talk with these woman. It’s about strength. . Healing your core. And showing up for yourself. I can’t recommend mommastrong highly enough. It’s THAT great.

    • Jane says...

      YES! I am a SAHM to 2 kids and hadn’t worked out regularly for 3 – but in my pre-kid life, was semi-regular at the gym. I heard about mommastrong.com in January, signed up immediately (its only $2/month!), and do my 15-20 min HIIT 5 days a week. I recommend it to basically every mom I meet.

    • emily d says...

      i was coming to post this!!! i am a momma strong fanatic and actually buy gift year subscriptions as baby shower gifts now.

  21. N in northern Canada says...

    Living rural I just eat as healthy as I can and get fresh air! One day it might be gardening, another a hike with the 3 year old. Another it might just be chasing after dog and child. I am not an indoor exercise soul!!! Outdoors is where it’s at.

  22. Kate says...

    My co-workers and I started a squat challenge. We set alarms on our phones and 3 times throughout the day we jump up from our desks and do 25 squats followed by 10 push-ups! It barely takes a minute and gives us a nice energizing break. I look forward to doing it once the office gets extra chilly in winter.

  23. Carol says...

    I think you nailed it by switching over to first-thing-in-the-day bike rides. I’m a stay at home Mom with older kids, so I have tons of time to get my workouts in (and I do work out 5-6 days/week … as in running, yoga, swimming, high-intensity-interval training, and lifting). But there are still some days when I’d rather surf the web or nap, than do my workout. When this happens, I’ll do a bargain-and-forgive routine. I’ll say to myself, “OK fine I don’t feel like working out, I get it. But why don’t I at least get into my workout clothes and go out there for an easy 10-20 minute walk. Hell, make it just 5 minutes if that’s how I’m feeling.” And I’ll really mean what I’m saying. Inevitably, 99.9999 % of the time I’ll end up doing my regular full workout once I get out there. And for those times I don’t, I forgive myself for it. Because it means my body really needed the break anyways.

    • Laura says...

      I love this!

  24. Elin says...

    At lunch time, on the way home from work or on Sunday afternoon!

  25. Lauren 🌵 Vaughn says...

    Hi there. I’m a fitness instructor in New York and I love to work out around 10:30 am. It sounds wacky and right in the middle of things, but… if you’re up moderately early you can get quite a bit done before the workout and then be done by the time lunch rolls around. Then you have time to reset and move on.

    • katie says...

      And also, if you go to the gym it’s WAY less crowded than before 9 am!

  26. Emma says...

    Finding a studio/gym with childcare was key for me. The studio I go “hires” other clients/moms as childcare providers in exchange for workout memberships. Brilliant. Finding a place and workout you enjoy makes it a treat, not a chore. Not kidding, a treat. I’ve made friends, feel part of a community and am in the best shape of my life.

  27. Marie says...

    To all the people waking up at 5am – how do you cope with the lack of sleep? Do you go to bed earlier or just sleep less?

    • GIna says...

      My kids go to bed at 8 and so do I! I’ve always been early to bed, early to rise. If you’re a night owl I would not recommend an early workout. You can’t sacrifice sleep. For me 4:15 is still an 8+ hour night.

  28. Rose says...

    For the past 8 months (since Valentines Day) the road on either side of me has been out. With my car on the other side and inaccessible I’ve been walking a whole lot! About twice a week I hike out, do groceries then hike them back in. I often have to go after work and hike in as late as midnight, it’s quite an adventure. It’s a short hike but all uphill and with by backpack stuffed to the brim. It’s my new normal and I’ll have to readjust since the road will be repaired soon. I feel so strong and physically carrying my food in is so satisfying and something I’m proud of!

    • Susanna says...

      Are you in Big Sur?

  29. I need to exercise in the morning or else I wont do it (unless I have a class I’m signed up for). I was struggling to work out for years, but I’ve figured out I’ve just been doing the wrong thing! A few weeks ago I started doing Boho Beautiful’s Youtube videos and I am completely addicted! Their channel is here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWN2FPlvg9r-LnUyepH9IaQ

    The videos are a little fast, but they’re 20 minutes, so they feel like a no-big-deal time commitment. I love that she’s on a beach or in an interesting setting and the whole thing just speaks to me. I think the key is to find something you really love doing, then you wont feel like you’re forcing yourself, or that you need to remember to work out. I’m honestly kind of sad when I haven’t done the yoga that day, and I feel SO much better when I do. Try a bunch of difference work outs and start small!

    http://www.shessobright.com

    • Caroline says...

      I love doing a yoga video too. Helps me unwind after work and I can do it with the kids in the next room. My favorite is Yoga with Adriene on YouTube. I have seen Boho Beautiful too. I might give one of those a try.

  30. michaela says...

    My favorite type of exercise is hiking, but it’s a good month if my husband and I get out for an excursion more than one or two weekends out of the month, so while it’s really exciting to recognize with each hike how I’m pausing for fewer breaks or that I was able to do 1,000 more feet of gain than I could last year, it’s not a reliably regular form of exercise for me. So I started carrying my pack with me to work instead of a purse (with some extra weight added) and getting off the bus earlier instead of riding it all the way to my office. Walking instead of sitting on the bus in traffic actually only added about 10 minutes to my commute time, so it’s a pretty seamless way of making sure I get some movement in my day. We also live nearly at the bottom of the highest hill in our city, so I try to get some urban hiking in by making myself walk up the hill in the evenings. There’s a great view at the top so if it’s a nice night, it’s more motivating. :)

  31. Samantha says...

    My favourite hot yoga studio is about a 3 minute walk from my work and the schedule happens to fit mine perfectly. My typical work day is 8am-4pm (but flexible), and the studio offers 50minute classes at 11:15am, 12:30pm and 4:15pm so I basically never have an excuse not to go. Going at lunch breaks up my day nicely, but I also find that going straight after work fits well too. The key for me is not having the opportunity to go home and sit down first – otherwise I find it impossible to motivate myself to get back out of the house. Plus, this way I save on transit time. Win-win!

  32. I have come to accept that I haaaaaate exercise for its own sake, so I joined a basketball team in the LA municipal league. I had never played before, but now Monday nights are spent sweating up the court, Wednesdays are practice, Saturday evenings I go to a local pickup game, and the rest of the days I try to practice dribbling and running.

    Aside from that, my dog is really into a whole “sprint/stop to smell/sprint/stop to pee/sprint/stop to smell” routine so I like to see that as interval training?

  33. Angela says...

    Not sure if this was already mentioned but having a dog makes a really big difference to keeping me consistent on at least running and walking twice a day. Obviously this is breed-specific but most dogs need walks and many need to run. I love taking my dogs out on morning runs and long walks and hikes in the evening. It’s such a great time to pump up or wind down for the day. An added bonus is an awesome companion and one less dog in a shelter or on the street.

