Everyone I talk to has strong preferences about the time of day they work out. Me? I’ve always been a morning person. I’m much better at waking up early and heading out the door than I am at setting aside time in the evening to get a workout in. And when I get a sunrise view of our local pro football team’s stadium at the halfway point of my 5k workout, I appreciate being up and out to witness it.
With a small child, there are more logistics involved in making sure I get a workout in. And this is one of the many reasons why it’s important to have a partner or spouse who supports you; without Jason, I wouldn’t be able to take care of myself. When I get up at 5:30 am to go exercise, Evan is still asleep. So Jason is the solo parent for an hour or two while I get in a run or a cross-training session and then shower and get ready for work. While I’m running around, he wakes up, gets himself ready, gets Evan dressed once he wakes up, makes Evan’s lunch… our morning routine is a well-oiled machine. When Jason’s traveling for work, the machine grinds to a near-halt; I’m left with brief workouts via DVD or iTunes and things are typically cut short because I want to make sure I’m out of the shower before Evan wakes up and begins to holler.
Even with all its complications, my morning workouts are still much preferred to evenings. By the end of the day I’ve got a full day’s worth of things to do, tasks to check off, problems to fix, etc. before I go to bed, so finding time to wedge in a significant workout rarely happens. In the morning, my day is fresh and unencumbered. I can focus on the training at hand instead of all the things I “should” be doing instead. Also, in the evenings I’m just plain tired. I’d wake up early regardless of whether or not I got in a morning workout, so by the time Evan is in bed and we’re settling down to catch an episode of “Fringe” on Netflix, I’m already on the verge of passing out.
Also, my mind and body both need time to wind down before I go to sleep at night. Adding a late workout would rev up my systems and I’d be wired and ready for action when I should be switching my systems to their powersave mode. And the pure logistics of an evening workout don’t work for me – I’m a sweater, so I’d need to shower, and since my hair is naturally curly I need to dry it or it kinks in crazy directions. So, for practical purposes, an evening workout is just more time-consuming.
What about you? Are you up with the sun for a morning workout like me? Do you prefer getting your workout right before packing it in for the night? Are you among that rare breed who can get a lunchtime workout in without sweating so much that you need a shower?