The Best Exercise Is the Kind You’ll Actually Do

At lunch today, we were debating whether it was better for you to work out at night or in the morning.

While you can probably find a study to back whatever your own opinion is, it doesn’t really matter if the best time to work out is at night and you work the night shift. The best time for you to work out is whenever you will do it.

For me, that’s actually morning, even though I am in a serious love affair with my bed. I don’t get stuck at work in the morning. I don’t have Junior League meetings in the morning. I’m not tempted by happy hour in the morning. The only thing tempting me is my bed.

I’ve been looking for some post-marathon exercise motivation. We have team workouts at work, but I’ve been too busy to take time out to participate. Like most of you, my schedule is pretty full for December: with holiday parties, holiday shopping, plus the regular hustle-bustle.

So I’ve been looking for something to keep me on track.

I signed up for a CrossFit intro class yesterday. CrossFit was going to be my thing. But then I started looking at the Elements classes I’d have to do after. I wouldn’t be able to start for a few weeks, so I decided to hold off on trying CrossFit for now, and I bought a monthly package to Uplift for the month.

The best time to work out is whenever you will do it; the best kind of exercise is the kind you’ll actually do.


I mean, does this look like I’m exercising? No, it looks like I’m having fun, because that’s what running is to me. A chance to play outside.

I took a look at the New Rules of Lifting for Women, but it felt like work to me. I know people have gotten great results from it, but what I want right now is something I can’t make excuses for and that forces me to book workouts into my schedule just like I add meetings, events or social commitments. I know I’m not going to go out of my way to work out this month (geographically and figuratively), and I know I’m a bit burnt out on running, so I need something else.

Taking classes at Uplift feels like an awesome sweaty cocktail party, so I’m just gonna go hang out with my buddies there and lift things up and put them down for the month of December.

Add in a few races, some fun workout events, and suddenly I’m happy and excited to work out again.

Oh! And in addition to the awesome sales I posted about yesterday, my even more awesome run coach, Jess is doing a 2 months for the price of 1 deal through 12/7. Coaching must start prior to 1/31/14. I took five minutes off my half PR with Jess this spring and 8 minutes off my marathon PR this fall (finally breaking 4!!!!!) And Uplift is doing 25-minute express classes for the month of December. More info on their site.

Let’s chat:

1. Lotteries: who couldn’t resist signing up for the NYCM lottery? (Looks around and ducks.) Who actually got into the Nike Women’s Half lottery? Not me, but my credit card is happy.

2. How are you keeping yourself motivated to keep working out through the busy holiday or post-marathon season?

22 comments on “The Best Exercise Is the Kind You’ll Actually Do

  1. Corrie Anne

    Okay, you’re right. Hope you do give CrossFit a try sometime though!!!! 🙂 CrossFit is definitely motivational during the holidays. Partly because you don’t want to take toooo much time back or you know that going back will be torture!!!

  2. Cathryn

    I signed up for the lottery, assuming I won’t get in. But you never know.

    I’m feeling very motivated this December – I twisted my ankle really badly 10 days ago (2 days before a goal race) and haven’t run since. I ran 2 miles this morning pain-free and now all I want to do is run! Those 10 days without running were probably pretty good for me psychologically!!

  3. Lisa C.

    I didn’t get into the Nike Women’s Half either. Really disappointed because I had recruited two friends to run their first half with me. But as you say, I least I won’t be dropping $180 on the race. I did enter the lottery for the Cherry Blossom Ten Miler yesterday so fingers crossed I get into that one.

    I’m been keeping myself motivated with challenges, like the 25 Days of Fitness Challenge over on RunEatRepeat’s blog. And since I’ve been running strong lately, it motivates me to stay with it in the cold weather.

  4. Beth

    This is so true! I’ve been a night excerciser FOREVER, and it works for me.

    I actually GOT IN to Nike Women’s Half. This is the first time I’ve ever actually made it into a race with a lottery (I’m a NYCM, NW DC, and Cherry Blossom reject), so I’m pretty excited! It makes me really excited to start running again after my extended layoff/injury recovery after Marine Corps.

    1. Theodora Post author

      WAIT WHAT?? Congrats 🙂

      Yeah, I used to be a night exerciser! It worked for me at the time, but now I just have too much going on at night. Now, when I do work out at night, I have a really hard time sleeping.

  5. Liz

    I always get a little burned out after the marathon so I’m focusing more on Crossfit and short runs (I’m doing my own version of the RW Streak – only missing when skiing).

    Lotteries? I’m in for the DC half, crossing fingers for the NYCM. I’m only 2 races and a volunteer shy of my 9+1 and decided to bail, contemplating Philly!

  6. Beckett @ Birchwood Pie

    True dat. I worked out last thing at night for years. Now because of grad school, I’m a 100% first thing in the morning exerciser and can’t imagine being any other way. Lately I’ve been loving the Nike Training Club app – it’s free and the workouts are legit.

  7. Patty (

    sigh I wish I could like working out in the morning but I just have zero energy! I’m definitely a “lark” as opposed to a morning bird, I just have more energy in the evenings.

    Uplift sounds so fun! Next time I’m in NYC maybe I can stop by and try a class 🙂

  8. Kristine

    I’ve done the Nike Women’s Half in SF a few times and it’s great! But priceyyyy. And crowded. I debated entering the lottery for the DC Half buuuut just so happens I’ll be in Nashville for a wedding that weekend and it coincidentally falls on the same day as the Music City 1/2. Done. I’m still debating entering the NYCM lottery – not sure I have a full in me this year! I’m planning on a nice mixture through the holidays – running, Pure Barre, Pilates, and Soul Cycle!

    1. Theodora Post author

      Well, I guess you’re used to it, but the Nike Women’s Half in SF sounds so scary to me. It must be so hilly!

      I know…I’m still not sure if I will want to run NYCM in 2014, but I’d love to at least have the option.

  9. Jane

    I only work out in the morning when I had to pay up front for the class already (soulcycle versus just going to the gym). I used to get up super early on those days but since my favorite instructor left I haven’t been in a few months. I also only got up early for long runs with my training group. However, I decided to get myself to a morning workout tomorrow at Uplift.

    I got into the Nike Half last year and was super excited. Although the excitement wore off as race weekend went on. The only part of the race I enjoyed was the 1st half mile and the last mile (which is right in front of the capital). The race course was packed with walkers and wasn’t properly corralled (i.e. 13 minutes in front of the 9+ minute pace runners). It also took 30 minutes to get my bib the day before. I might just be spoiled by how efficient NYRR runs but it really didn’t seem like they had any idea last year. In their defense, it was their first year in DC.

    1. Theodora Post author

      Ooh, that’s kinda good to know about Nike Women’s. Also, you go to Uplift?? Let’s make an Uplift date!

  10. Kayla

    I completely agree that the best workout is going to be whatever one you are motivated to do. Something is better than nothing, right?

    I totally entered the NYCM lottery, if I get in it will be my first welllllp, but I guess I’ll take it as a sign that NYRR wants me to run a marathon…


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