I keep a list of potential blog topics by my desk, and I’ve had “write a post about getting motivated for evening exercise” on the list for weeks. 


I still want to write a more thorough post on this topic, but really, my method is pretty easy:


  • Pump up the workout all day long.  Wake up and think, “Later, you get to GO SWIMMING! Yayyyy!”  At lunch, remind yourself, “Soon, you get to go to the gym.  Hoooorah!!!!”



  • View it as a method of stress release, not something else on the endless To Do list.


  • Make it fun – meet up with a friend or your partner.


  • Don’t EVER, EVER come home and sit on the couch or turn on the TV before the evening workout.  Couch = sudden death of exercise goals.


Normally, this technique works rather well, but tonight was one of those nights that I really couldn’t talk myself into going to the gym.  Staying home just sounded so, so much more appealing.  Maybe Henry’s little face had something to do with it?  I’m leaving town for work tomorrow, and I’m still pretty sad about it.  I wanted extra bebe time.


Henry laughs > Swimming laps.




Roasted carrots

Roasted parnsips

Roasted broccoli

Boiled eggs

Brown rice and corn salsa


Did I mention I am in desperate need of baby cuddles?  ‘Cause that’s what I’m off to go do.


How do you ensure you stay motivated for evening exercise?



  • Shannon September 5, 2012, 8:35 pm

    Your beautiful baby sure looks like you in that picture!

  • Kristine September 5, 2012, 8:36 pm

    The only way I can get myself to work out in the evening is making it the first thing I do before I settle in on the couch. Some days I even put out my workout clothes on my bed so I see them when I come home (living in a studio apartment makes it difficult to hide from them!) so I can just change immediately and get back out the door.

  • Presley @ Run Pretty September 5, 2012, 8:46 pm

    I’ve been STRUGGLING lately with this. I don’t have time in the mornings right now, but when I get home from work (after being up all night with the baby) I have zero motivation. Heeeelp. haha

  • Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table September 5, 2012, 8:52 pm

    Man, I needed this tonight! Only 4 hours of sleep and an all day meeting with a client 2 hours away… tonight’s workout was simply out of habit. I don’t skip brushing my teeth just because I’ve had a long day, why skip my workout?

  • Lindsey September 5, 2012, 8:53 pm

    Because after a long day of sitting at a desk, it gets me moving and a second wind for the evening 🙂

  • Katie - Life Discombobulated September 5, 2012, 8:53 pm

    That’s great advice! I’m going to bookmark this post and refer back to it OFTEN!

    I SOOO can’t blame you for not wanting to leave that face, though! Adorable!!! 🙂

  • Lee September 5, 2012, 8:56 pm

    This obviously only applies to people working in an office, but I change into my workout clothes in my office bathroom before I leave. That makes it even harder to rationalize just driving home instead of the gym. I mean, I’m already in my workout clothes.

  • Kendra September 5, 2012, 8:57 pm

    Thanks for this, Caitlin! I find evening workouts to be so hard but it truly is the best time for me to fit it in. Luckily having a toddler MAKES me get the evening walk in because keeping him couped up in the house is NOT an option. I used to be able to go 2-3 miles with no problems but now he starts getting restless around mile 1 or so and he wants out of the stroller. I will look forward to a post down the road about walking/running with an antsy toddler! 😉

    That pic of Henry is too much! Good luck leaving that sweet face tomorrow. I’m sure you have your big girl panties set out and ready to put on but no matter what preparations you make, the first time away can be tough. I will send positive thoughts your way as you get through it. 🙂

    Thanks again for your tips on this topic!

  • liana September 5, 2012, 9:07 pm

    That picture of him laughing is beyond adorable. Made me smile. I would much rather see that smiling face over a workout any day 🙂

  • Maryea {Happy Healthy Mama} September 5, 2012, 9:15 pm

    Also, never sit at the computer before said workout. That’s what I did tonight; how ironic that I’m reading this post. FAIL. (Good tips, though, I’ll use them next time. ;-))

  • Lindsay @ Fuel My Family September 5, 2012, 9:23 pm

    getting in extra baby time since you are leaving tomorrow is the best missed gym excuse there is!