  34. Natasha says...

    I find it interesting how many women pursue working out as a solitary endeavor. There is little mention in the comments of team sports as a workout. I have a pretty decent women’s soccer league in my area and it’s something I love so it doesn’t feel like it’s “working out.” It’s great to hang out with all different women (of all ages and skills) and test my chops. Those moments when a perfect play is made energizes my entire week. Kudos to you early birds.

  35. Elise says...

    i am a big runner. i always preferred to run outside, but a year ago we put a treadmill in our basement and set it up in front of a TV with a roku stick (so access to netflix, amazon, etc.). It has been lifechanging. Now I can go down there and work out after my son goes to bed (he goes to bed early! my husband does it in the morning because he’s a morning person). Not only is it so close and convenient, but because of the TV situation you don’t have to choose between watching Netflix and working out…so it feels like you’re vegging but you’re not! I still get outside for long runs on weekends.

  36. Isabel says...

    After years of trying many different workout routines, some more successful than others, I finally found a couple of hacks that have worked for me. The first is to take a very early morning class (I take a 6am spin class close to where I live) so that I can come home and make sure I get my kids and myself ready by 8:15am. The key to waking up early is (a) to find an instructor/class that I really like –so I look forward to it, if you can believe it, and (b) to commit by paying for such class in advance. Works like magic.
    The second, is to always have workout clothes in a drawer at work. If I am done a bit early, or manage to leave the office around 5 or so, I will squeeze a yoga or a bar class on my way home. I come home happy and relaxed and ready for the evenings. Finally, I workout early on the weekends while my husband wakes up later and hangs out with the kids. I come home to a house that smells of pancakes and syrup. The kids love it because it’s become a routine, and I am ready to start the day.

  37. Jamie says...

    honestly… finding it really hard to find the time/energy right now. I get up at 5:30am for work (have to be in by 7am) and then home around 7pm or later, when I’m tired/hungry and all I want to do it sit on the couch/pour a glass of wine/eat all of the carbs.
    I had a pretty good stretch where I was getting up at 5am and managing to fit a 30 minute Peloton class in… but then sleep seemed like a better use of my 30 minutes.
    For now, I’m trying not to be too hard on myself, getting my walking in during the day between meetings, and doing some extra exercise on the weekends.

  38. Sarah says...

    For the past 6 months I have been working out over my lunch breaks twice a week. It has been a great way for me to fit them in. I do a barre class one day a week and a yoga/trx flow the other. Both definitely get me moving, but I’m not completely dripping sweat afterwards so it’s easy to go back to work.

  39. Colleen says...

    My workout routine has evolved over the years. Originally I’d stick to the stair master or a stationary bike. I was under the impression for nearly a decade that running was out of the cards for me after a few consultations with different doctors. I have muscular issues in my left leg as well as scoliosis, which causes even more issues. I was warned I’d dislocate my knee, cause serious damage to my leg muscles, etc. (obviously these injuries can occur with any runner). So I’d accepted that I’d never get to be one of those people enjoying a challenging run on an evening night, or get to sprint past the leisurely walkers at the park. I’ve literally had dreams over the past several years of being able to run, and feeling so sad once I woke up to realize it wasn’t a reality.

    Then something funny happened, I was walking my dog at our favorite park one evening when a downpour happened. I tried to pick up the pace for a bit to a light jog to get back to the car- ended up doing a quarter mile. and I thought, “hm. I’m actually not in as much pain as I’d thought I’d be.” Over the next few weeks, I tried it a few more times. It wasn’t that bad! Now, three months or so down the road, I’m close to getting to a 5k length without stopping to walk. My legs/knees feel fine. I may never get to a 9-minute mile, but damn it feels good to get my legs movin! I guess my point is although doctors’ opinions can be valuable, sometimes you have to learn what you’re capable of.

    It’s really easy to have the mental blockage of “I can’t do that” if even just one person has planted that seed of defeat/doubt in your mind. I would probably still be stuck doing the stair master if it weren’t for that evening of rain. My experience has opened new doors for me, I don’t feel as limited of my capabilities- physically, emotionally, professionally.

    I know I went off topic- but I’ll end by saying- I’m an evening-workout type of person :]

    • Christina says...

      That’s awesome!

  40. Rebecca says...

    Like many of other commenters indicated, I use exercise as a method to manage a pretty severe anxiety disorder. It is so important to my mental health that I will prioritize exercise over just about anything else, whether it’s sacrificing sleep to get a work-out in, or squeezing a late night Jillian Michaels video in before bed. It gives me confidence and energy in a way that nothing else can. Props to all the strong women that make time to move your bodies in ways that feel good to you!

    One thing I would share, and that I’m slowly learning to deal with, is that a commitment to exercise can toe a tricky line between healthy and obsessed. While working out helps to manage my stress, it’s also a way for me to exert control over my schedule, appearance, and body image. This winter, I herniated two discs in my neck, and I literally fell apart when I had to give myself a break from exercising so my body could heal. I had re-teach myself how to recognize that the fact that you are injured, exhausted, or mentally depleted oftentimes means that I need to take a day, week, or months off to get myself back into the healthiest place for me and my body.

    Just a long-winded way of saying that while making excuses to skip the gym may not be healthy for some people, it might actually be the best thing you can do for yourself in some circumstances. Take a hard look at your reasoning — sometimes a break from exercising may be just what you need!

    • Emily says...

      Agree and very much relate to this, Rebecca!

    • Ashley says...

      I so agree with what you wrote. There was a time in my life where I put working out before friends, studying (when I was a full time student), and even my health! I had a simple cold that turned into bronchitis, because I just pushed through it without questioning whether working out was what my body needed. It’s so important to find a balance.

  41. Erin says...

    I pretty firmly believe that workouts should be dedicated time. Fitting workouts in is great in theory, but it’s never worked for me. Despite how many crunches I do during tv commercials, it just doesn’t add up to 30 minutes at the gym.

    I’m not a mom, but I’m a home owner and puppy mama and full time employee (and part student). Working out for me comes in the mornings. Waking up at 5 am isn’t always welcome, but arriving at work having already accomplished something during my day definitely is. One of the reasons I’m a big proponent of morning workouts is because I can always find an excuse not to work out in the evenings… social activities, just too tired… but if I’m getting out of bed at 5 am for the purpose of working out, it’s a bit more difficult to find excuses that keep me from doing so.

  42. witloof says...

    One of the best decisions I ever made in my 20’s was not to have a desk job. I went back to school to become an occupational therapist. I literally run around and play with children all day long, and now that I’m older and see the effect that sitting all day has had on other women my age, I am grateful to my younger self for that choice. On the weekends, I love to contra dance. Contra is an American social dance that has its roots in English and French country dancing, is always done to live music and a caller, and is extremely fun. There are contra dance organizations all over the country, including one in Brooklyn within walking distance of where you live! Hope to see you there one Friday night.

