Exercising before or after work?

Hey all,

Recently my schedule has changed and it's been hard trying to figure out what's a good time to exercise. I used to have an hour lunch break and I'd exercise at that time which was a perfect way to beat afternoon grogginess. I literally had nothing else to do with that free hour!

I don't have that long lunch break anymore and I need to figure out if I should work out before or after work. I seem to be tired either way. I'm not a morning person, I can barely get up for work as it is, and then I'm beat after work and I just want to wind down and have dinner! What is everyone else's routine?? I feel like I have to choose between 2 not-so-hot options.


  • MichelleWithMoxie
    MichelleWithMoxie Posts: 1,819 Member
    I’m definitely a morning person. I want to get the gym done and over with before any excuses can get in the way.

    P.s. I love your chosen mfp handle 😊
  • ElizabethKalmbach
    ElizabethKalmbach Posts: 1,416 Member
    I split it. I do cardio before work, because it's mostly mindless for me and I don't have to be very awake to do it, and I do the thinky workouts after work if my lunch break won't support them. Even if I'm going to the gym after work, I don't go home until my workout is complete, so I still think of it as "part of my work day." For whatever reason, that helps me not skip it, because it's part of the "necessary" routine and not something my brain can put off.
  • Cutemesoon
    Cutemesoon Posts: 2,646 Member
    I am NOT a morning person! I work out at home, so my workouts start as soon as I get home. My suggestion to you is to workout when ever you can. You no longer have an hour for lunch but could you fit a half hour workout in? I would suggest pumping yourself up to workout after work since you aren't a morning person.
  • steveko89
    steveko89 Posts: 2,198 Member
    I'm not a morning person either but I've found the best success working out in the morning before excuses and/or external complications get in the way. It is something that I have to actively support and work towards; setting out clothes the night before, removing as many obstacles as I can, being diligent about when I go to bed, etc.
  • kd_mazur
    kd_mazur Posts: 569 Member
    I also had a lunchtime gym routine for many years. When I changed jobs, that had to change too. I tried after work, since I was never really very good at the morning workout. In the last year, I have changed again to the morning workout because the evenings have become very busy too. I think you should work it into your schedule wherever it fits best and then schedule that time just as you would any other appointment.
  • beckyrpl
    beckyrpl Posts: 73 Member
    I AM a morning person - but I have a horrible commute, and leave my house by 6am - so I workout when I get home. First thing I do when I get home is change into my workout gear - that way there's no backing out.
  • ellie117
    ellie117 Posts: 293 Member
    edited November 2019
    After work for me, my gym is on the way home from work. If it wasn't so easy to get to, I don't think I'd ever go.

    I don't think I could do before work. I'd need to get up, get to the gym, work out, take a shower, dry my hair, get changed, then drive to work by 8am. Very envious of guys/people with short hair that can just hop out of the shower and be on their way.
  • peachvine29
    peachvine29 Posts: 400 Member
    I think before work is usually ideal. I have done after work, and the benefit was that I could take my time and work out as long as I wanted to, but then I would sacrifice free evening time and be too active close to bed, not to mention half the time I really didn't feel like going so didn't.

    Now I am working on working out before work most mornings. My work has a top grade gym which is awesome, also showers and such. The commute traffic is lighter, I get to prioritize my workouts, and skip them much less often. The downside is waking earlier, sometimes rushing my workout, and then my hair is damp for the first part of work :/. Overall though, it feels great to get the workout in before I commit my day to my job.

    I used to workout on lunch but was always rushed and then sweaty for the second half of the day, and never enjoyed my lunch.
  • misclaire81
    misclaire81 Posts: 33 Member
    To be honest, what ever fits in my schedule. I'm looking forward to my son starting school in a couple of months as I plan to go to the gym on my way home from work but before I pick him up from after school hours care 2 days a week. I'll also be working from home on Fridays and can go to the gym at a similar time before school pick up.
  • mrsjar5311
    mrsjar5311 Posts: 514 Member
    Before work for me. After work, I have to brave traffic, cook dinner, feed the kids and put them to bed. After that, I need my own bed. I'm usually in bed and asleep before 9pm. I really struggle to find motivation to work out if I don't do it in the morning!
  • Courtscan2
    Courtscan2 Posts: 498 Member
    Before work for me. I get it done before my kids are up (usually) and before my brain is too awake and has a chance to realize what's going and try to stop me with the incessant "This is too hard. This hurts. That's enough, you could stop now." chatter it likes to get in to later in the day.
  • Safari_Gal_
    Safari_Gal_ Posts: 1,461 Member
    Post work is best for me... I’m a latebird.
    Kudos to all you morning folk!
  • jadealyce87
    jadealyce87 Posts: 1 Member
    I am absolutely not a morning person, but when I found exercise I loved - I actually look forward to getting up for it! I mix it up a bit and do 2 mornings and 2 evenings on work days, so I don't get bored. Could you try a mix of times for a few weeks?
  • neugebauer52
    neugebauer52 Posts: 1,120 Member
    Third option: exercising during work. Got myself a Swiss ball, trying to sit on that bloody thing without falling off all day is a major effort - and I can feel it in my muscles by the end of the day.
  • helen_goldthorpe
    helen_goldthorpe Posts: 340 Member
    I do both. I prefer the morning, but there are some intense sessions that work better in the evening because I can recover better from them by eating then putting my feet up rather than having to struggle through a day at work.
  • cos4093
    cos4093 Posts: 23 Member
    I work nightshift, so when I get off at 7:30am I usually try to have workout clothes already packed and in my car so I can go straight to the gym. If I were to go home first it’s game over haha. Some people get energy from it, personally it helps me unwind from my shift, clear my head, and sleep better for the day.