  • Beks September 5, 2012, 9:29 pm

    I had actually told myself that if I work out later in the night, the gym wouldn’t be so busy and I could work out in peace. That went out the window tonight. It was busy and mostly men. Not particularly good looking men, but buff men who’d spent more time there than me. It was a little intimidating going to the weight room side of it, but once I started, I decided to focus on myself and get in and get out. Work out took me half an hour and they didn’t bother me or intimidate me as much as I thought they would. Intimidation is all mental (in case you didn’t notice, I’m a gym newbie).

  • Liz September 5, 2012, 9:33 pm

    Such a great post! As an evening gym goer I loved the part about “looking forward” to it all day. That way come 6:30 its been on your mind all day in a positive way and wont see it as such a huge hassle but as a way of working off 5 hours of Grad-school class stress!

    Love the hint of red hair, he’s precious!!

  • M September 5, 2012, 9:39 pm

    Tv is my ultimate motivator! I often find myself waiting til 8pm to run so I can watch a favorite show on the treadmill…. Obviously it helps that I have a treadmill and work 6am -7pm bc even 5am workouts aren’t enough time to get ready… But by telling myself “you can only watch modern family at gym” I know I won’t skip out! Worst case if I am a bit tired I just walk for the duration of the episode and almost never reget going. Tv is key for me…. Though I have same logic with trashy magazines – I only let myself read Us Weekly while working out!

  • Maren September 5, 2012, 9:57 pm

    hahaha the last one describes my boyfriend perfectly. I read it to him and he said, “FACT”. I definitely hype up my workout! Helps me get through it!

  • Stellina @ My Yogurt Addiction September 5, 2012, 10:12 pm

    Great post…it is so so so hard for me to stay motivated for evening exercise. I next to never workout at night, because well I hate it! I will be starting a new job on Monday so it will be interesting to see how my workout schedule will pan out. I typically workout in the morning around 8am, but now I will have to be AT work by 8:30 and stay till 5. I’ve never been one who wakes up at 5 to go workout, but I might just have to. I DO NOT want my exercise/workouts to suffer because of of my new job. I especially find it hard to workout at in the winter at night because of the weather, the time change and the darkness….Hopefully I’ll be able to figure some sort of ritual that works for me and my new schedule!

  • Melissa September 5, 2012, 10:16 pm

    I’m usually a “right after work” workout gal but b/c of some personal stuff going on I am having to come home first and then hit the gym (or go for a run) later in the evening. Being in training for a marathon right now keeps me accountable but meeting up with a friend is a way to make the new schedule actually appealing (met up with a friend tonight, in fact). Also planning to go to a scheduled class helps with motivation b/c it gives me somewhat of a “deadline” instead of “oh i’ll go in 15 minutes…” “…or when this show is over” etc etc 🙂

  • Katie @ Talk Less, Say More September 5, 2012, 10:17 pm

    I LOVE that picture of Henry – so adorable!

    I really struggle with evening exercise, aside from a little yoga before bed. I often find if I don’t do it first thing in the morning, it’s so much easier to make excuses and be “too tired” to go. Plus I hate the crowds later in the day so I would MUCH rather go first thing…

  • Shari September 5, 2012, 10:18 pm

    That picture of Henry is like a ray of sunshine — so sweet!

  • Cristina @ Tiny Perfect Bites September 5, 2012, 10:44 pm

    I sign up for a class earlier in the day (e.g., 6 p.m. yoga) so that I feel committed. It is MUCH harder for me to motivate to go for a run or something on my own, although I had an easier time with this when my running route was on my way home from work. I think it also helps to change into my workout outfit in advance (I work from home so this is an option).

    Baby time is a pretty awesome and legitimate reason to skip a workout!

  • Annette@FitnessPerks September 5, 2012, 11:23 pm

    I teach fitness classes in the evening–so that is major motivation to go….get paid & people rely on me. HAH. 😛

  • Janelle September 5, 2012, 11:32 pm

    That picture of Henry laughing slays me.