    • Stephanie says...

      I love contra dancing! Social dancing is wonderful low impact exercise. I adore dancing with each and every person, young and old. Thanks for posting this!

  43. Laura says...

    Hats off to the super women who read this blog! I’m so impressed reading ALL OF THE COMMENTS. I’m moving across the country soon (possibly with or possibly without my partner and our kitty cats. I’m so stressed I can hardly function. You have all motivated me to get back to exercising bandwagon! PS – I am an avid cyclist and so happy to see all of the comments about cycling.

  44. Now that I don’t get home from work until 7:30-8, there is next to a 0% chance that I will ever work out on weekday evenings again. I’m too hungry and tired. I will go in the mornings if I wake up on time and what I do depends on how much time I have (I hate waking up to an alarm!) If I have 30 minutes, I’ll do yoga in my apartment; if I have longer, I’ll head down to the gym in my building for some cardio (having an in-building gym also helps IMMENSELY with my decision to work out!) And then on Saturday and/or Sunday is when I’ll do a longer workout, lots of cardio and some weights. That is, if I’m around! I’ve found being flexible with myself works best for me.

  45. K says...

    I need to do it first thing in the morning. I just can’t work out after work anymore, too many excuses creep in. I charge my phone in the kitchen so I have to get up when the alarm goes off and my clothes are packed out. On my “rest” days I do 10-15 squats or leg lifts every time I go to the loo.

  46. Emily says...

    I was always jealous of my friend who worked out regularly, early in the morning. I finally realized that the difference between us was that she gote her butt out of bed. So 11 years ago (my kids were almost 3 and 5), I joined the Y and started going to a 5:15 a.m. class 2 days a week. Then I added the 3rd day. Then I added cardio machines after class. Then I started running…so now I’m 11 years in. I get up at 4:45-5 a.m. most days of the week and either run 5 miles, go to outdoor bootcamp class, or go to spinning. On weekends, I run or bike, usually at a more reasonable 7-8 a.m. You never have a 5 a.m. work meeting. On days when I say, “oh, I’ll go after work,” I end up working late and there goes the workout. The key has been the schedule, finding workout partners or classes, and just doing it. I am never sorry I got up and exercised.

  47. Andrea says...

    I do the same and wear workout clothes to school drop off. If my friends see me in them then when they see me at pickup they’ll ask me what I did and it holds me accountable! I try to find classes that work with my schedule and the 2.5 hours I get when my youngest is at preschool. Are there any pilates classes right after drop-off? I also put the classes in my calendar so then I treat them as appointments… with myself! I can’t do early mornings or after dinner. It just doesn’t work for me. But I’ve come to realize I need exercise more for my mental well-being than physical. Keep up the bike rides!

  48. amy says...

    Okay, I always sound super silly when I say this, but I do ten squats every time I go to the bathroom (which is a lot) during the work day.

    • K says...

      I do this too! Or I do leg lifts out to each side. Really great for my days off from gym, considering I sit at a desk for most of the day.

    • rachel says...

      I do squats while I brush my teeth! And squeeze my abdominals while I drive to work. My friends laugh about me “working in the work out” :)

  49. beverly says...

    I live in Albuquerque, NM close to the Sandia foothills, l’m using a couchto10kapp to train for some local trail runs. I also get up early to do ashtanga yoga, or bbg. I highly recommend the podcasts by Rich Roll and The weekly word by his coach Chris Hauth. I will probably never be an endurance runner, but the insights that they have on living a fit life is super motivating.

    • M says...

      Thank you! I just subscribed to both of these. I had been looking for podcasts like this! I so appreciate you sharing.

  50. M says...

    I view working out as practicing gratitude for my health and body. I deal with some pain in my life, so every run or workout is a moment when I can be thankful that my body works, is beautiful and can do amazing things. I typically go after work, and whenever I feel like just sitting on the couch instead, I remind myself that there will be a time when I can’t easily run, and in those moments I’ll always be happy that I did get off the sofa.

    Also – get a trainer. It’s a splurge, but it’s really an investment in your health (physical and mental). You’ll learn so much and get some variety into your routine to keep things fun!

  51. It’s first thing or not at all for me.

  52. Kato says...

    Wow so many comments here! I either go very early in the morning or straight after work before dinner. I run so that is pretty convenient because you don’t have a class schedule but also trickier because you don’t have a schedule…!
    But for me to actually make it happen is to make a workout non-negotiable. The most powerful thing I read somewhere years ago and now my mantra: It Doesn’t Matter. It’s cold outside. It doesn’t matter, go. But i,m tired. It doesn’t matter. But I want to have wine and netflix. It.Doesn’t.Matter. Almost always works and wine&netflix feel so much better after!

    • Julia says...

      Totally agree with your last sentence! What a feeling of complete satisfaction to have it all.

    • Christy says...

      I know you said “It Doesn’t Matter” if it is cold outside. But, what if it is COOOOLD? :)
      (clearly I am a personal trainer’s nightmare)

    • Emily says...

      A friend of mine in Vermont says, “there is no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing.”

  53. Maria says...

    I think the key to feel commited to exercise is to find something you really love to do. What I really love to do is beach volley. So twice a week (Tuesdays and Thursdays) I have beach volley training at 21.15 up to 22.45. Its a great exercize for the whole body and since I work out with teammates its kind of socializing too. I am a working mother of two years old twins so my days are really full so the only free time is late in the evening when the girls are asleep. Its only two evenings so I have the rest evenings to do household things and spend time with my husband. I also try to work out at least 3 times a week at home for 10 – 15 minutes each time.

  54. Lisa says...

    I am a person who hates to be hot (yay winter!) but surprisingly, I like to go to hot vinyasa yoga 3-4 times a week (Sun and Wed at 7AM, Mon and Thurs after work). I am a sweaty and gross mess afterward, but I never regret going. Yoga has helped my back so much as I drive a lot as a consultant. Also, my husband I have a Water Rower at home (a la House of Cards) and we use it regularly since it’s right at the foot of our bed!

  55. GIna says...

    2 kids (5&7) 50+ hr work week, 5am HIIT class MTF, 5:20 run W, 7am HIIT Saturday. 7 months going strong.

    Key:
    Find a workout buddy! Group training is way more motivating than individual. The 5am class at my gym is maxed out everyday with 80 ppl. Also, there is never anything that conflicts at 5am! I’m accountable to my sister and best friend to get my butt out the door.
    Join a gym that costs $$ and charges for late cancel! Anxiety/depression is at its lowest in years! I’m at my fittest since high school.

    • GIna says...

