Forming habits can be a powerful motivator.
One of the trickiest parts of starting an exercise plan from scratch is picking a time of day to do it. You don’t wanna do it in the morning because you just woke up. You don’t want to do it in the afternoon because you have things to do. You don’t want to do it at night because you’re tired. As unpleasant as it is to start, you’re gonna have to find a place to slot your workout into (several places preferably, but let’s start small). It’s not just a matter of responsibility; sticking to a particular time of day for your workout can make the process more effective.
Let’s say for example you want to start running first thing in the morning. Brush your teeth, use the bathroom, shoes on, out the door. At first, it’s going to feel like extra effort, obviously, but as you turn that morning run into a daily habit, your body will adjust and prepare in advance. If you consciously decide to exercise at a random time every day, then you won’t develop the habit, and it’ll remain difficult. Sticking to a single time slot will make the act of exercising second nature, like leaving for work or taking a shower. You don’t have to think about it, it’s just something you do every day.
There’s actually some science to back this up. Back in 2019, Brown Alpert Medical School ran a study on routine exercisers to see what time of day was most ideal for a workout. What they discovered was that the actual time didn’t really matter. As long as you’ve got consistency to your routine and the time you do it, it’ll be effective no matter what.
So while it’s not fun to try to work exercise into a pre-packed schedule, remember that whatever time you do pick, you gotta stick with it.