  • Jamie@everydaydolce.com September 5, 2012, 11:45 pm

    Love the tips! And your darling baby 🙂 I stay motivated for evening workouts simply because I am not a morning person, lol. But of course, I sometimes want to skip it so I always tell myself “you’ll feel so much better on the other side of that workout,” which always helps and is always true!

  • Jen September 5, 2012, 11:56 pm

    Thanks so much for these tips! I really need to get into an regular evening workout habit (mornings just do NOT work for me…it’s all I can do to get myself to work!).

    Oh, and the need for more baby time prior to your trip is the best excuse ever! Good luck with that…I know that it will be HARD, but (as you know), your precious little man will be in good hands! Also, this pic of Henry laughing has got to be one of my all-time favorites…and that’s saying a lot!!! 🙂

  • Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy September 6, 2012, 6:42 am

    That little smiling face would stop me from going to the gym too!

  • hilary September 6, 2012, 6:57 am

    Thanks so much for this post!!! I usually workout right in the morning, but today i just decided to sleep in and do my workout tonight. Between OT school, work and marathon training i am just beat! I woke up worried that I might weasel my way out of my 7 mile run tonight, but I definitely won’t be now. time to get pumped!!! 7 miles tonight yay! haha

  • Sara @my less serious life September 6, 2012, 7:20 am

    haha this is so funny because i definitely skipped my workout last night because i did the dreaded, couch of death approach. i knew better!

  • Katie D September 6, 2012, 7:38 am

    Oh my goodness! Henry is just SO cute in that picture. I would opt for the baby cuddles too. 🙂 Good luck on your work trip. As someone who’s been there, just look at it as an opportunity to have solid “me time” even though your heart will be aching for the bebe (and maybe your boobies too!). 😉 It will go by quickly!

  • Jess September 6, 2012, 7:44 am

    I work 12 hour days and finish at 730pm so I have been biking back and forth to work to get some exercise in. Today I’m going to run home from work for the first time .. wish me luck!

  • jennifer September 6, 2012, 7:50 am

    Girl I love this blog, but it kinda freaks me out how to have him on elevated surfaces. You just never know what a wiggle or move could do. 🙂

  • Amber @ Busy, Bold, Blessed September 6, 2012, 7:58 am

    YUP! I definitely blew off my run last night. I was feeling kinda blah after work and then I decided that I’d rather sit on the couch and chat with my mom instead of running. Womp! Going to make up for it tonight, immediately after work!

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin September 6, 2012, 8:06 am

    I very rarely do evening workouts – I’m not a fan of them at all! But that’s just all the more motivation for me to squeeze one into my day earlier on, even if it means waking up early!

  • Jen September 6, 2012, 8:19 am

    Oh, I totally do the come home watch TV bit – I’m dead tired after work all day…but I still drag my butt out if I can. I just tell myself to try for 20 or 30 minutes and see what happens.

  • Mai September 6, 2012, 8:21 am

    I find that when I go straight from work, it’s fine. Once I go home, it’s over.

  • Sara September 6, 2012, 8:30 am

    Henry is so cute. I’d stay home too! 🙂

  • Whitney September 6, 2012, 8:30 am

    When I know I have an evening workout scheduled I pack my gym bag and put it in my car. I do not allow myself to go home after work; just straight to the gym! No one ever regrets a workout! 🙂

  • Verlin September 6, 2012, 8:51 am

    You and Henry will both be fine while you are away!!! You can do it.

  • Molly @ RDexposed September 6, 2012, 8:53 am

    Definitely the couch tip! But I just find working out in the morning does the trick. You don’t have all day to talk yourself out of it or for legit things to come up.

  • April September 6, 2012, 9:30 am

    I am down 25 pounds from working out at night…I have about 30 more to go to be in a healthy weight range. I know this is working for me, so I make it a priority. Reaching 208 was my HTP.