      It may be motivating to check out the instagram stories and see all the wonderful ladies (and men) of all shapes and sizes committed to 5am workouts! http://instagram.com/hiititwithbritt

  56. Johanna says...

    I just got on my bike again for the first time in years and lights went on in my brain that haven’t been lit in an age. It was amazing. I’m making it a goal now to bike to work two times a week. Already I feel and experience such a difference in my day because I can feel that my brain is activated in a new way. I have always loved biking in the city but surrendering to my kids and my schedule caused me to forget it. Now I feel like I have something of my OWN that’s making me FREE. It’s wonderful.

    On another note, the question for me remains: When do you find time to READ? That feels impossible!!

    • Julia says...

      When I have a particular book that keeps me interested, I try to “go to bed” an hour earlier than usual, that’s the only time I manage reading without being interrupted by anything.

  57. I wake up most mornings at 5am. Some days it feels crushing but I tell myself I never regret a workout, only not working out. I usually do a HIIT or something under 30 minutes. Afterwards it’s a smoothie at home, pack four kids lunches and get showered dress, take kids to school. If I miss a morning workout (which I do at home, stream from Tone It Up.com usually or a yoga app), I’ll try to run after drop off if I don’t have to be at work early.

  58. Ana says...

    I get up at 6.40am, wash my face, put on my workout clothes, grab something to eat (a small banana or a few nuts and a piece of light cheese) and by 7.15am I’m at the gym either at a class or doing the training routine recommended by my trainer/physiotherapist. I then shower and dress at the gym and am at my desk (I work from home) a little before 9am. It took me about two months to adjust to this routine and it wasn’t easy, but now I don’t even think about it. Exercise has helped me tremendously with my back pain and stress relief, but I also try not to be too strict about it – when I have the time, I go 4 -6 times a week, if I am feeling tired only 1-2 times and often only do light stretching or Pilates. I already feel guilty / at a fault about so many things in my life, going to the gym is not going to be one of them!

  59. Nicole says...

    I don’t understand how people DON’T workout. For me, it is so necessary for my emotional/mental health. Not to mention the physical benefits. Running= sanity.

    That said, I get that it can be hard to find time. I prefer morning work outs (after a cup of coffee, of course). I recently had a baby, and decided to run my first half marathon. I did my long runs Saturday mornings when my husband could watch our baby, and did shorter week day runs with the stroller. Not easy, but made me feel like a human again, especially after having a baby.

    I think the key is finding something you love and then it will feel like a treat, rather than a chore. Oh, and I listen to podcasts during- game changer.

  60. I do a 30 minute walk Monday – Friday morning. I set my alarm for 6.15am (which is my wake up slowly alarm) then another at 6.30am (which is my get up out of bed alarm) and throw on my workout clothes and am out the door in 5 minutes. I am lucky enough to live near a lake so I just walk there and back which isn’t a bad walk.
    d
    I have had a few mornings where I sleep through my alarms or its pouring down but at the end of the day it’s ok to skip a few days. Last week I only walked one morning as I was sick and this week it’s been wet and my cold still hasn’t gone. But come Monday morning I will be walking again!
    I also try to trick myself into doing exercise, I park my car further away at the shops or do some gardening.
    At the end of the day any exercise is better than nothing!

  61. I go to mysores style yoga practice 4 times a week at 6.30am. I love this quiet time in the morning, I cycle through the park and see the leaves changing with the seasons. And when I come home from work, I can lie on the couch without feeling guilty ;)

  62. Christie says...

    It wasn’t until I started seeing a physio for neck/tension problems that I started incorporating more exercise into my day. I find that I can’t manage it before/after work because I’m either sleeping or spending time with family.

    So I get extra steps/walking in my day like this:

    – Schedule ‘walking meetings’ with my staff. This is a great management technique as well, as people are more likely to be honest with you when you’re walking together than when you’re sitting across a table in a meeting room.
    – Get off my train station one stop early, so I have to walk a bit longer
    – Run errands at lunch time (I get extra steps, get errands out of the way, and I actually take a lunch break!) #workaholic.
    – Walk to/from the train station instead of driving, as much as possible.

    When I was a stay at home Mum I would have a nice leisurely run after dropping my kid at school, but those days are behind me now and if I can fit a few extra steps into my day it all counts.

    • Elise says...

      I do the same. Walking is the way to go for me. I take the stairs instead of elevators at work whenever I can. I have an exercise ball that I use for sit-ups and other core exercises at night, which I do when my kids take their bath. I fit it in. Basically no gear or clothing changes required which works for me.

  63. Alice says...

    Love that this post and lots of the comments here are about the mental benefits of exercise, and the overall positivity of physical wellbeing, with barely a mention of burning fat and shedding pounds and all that. Sign of the times, and a sign of your rad readers!

    • Lauren says...

      Yes!!!

  64. Hannah says...

    I find that working out (bodyweight training or jogging) in the mornings suits me and my routine best. I started excercising in the morning, because I used to worked late (not my choice) and wanted to spend the evening with my boyfriend or going out with friends. Switching to morning workouts instead of lazying around in my bed (favourite pasttime, though), seemed like making better use of my time.

    Getting up earlier can be a pain in the butt, but it’s a great feeling to get something successfully done before the day has even properly started. In this case success = getting up (yay!) and working out (double yay!). Plus, the shower afterwards feels great. Another plus: I get to sink down on my couch in the evening without feeling bad.

  65. Zoe Ware says...

    I am still working on this… Because of my life currently (SAHM to three kids) I have determined that for me, I just don’t have time to really focus on exercise like lifting or running. Every morning before the kids get up, I stretch and try to do a short exercise routine that I can do in the bedroom (hello, Pinterest!) And I change it up so as to not get bored. But throughout the day I get small bouts of exercise doing my chores, and yesterday we all went for a bike ride (which I’d like to make the norm).

  66. Toun says...

    To stook to that habit, I use advices read in Gretchen Rubin’s book : Better than Before.
    I work out always the same days, same hour (I understood that I am not a morning person, so I don’t culpabilize no more because I won’t force myself to wake up to run)
    In order to not skip because of weather I took a gym membership (close to home)
    my entourage is aware, so they adjust (I don’t have children yet, but I think it will not be a problem(^^’)
    I pack my bag (and treat my self with nice work out clothes).

    Althought, it’s not always easy and when it happens that I don’t exercice, I feel nervous as many of you.

  67. Caitlin says...

    I know there are literally MILLIONS of people on Insta posting work outs but I really do swear by Dana Landgren from Australia, her work outs are so so achievable, pelvic floor friendly and you can do them all in your kitchen! She’s the boss in my opinion!!!

  68. Tyler says...

    I’m kind of all over the place, but the older i get, the more important I realize exercise is for my mental health and general anxiety levels! I’ve started to just try to work it in when I can, even if its just a 20 minute walk. I used to obsess over how exercise made me look but now I obsess over how it makes me feel!

    • Sarah says...

      Tyler, I could have written this comment! My 20s workouts were all about how I looked (and how many calories i could burn) but my 30s are alllll about mental health. It’s so much more rewarding!

  69. Dani says...

    This has been a major struggle for me. No matter what I do or how early I go to bed, I can’t motivate myself to work out in the morning before my young kids wake up. And I would love to go for a run on my lunch break but I sweat so much. With commutes and drop-offs and pick-ups, all I have left is the evening. If my husband is home I go for a run after I put my 2 year old to bed @ 7pm. If he’s at work I’ll do yoga while my 5 year old watches (hard to focus but works in a jam). It’s an exhausting schedule but I can’t seem to find another way.

  70. Marie Lamensch says...

    I work out at the gym every day for at least an hour. I also bike to work. During the work week, I prefer working out in the evening. It really helps me relax. On the week end, I go in the morning because I’m energized after that to go on with my day, go to the farmers’ market etc. I love the energy I get out of working out

  71. AlisonG says...

    I have a crazy morning so there is no way I can swing it. But when I get home from work I change into workout clothes, get the kids dinner, and then do a 15 minute momma strong workout while they eat. I manage it 3-4 days a week and I feel so much better when it’s done. Then on the weekends I try to do a bike ride or run. I wish I could still get to yoga, but the classes are all 90 minutes plus the time to and fro- there’s just no way.

  72. Ali says...

    I do it right after drop off too. It really cuts into the work day because I also pick my kids up from school and spend afternoons with them, but it is totally worth it for me. I’ve had at least one kid home with me for the past 6 years and never found the time to work out. Now that they’re all in school I indulge in an hour of hiking while listening to podcasts. I don’t have the time and money constraints of additional childcare and would rather finish my work at night after the kids go to sleep (a luxury I am soooo grateful for) than worry about coordinating schedules with my husband, three kids, and babysitter to drag my reticent butt to the gym after they finally go to bed at 9. Also, I don’t lose out of precious sleep (I am NOT a morning person), I don’t have even more time constraints getting the kids dressed, fed, with full lunchboxes, and to school on time AND I get to exercise outside which is my favorite :0)

  73. Daniela says...

    I have to be at work at 6am so morning workouts are tough. I keep telling myself I’ll get up early to workout but it never happens!

    So recently I’ve been thinking of working out around 6:30pm when I get home from work. I’ve been off the past few days and done some yoga and then gone on a run and I’ve been so much happier and productive!

    • Lily says...

      That’s what I do!

  74. Kelly says...

    For all you early-morning warriors-do you eat or drink anything before your workout? I struggle with the idea of working out in the morning, although it sounds ideal, without any fuel (or coffee!).

    • Have a look at what long distance bikers and runners use for energy — Gu! I sign up for a weekly 7AM spin class and quickly slurp down one of the flavors that has caffine. It’s just enough to give me energy, but not enough to hurt my stomach, etc.

    • Jeannie says...

      I totally like exercising first thing in the morning (7-8am) not having eaten breakfast at all. I think it depends on the activity. I swim laps and am fine doing that on an empty stomach. I havr quite a hearty appetite post-swim though!

    • Maranda says...

      I work out in the AM and do not eat before. I think it depends on the activity you do- I run or do the eliptical for 20 min and then do 20 min of strength training, so I’m not doing anything super hardcore. I don’t think having something small like fruit or a granola bar would hut though! Up to you really.

    • Angela says...

      Over the years I’ve usually been a morning workout person (depending on work schedule, etc). I would definitely not eat before a morning workout unless it’s something small like an apple. Sometimes I have caffeine or BCAAs which can give an upset stomach, so an apple can offset that. What’s important is making sure to eat RIGHT after your workout. I’m incredibly pressed for time after my workouts to get ready for work so what I do is drink a protein shake while I’m getting ready and driving to work. As soon as it settles down at work I eat a second breakfast there (I keep my work fridge and pantry stocked with Ezekial bread, cashew butter, veggies, hummus, and homemade frozen burritos).

  75. Karin says...

    First thing in the morning or it never happens. When my son was younger I would walk him to school (about 1 mile) in my running clothes and then run for 40 minutes, ending up at home. Worked great since he had to go to school 5 days a week, right? I was forced into daily workouts or if nothing else, at least a 2 mile walk.

  76. Laura says...

    First thing in the morning, 6 or 6:30 a.m. Yoga or HIIT, sometimes walking or running outside when it’s light out in the summer months. Sometimes I sleep in my workout pants so I literally just have to roll out of bed (it’s a 5 minute walk to the yoga studio). I have a full-time job, three young kids, and a husband who frequently works until 10 pm, so unless I want to pay a babysitter in order to work out, it’s the only option. It’s not exactly pleasant (but not unpleasant–mostly just thoughtless because I’m still asleep), but necessary for so many reasons.

  77. Michelle Owens says...

    I take a longer lunch break at work 2x a week to do full body barbell and kettlebell work at the gym. It takes 1:15-1:30 to drive, workout, shower and get back to work, but with a toddler at home it’s the only way I can get it done! I also walk most mornings before my daughter gets up at 7, and I try to work in a few brief 10-15 minute kettlebell workouts at home a couple other days of the week. I try to do fun active things with my family and friends on the weekend too!

  78. Meghan says...

    As a young, married-with-no-kids high school teacher, I would work out at the gym or run 4-5 times a week, and I really prioritized that time. Now, with a 3-year-old and 1-year-old at home, plus going back to work part-time, it is MUCH more difficult to fit in workouts or runs. I have honestly struggled with this over the last 3 years – feeling like I have “lost” part of myself that used to be so important. Right now, I am trying to remember that there is grace for this season of life (i.e. mothering very young children who wake up VERY early), and that my identity does not depend on how many times I workout in a week or what my body looks like. I will be able to workout regularly again someday, but my baby girl won’t always be waiting for me in her crib with her sweet smile at 6 am ;)

    • Meghan says...

      I forgot to answer the original question :) Right now, I work out in our basement after my husband gets home from work during the week (before dinner) or do a Saturday run while he’s home with the kids. Hoping to train for a 5th half-marathon in time for turning 30 in April!

    • Yes, this is me too! I’m trying to have that same grace and appreciation for this season of life, remembering that the babes won’t always be so little and someday, I’ll sleep more and run more :)

  79. Gen says...

    Feeling my 40s, I joined a gym almost a year ago, after never being a gym person, or much of an exercise person, other than some yoga and some bike riding. It’s a strength-based circuit training place, it’s literally ON my bike commute from home to office, and the folks in charge are fantastic, with a really holistic view of health and a multi-faceted following (i.e. not a room full of bros).

    I simply would never make myself go to a gym without a human connection, and the coaches and fellow students are super empowering and encouraging. As a highly social person, I need some social pressure to get out there and exercise, and this does the trick. I go 3-4 times/week and it’s great. My husband and my massage therapist tell me how much more muscle tone I have! If you had told me 5 or 10 or 15 years ago I’d be doing this, I’d have laughed at you.