    • Caitlin September 6, 2012, 9:55 am

      way to go 🙂

  • Carrie @ Fitness and Frozen Grapes September 6, 2012, 9:32 am

    At college, I used to make plans to attend evening spin class with friends. Like you wrote, Caitlin, I would pump up the workout all day long–“I can’t wait to spin tonight!”–and plus, I wouldn’t want to bail on my friends. Breaking a sweat and catching up with pals is totally killing two birds with one stone. 🙂

  • Lauri September 6, 2012, 10:00 am

    I wish I had read this last night, it was great timing b/c I had plans for a rare evening workout, i always workout in the morning or at lunchtime but last night I met a former co worker for a quick run in a park near our houses. The motivating factors last night were #1 – I hadn’t seen her/run with her in over a year! We needed to catch up and #2 – The location was a park I’ve been meaning to check out but never had. It ended up being a great run, we chatted the whole time and then saw the most amazing sunset! ! So I woudl say motivating factors are – pair up with a partner (specifically someone you don’t see all the time) and find a new location!

  • Katie September 6, 2012, 11:12 am

    I hate when I have to work out in the evening. I much prefer working out in the morning when I feel my best. If I can’t do that though, I like planning to go to the gym with my husband after he gets home from work so I have someone planning on me.

  • Lauren T September 6, 2012, 11:29 am

    This is a great post! I’ve been working out in the evenings mostly lately because I can’t convince myself to get out of bed at 5am ha (maybe we need a post on motivating yourself to get up super early for a morning work out ;)) For evening workouts like you I hype up the workout, which is especially easy when I’m going to a Zumba class! I also remind myself how good I’ll feel afterwards and how much better I’ll sleep 🙂

  • miss pip kelly September 6, 2012, 12:43 pm

    It’s hard! I normally have to tell other people I’m doing it so that adds pressure.

    Pilates is EASY for me to motivate myself to go to – its relaxing of an evening even when it’s hard, and I’ve paid for a set number of classes. British Military Fitness is harder – I often do the ‘I’ll go twice this weekend instead’ thing – but the Saturday 8am class often eludes me after a work week! But tonight I’m going – you’ll find me running after a marine and feeling like I want to die in the park by my house…

  • Jessica @jessicafarrulla.com September 6, 2012, 12:48 pm

    Such a great post especially since Fall time is here. When it’s cold, rainy, & dark outside, it’s hard to get up the motivation to get my booty to the gym. I usually set out my clothes & remind myself how good I feel after the workout. Plus it builds my immune system and keeps me from getting sick. A huge perk!

  • Sam @ Better With Sprinkles September 6, 2012, 2:22 pm

    I can’t believe how big Henry is getting!

    I’m thinking I’m going to need to learn how to approach evening exercise soon (I’m going back to school on Monday)! I’ve always been a morning exerciser so it’ll definiely be an adjustment for me.

  • Ellen @ Wannabe Health Nut September 6, 2012, 8:24 pm

    Henry is pretty darn cute; I don’t blame you. Whenever I feel myself procrastinating a workout or something else on my To-Do list, I follow the mantra: “DON’T THNK JUST DO.” It works!

  • Ellen @ Wannabe Health Nut September 6, 2012, 8:29 pm

    You make me feel lazy and unorganized even when you are about to pop out a baby! Lol! CONGRATS!!!

  • Bobbie September 8, 2012, 8:27 pm

    If I’m planning an evening workout I dress in my gym clothes and wear them all day (if possible) this way it would be silly to be dressed in gym clothes all day and never get there.
    I’m not saying that hasn’t happened but most of the time my mindset is that I’m already dressed for the part so I might as well go.

  • Breanne September 10, 2012, 5:22 pm

    I read this the day you posted it and kept it as unread because I knew I had to come back and comment on how much Henry has grown and what a delight it was to see that little smile! Aww!

    I do most of my workouts in the evening. I usually amp it up – yay! I can’t wait for gym time! Or yay! I can’t wait to see my friends! Etc… on the days like today, where I’m not headed straight to the gym from work though, I know that it’ll be harder than normal since I’ll be going home first. On those days, it’s definitely the people motivation that helps the most. Accountability. It also helps that I really love to workout and I know I’ll feel better after. 🙂

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