    If this sounds good and you are in Portland, OR, definitely check out https://www.trainingforwarriorsportland.com/ – highly recommended!

    • Gen says...

      Oh, and 7am! On my way to work. I tried the afternoon classes, but it got me home too close to my kids’ bedtime so not enough quality time. I tried the 6am classes, but I was a monster because I wasn’t getting enough sleep. ;)

    • Rachel says...

      Thanks for the Portland rec! I’ve been feeling in a rut since I did a marathon last spring and this looks like my kind of place!

  80. Amanda says...

    I love the idea of working out when you can during the day, just to get moving. I tend to use the “bite-sized fitness” approach described below during the week (I swear I see a difference from my toothbrush squats!), and then try to do a longer hike or bike ride on the weekends. As my kids get older, this gets easier because they will gladly go on an outdoor adventure! Now to just get them to want to spend an hour at a pilates class with me…

    https://www.richinspiritblog.com/single-post/2017/09/21/Bite-sized-fitness

  81. Bec says...

    For me I’ve been loving doing Yoga with Adrienne (YouTube videos) preferable first up in the mornings or after the kids are asleep. Sometimes they do it with me too. As a stay at home Mum I find it hard to get out of the house and this enables me to make something a regular fixture and it’s free! Seriously she is an amazing instructor too.

    • wendy says...

      I am a yoga teacher and she is awesome!

  82. Beth says...

    I am four months postpartum and I have a two year old, so I do a lot of “mom” workouts. In the morning, I go for walks or jogs with the embarrassingly giant double jogger stroller or I go to a “babywearing” barre class at my local gym (an extra 16 pounds strapped on really gets your heart rate up!) My current favorite workout is riding our stationary bike while watching yesterday’s “Ellen.” After bedtime is reserved for wine and chocolate.

    • Jane E says...

      Beth, you should totally look to see if there are any Fit4mom classes in your area. Their stroller fitness classes were a total game changer for me working out postpartum/with small children. I was sold when my middle was fussy one day (as an infant), and the instructor wore her for me so that I could get a solid workout in. It was amazing.

  83. Maria says...

    My partner and I wake up at 4:45 am Monday to Friday to workout together, Friday morning is saved for romance though!

  84. Fernanda says...

    Always in the morning, no matter what… If I don’t exercise in the morning, I’ll find ALL the excuses out there not to do it. I also find out that my day is much, much better when I exercise in the morning. Sometimes I have to make myself get out of the bed around 5:30am and I feel like I want to die first, but it’s always the best thing ever. I do Pilates and go to gym… I haven’t done boxing in awhile, but it’s a GREAT exercise and stress release. XX – Fernanda

  85. Mark says...

    Noon to 12:40. During work lunch. Which leaves 19-20 minutes for a shower and redressing.

  86. Meredith says...

    Recently, after a long residency-induced hiatus, I have gotten back in to run commuting. In the city it’s only 10-15 min slower than public transport, and it’s really eliminated the post-work slump on the couch for snacks instead of exercising that I used to do. I have a small running backpack that was a great investment…and I usually only run home (not to work as there’s no shower). It also clears the cobwebs from the workday Obviously this makes the most sense if you don’t work from home :)

  87. Jenna says...

    Training for a marathon right now…figured out that getting up at 4am, running between 30-60 minutes (I’m using heart rate training so the runs are time based), done a little after 5am, kiddo up, we leave as a family about 0615 and return home around 4:45. The evenings get crazy and i do a 10 minute strength routine (bands, bosu ball, etc) in the evenings. If I leave my run till after work, I end up exhausted. My long run is generally Saturday starting at 5am to get it out of the way for myself (and my five year old).

  88. i dont think my advice will work for everyone because i have a normal 9-5 job, am single and dont have children. the only baggage i have is in the form of a four-legged bestfriend. he requires two walks a day, so if i dont get any formal exercise in, i atleast get 1.5-2mi of walking in with him. i live in sunny california and my office is right on the coast. we will do walking meetings and its normal for a good portion of my coworkers to go surfing, running, cycling, yoga, etc… at lunch. i will join them in that and it is absolutely encouraged to get outside and take a break. i think its about expectations of what a workout should be versus what is realistic to fit into your life.

    • Emma says...

      Walking meetings? That’s FANTASTIC!

  89. Kim ricks says...

    I usually workout in the afternoon after i go to bed after working the night shift. Then i fit workout in the morning or eve depending. On my schedule. Do weights twice weekly cardio 3x week averaging. 4 workouts weekly

  90. Amanda says...

    I have started coordinating my work out routine with my period cycle. I have a heart condition and I feel so exhausted when I’m on my period. Of course that’s also when I feel the most anxious and depressed and really need the benefits of working out.

    So now, instead of beating myself up for not feeling up to a run or cardio workout, I will do yoga, tai chi, or qi gong on my own during my periodand then I’ll slowly build my workout routine back up to more cardio, fast paced, and social classes during my ovulation.

    It’s really starting to help me feel more in tune with my needs and stay more commited to working out.

    • Kirsten Clark says...

      Love this!!!!

    • KJ says...

      I love this idea! What a smart way to look at fitness. Thank you for sharing, Amanda.

    • Gen says...

      What a great idea. Love that you are working WITH your body instead of against it. Inspiring.

    • Amy H says...

      Such a healthy approach – I love this!

    • Alice says...

      What a great approach! Definitely going to try. Thanks for sharing!

  91. chelsea says...

    early morning before anyone is up, which means I am committed to a fairly early bedtime. The only way I can do the early morning is if I am meeting someone for a run, or I have signed up for a spin class that makes you pay if you miss. Money and friends are apparently my motivators. AND I give myself a few sleep in days too so it doesn’t feel oppressive.

  92. Megan says...

    I.go crazy for 10-12 minutes each morning, 545-6. Fitness blender free videos!

  93. Kate says...

    I just got into a regular routine for the first time in years and I’m so amazed that it is actually working for me. I can’t fret about it, wondering if it will happen. Every day, I change into my workout clothes before I put my kids (2,5,5) in bed for their naps, then I go straight to the living room, roll the couch out of the way, unroll my yoga mat, and do an online Barre3 workout. Most days my kids respect the nap time/quiet time, or will go play discreetly if they’re cheating… every once in a while, I get the kids patting me, climbing on me, and the dog licking my sweating face in the last ten minutes, but I have decided not to feel guilty about completing the workout, no matter what, unless someone is hurt. I just had to decide that my workout comes before everything else during that window of the day. Snacks can wait a few minutes. Assistance can wait a few minutes. I get the workout done.
    My house, however, has never been dirtier :).

  94. Angela says...

    My only time for a workout is before 5 am or after 9 pm. I can’t count on myself to be motivated for an evening workout so early morning it is. I’m usually up between 4:45 and 5 am for a run. While it’s sometimes a chore to get up so early, I love getting outside early and sort of having the world to myself without distractions, noise, traffic, etc.

    I do need to add some strength training in (I want to try CrossFit) but can’t find any group classes that start early enough to allow me to be home by 6 am.

    • Sara says...

      This is my routine exactly. Up and out the door to run around 5 am and home by 6 or 6:30. The Christmas holiday season is my favorite time to run because so many people don’t turn their outside lights off before they go to sleep, so I get to run and enjoy all the decorations first thing in the morning. I do love the quiet of the streets and trails. I have to do something for myself first before I spend the rest of my days taking care of everyone (and everything) else.

  95. Bethany says...

    I use Aaptiv! It’s the best app. It’s only $10/month and they have audio workouts for almost every machine (treadmill, elliptical, etc…) Plus, there’s outdoor running and strength training so I can basically work out wherever I want. They have professional trainers record the classes so you get real instruction. It’s super motivating and fun. I do that some days and pilates others.

  96. Daisy says...

    Such a poignant question for me right now. My routine is to workout in the morning (5:30AM-6:30AM) before life gets hectic and I lose steam. I typically alternated between classes at my local YMCA and running with a few friends.

    Then I got my husband into it and we joined a Crossfit gym together! Which was dreamy, flirty, and so fun. Now I’m pregnant and I worry about when I’ll find time to work out. I worry that my husband will have fun without me! I worry about losing all this strength I’ve just tapped in to! Which is so so silly because I’m making a human– what are YOU doing? Right? Any other mommas feeling me?

    • Gen says...

      You can still workout during your pregnancy’ even more if your body is use to it. I did cross fit till my 7 months! Of course, I need to wait first 3 months for jumping and reduce my weight lift every month, but that workout keep my sane and healthy during most of my pregnancy. Every move can be adapt, talk with you trainers about it, I’m sure they will be happy about it!

    • Whitney says...

      Yes! I’m 23 weeks pregnant and I’m working so hard to stay fit but despite the hard work keep growing larger (I’m growing a human!). It’s the weirdest “let your body change” yet “try to stay healthy and fit” balance! I feel you!

  97. Lindsey says...

    I do a 6am Barre3 class 4-5 days a week. If I don’t go early it doesn’t get done, and when 8pm rolls around I can enjoy my glass of wine ;)

  98. Michelle says...

    I say that the best exercise routine is the one YOU like and can stick to. For me, that used to be a mix of megaformer pilates, cycling, and some yoga, but I recently started boxing and LOVE it! So now I’m mainly doing boxing, yoga, and some jogging.

    One of my favorite things about fitness is that it’s a great medium to try something outside your comfort zone and learn a new skill, whether that’s surfing, pole dancing, acro yoga, or whatever. Being able to watch yourself get the hang of something, or maybe even get good at it, is such a boon to your confidence – and that carries over into other aspects of your life.

    As for time of day, my favorite is midday or midmorning. :)

  99. Emily says...

    honestly.. I don’t work out! and I know I should! I just graduated from college at berkeley, where I had no car and walked up and down hills all day long. I was in the best shape of my life. Since graduating and living in new york and now back home in ca, I’ve gained 5 lbs and lost some of my muscle. The past few days I’ve been going on walks again and I love it!! it’s not so muhc about getting fit, but my mental health– it feels amazing to put on a good playlist, walk around, and think about things. so clarifying and meditative.

    • Emily says...

      oops, typo! *not so much

  100. Kim H says...

    Mornings after I drop my daughter to school. Orangetheory.

  101. Lora says...

    I have to work out first thing after morning drop-off or it doesn’t get done. I’ll come up with a dozen other things I should do instead if I come home so I make exercise a stop on my way.

  102. Megan says...

    for me exercise is so important for my mental health and just gives me a break from all the stresses of the day which is actually why I enjoy working out after work rather than before. This may change once I have kids. But for now it feels so good to release all that job stress/commuting stress with a kickboxing class, hiit, or lifting weights. I used to be a cardio junkie but have found the best results when incorporating strength training into my workout.

  103. Annie says...

    I have to get it done first thing or it doesn’t get done (or I stress about it all day!). That means I’m up before 5am so I can exercise, shower, and be ready when the kids are up. I have diastasis recti (abdominal separation that’s super common after pregnancy!) and for almost two years I’d been doing various at-home workouts but I would have to modify SO MUCH to avoid exercises that would make my abs worse (like no sit-ups!). I found MommaStrong in January and it just hit all the right spots for me — 15-20 minutes so I can actually get it done before the kids get up; EVERYTHING is safe for diastasis recti so I don”t have to use my mushy morning brain to try to figure out modifications; I haven’t had any injuries or pain since starting it; and just such positive, powerful messages geared towards mom-life that keeps me going. I do it every morning now, almost more for my mental well-being than anything, but my husband says I’m in better shape now than when we first started dating and I was a childless 21 year old. And I have more energy than I did way back then, and I know I’m stronger. And it’s $2/month! COME ON.

  104. Sheila says...

    Mid morning is great for me. I do muscle strengthening/stretching
    W/small hand held weights. Love cycling and ride most days.

  105. Courtney says...

    Working out is the way I manage stress. I started working out regularly in high school and have made it a part of my life since. My routines have varied through the years as life has changed. I’ve always found going to classes the most motivating, but sometimes they’re impossible to fit in. Running and tone it up workouts are my go to when I have some time and energy, but can’t make it to a class. Sometimes I’m just too tired and I go for a walk around the neighborhood with my husband. I figure any movement adds up.

    I recently had a baby and am figuring out how to fit exercise in again.

    • Sophie says...

      I had such a hard time getting back into exercise after having a baby, and I really spent a lot of time exercising before getting pregnant. I highly highly recommend mommastrong. It’s the only thing I’ve been able to be consistent with and it focuses on postpartum strength and function. Most of the workouts are only 15 mins and it’s super cheap.

  106. Lourdes says...

    This city girl moved to a 10 acre farm in Texas and found out that daily living out here IS the ultimate work out. Whether it’s running away from a crazy rooster that wants to mate with me or jumping the cattle gate when the bull decides that my company is no longer appreciated, you can bet I get my daily cardio.

  107. Morgan says...

    I have a one-year-old son and I bring him with me in the mornings when I exercise. It makes me double as motivated to go: I get a great workout in and he gets fresh air and to see his buddies! (We do Fit4Mom and Camp Gladiator workouts, both done outside at local parks and kids welcome).

  108. If you always take the stairs (and sometimes lunge two stairs at a time when going up) you’ll get loads of incidental exercise!

  109. Sara C. says...

    I’m all over the place. I do a class at 6 am (through classpass, usually strength training or yoga) one morning a week. I also run home from work once a week, and meet a group for track workouts one evening a week. Those are the standards — other than that, I try to get moving every day, either by walking during lunch with coworkers, riding my bike to/from the office, doing mommastrong, or jogging with the kiddo in the park. It’s certainly a fit-it-in mentality!

  110. Grace says...

    I think it would be tough if I had kiddos for sure. I take classes at my local 24 Hour Fitness. My favorites are Athletic Training Club and Body Combat. Luckily, those classes are offered between 6:30-8:30pm every weekday so I have enough time to drive home, change into my exercise clothes, and eat a snack. They also have early morning classes on the weekends. I try catching a cycle or Bootybarre workout on Sunday (I like resetting my mornings then so I can get a good night’s rest before Monday). If I can’t make a class I hit up the elliptical machine. The great thing about a 24 hour gym is there really is no excuse to not go. But I know going to a class is the BEST way for me to stay motivated to keep going.

  111. Jenn says...

    Oh man, there are already so many comments on this but here’s my two cents. A few years ago I started really getting into working out and in those few years I’ve learned that morning workouts and finding something that doesn’t bore you is ideal. My workplace is a little flexible so I can come in any time before 9:30am and when I arrive at work I already feel so accomplished. There are too many variables within a day that could throw your workout out the window. Stressful interactions, sudden overtime to finish a project, friends wanting to meet up for a drink, etc. I found the best way to get up is to lay out all my clothes and bag the night before and in the morning I sleepily change into them, head over to my gym, and by the time I’m fully awake it’s too late to turn back, haha.

    I discovered my current gym through ClassPass! They offer TRX, HIIT, classes for your booty, and circuit training with really rad instructors. Plus they change up the structure and movements all the time so I never get bored. And the key for me being consistent with my workouts is to just think about it as an extension of my daily routine. Just like working, eating, sleeping – exercise is a necessary part of my day and it keeps me feeling my best.

  112. Chrissy Shea says...

    My office has a small gym and I have been changing into active clothes, not even changing my bra, and walking for 45 mins on the treadmill while watching an episode of anything on Netflix – right now it’s re-watching Grey’s Anatomy! It’s a brisk but not rigorous walk, so I will feel warm but not gross or needing a shower.

  113. Amy says...

    Years ago I used to go to classes at the gym (hello step aerobics) or run almost every day. After my daughter was born um, almost 9 years ago, I became less focused on excercise for myself. This is ironic because a mom with young kids probably needs excercise the most! In those 9 years I would go for a run when the mood struck me or do some quick planks, pushups, etc, but was never consistant. This summer I came to realize the only way I will fit excercise in my life regularly is to take early morning classes. So 5 days a week I haul myself out of bed to attend a 5:30 AM class at a nearby gym. It’s been a few months so far and its going well. The trick for me was finding a gym less than 10 minute drive from my house. I am up at 5:00 AM and at the gym by 5:20 AM – rubbing sleep out of my eyes even as the warm up music starts. In addition my commute to work includes a 1.5 mile walk so that helps too!

  114. Jules says...

    We have three boys 4 and under, so my alone time is limited. My oldest goes to preschool three (half) days a week so while he’s there in the morning and the baby is napping my 2 year old ‘helps’ me exercise. I do one of the Daily Burn 365 workouts or a Jillian Michael’s video. I like the Daily Burn ones because they’re new every day, so I don’t get bored. I did a lot of sports in high school, so I would prefer to do a sport where it feels more like fun than working out, but that’s not possible right now.

    • Jillian says...

      As a former stay at home mum to one (I just returned to work this month) I’m impressed with your dedication to squeeze this in to your week. You’ve really gotten creative there with that routine. That’s committment – to something you admit to not even love. Good for you Jules.

  115. Sara says...

    With managing one son and two step daughters, and a pretty intense commute and job, the only way that I can make it to the gym is at 6 am! It took awhile, but I readily get up around 5:20, get my gym clothes on and get myself to the gym. I go to a class, which I think helps a lot, with a great trainer who is quick to get me motivated. It eases my stress for the rest of the day because I know that no matter what comes at me, at least my workouts are done! Also, if there isn’t a class for whatever reason, I’ll still go to the gym and use the Aaptiv app (https://aaptiv.com/) which is awesome. You can choose your workout method, music, level etc and there is a personal trainer who coaches you through the workouts.

  116. Big fan of Mommastrong.com over here, and i do it at like 5:30 am naked on a yoga mat in my airstream. Also 1-3 mile nightly dog walk, and working up to long ass bike rides.

    • Sara C. says...

      Yes to Mommastrong! She’s the best.

    • Sophie says...

      Yessss!

    • Amanda says...

      Momma Strong is the best! 💪🏼

  117. Lulu says...

    If I had my druthers, it would be 6am workouts every day. I love swimming and walking at the local park, but my state parks and local pool don’t open until after sunrise and I’m already at my desk by then.

    So, I practice “the French way”. I walk as much as possible throughout my day. I park far away, I always take the stairs, and I stroll through my local parks on my lunch break. Then…there is dancing. Any time I can play music (or better, see it live!) I’ll be dancing and it is an incredible workout.

    Add nighttime yoga and I’m one happy (and fit) gal.

  118. Eva Meszaros says...

    The thought of having to get through an entire work day only to have to work out after and then make dinner and do other evening errands/chores is the most exhausting thought in the world to me. Only way I can get myself to work out (really just a 2-mile jog) is first thing in the morning. I like to think I trick my body before my brain wakes up ;) Added bonus: having the ENTIRE rest of the day to feel proud and accomplished (and a little more energetic!), knowing I can just chill when I get home or do something fun!

  119. Rachel says...

    Time of day is everything as far as I’m concerned; I only wish I had the flexibility to regularly exercise in the morning but cannot with a full-time early start job. When I have vacation, I love to take class on a weekday morning around 9:30 – feels amazing. Also, I highly, highly recommend Chaise Fitness here in the city. You can try three classes for $33 – which is unheard of in New York! – and their people are fantastic.

  120. Elizabeth says...

    A year ago, I asked for weights for my birthday because I was terrified to try the weight racks at the gym in front of everyone. Since then I’ve quit the gym and now lift heavy weights 3-4 times a week. The only way I’ve stuck with it so long is because I feel like WONDER WOMAN. I love getting stronger, and it’s just a bonus that my husband has noticed my progress. ;)

    • Yes to this! Lifting is super important for women – especially as we get older.
      You ladies are so inspirational!

    • Sharon says...

      LOVE THIS! I too have fallen in love with heavy weights. And while I used to use weights in the gym, having a weight rack in the garage has made ALL the difference for me. I push myself so much harder, not having to worry about some dude trying to “work in” with me. And the total calm you feel after lifting is the best mental fix. Strong is the new skinny.