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Best times to go to the gym for busy moms

How To Choose The Best Times To Go To The Gym: Busy Moms Guide

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The best times to go to the gym will vary, especially for busy moms, based on your schedule, flexibility, and facility.

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We all exercise best at different times throughout the day. There is some evidence to support certain times of the day are better than others, but I tend to agree with Amanda Capritto, the best time to exercise and go to the gym is whenever you can!

What sense would it make to tell you that the best time to go to the gym is at 2pm when you work a 9-5? Not helpful.

That being said, there are ways to determine the best times to go to the gym for you. Here’s what you need to know.

how to choose the best times to go to the gym

How many times a week should I go to the gym?

There’s no magic formula for how often you should head to the gym, but generally speaking, here are some guidelines from Genesis Health Clubs based on your goals:

General fitness: 4 – 5 days per week
Weight loss: 5 – 6 days per week
Muscle building: 3 – 4 days per week

If 4+ days sound like a lot to you, start smaller and build yourself up to that frequency. Going to the gym more often will also help keep you in the habit of regular exercise – it becomes a part of your daily routine.

Also keep in mind that you should vary the intensity and type of activities throughout the week, alternating between aerobic and anaerobic exercise. Many gyms offer an introductory session and/or evaluation to help get you started in the right direction.

Grab your water, shoes, a motivating playlist, and let’s get started!

7 healthy lifestyle secrets

Like these tips? Then you’ll love these…

7 Secrets to a Healthy Lifestyle – Without Sacrificing Hours of Time

Here are the 7 secrets you need to maintain a healthy lifestyle without spending hours of time each week in the gym. These secrets are perfect for moms who are looking for small things to do every day that can make a BIG difference!

Think About Your Schedule

The most important factor when deciding when to go to the gym is your schedule. Think about your work schedule, the times you may need to pick up/drop off your kids at school or other activities, the days of the week that are generally busiest for you, and any other potential scheduling conflicts.

Many busy moms choose to work out either in the early morning before everyone else is awake, or in the evening as the day calms and slows to its end.

Pros & Cons of Early-Morning Workouts

If you’re a morning person, or can at least pretend to be haha, early-morning workouts may be the right choice for you.


  • Able to control your wake-up time
  • Feeling of accomplishment first thing in the morning
  • Boost of “feel good” hormones to start your day


  • Difficult to fit in if you oversleep
  • May need an earlier bedtime
  • High traffic time at the gym
  • More time in the evening for other activities
  • Can help provide energy for the rest of your day

Some time ago, I taught a 5:30am indoor cycling class twice a week. In some ways, I loved it because by the time I got to work, I had been awake for several hours and already had a feeling of accomplishment. But in other ways, I struggled because bedtime became like something on a “to-do” list and I would feel rushed to make sure I was in bed and asleep at a decent hour…which usually didn’t happen.

If you’re an “early to bed, early to rise” type of person or have exceptionally busy evenings, an early-morning workout may be the best time for you to go to the gym.

Pros & Cons of Evening Workouts

My husband is the complete opposite of a “morning person,” haha. Don’t even think about asking him to do something physical before 8am – it’s about all he can do to open his eyes! For him, evening workouts work best, but they aren’t without their own challenges as well.


  • Can provide stress relief from a challenging day
  • Some find it relaxing
  • May have fewer distractions with the day at its end
  • May continue to burn calories while sleeping
  • More post-workout recovery time
  • Late-evening is typically less busy at the gym


  • May increase energy in some, making sleep more difficult
  • Scheduling/Social conflicts and distractions
  • Lack of programs and classes
easy ways to figure out when to go to the gym

Another Option: Midday

If your schedule allows, you may want to consider a midday workout – my personal favorite! Our gym offers childcare during the day, so I am able to schedule the best time to go to the gym on a day-by-day basis with whatever else we have going on.


  • Childcare provided (woohoo!)
  • Show children the importance of regular exercise
  • Wide selection of group fitness classes
  • Increased flexibility
  • Doesn’t interfere with evening family time or require an early wake-up


  • May “run out of time” and not make it to the gym
  • No set schedule can make it more difficult to form a habit
  • Varying amounts of gym busyness

I know this won’t work for many people, but as a stay-at-home mom, a midday workout has proven the best for me during this season of life.

Important factors when choosing the best times to go to the gym

Besides considering your personal schedule and other obligations, it’s helpful to think about these factors as well:

Gym Hours

Kinda obvious with this one, but yeah, think about the gym hours. You may want to workout at 9pm, but they may not be open. Also be sure to check weekend hours, as they usually vary from the weekday schedule.

If your facility is not open when you would like to go to the gym, search for other options or consider the ideas we’ll discuss later (keep reading!).


I chose our gym primarily because of the availability of childcare. The “Kids Club” not only gives me the flexibility I need to exercise during the day, but it’s also become a highlight of my children’s day. They enjoy getting to visit with the babysitters and picking out a snack and drink to have while they’re there.

Kids Club also gives them a chance to practice sharing, following the rules, and listening to another adult authority without mommy or daddy there. All good things! Plus, they get to play with other toys…and my house stays clean (well, for a little while anyways haha).

Class Schedules

Group fitness is one of my favorite things about going to the gym! There are so many mental, physical, and social benefits associated with participating in a group fitness class.

Nearly all gyms have at least some kind of class schedule for their members. Classes include things like strength training, water aerobics, indoor cycling, yoga, and more!

find the best time to go to the gym for busy moms

Gym Busyness

The busiest times at the gym are typically right before people head to work…and right after they get off. Oh rats, did that totally ruin your plan? Sorry. Now look, that may not be a deal breaker for you – meeting new people and making friends at the gym may be a great way for you to stay motivated. However, during peak times, you may have to wait your turn to use certain pieces of equipment or change your workout plans entirely.

Off-Peak Gym Hours

If the best time to exercise to you means less people, you’ll want to schedule your gym sesh during off-peak hours. Even moving your start time up or back by 30 minutes may be all that’s needed for the crowd to thin out.

Finding specific off-peak times at your gym may take a little trial and error, but typically the quieter times are earlier in the morning (before 7am) or later in the evening (after 7pm). You can also ask the staff – I’m sure they’d be able to tell you!

Other Ways to Exercise Besides the Gym

If you’re still struggling to find the best time to go to the gym, or prefer to exercise at home, here are a few options for you to consider.

  • Do an at-home low impact workout. An at-home workout does not have to be stale and boring. And low impact certainly doesn’t have to mean low intensity! Go for a walk or jog, play outside with your kiddos, choose a motivating workout video, or . For a list of fun ways to get in a great low-impact workout at home, check out this post.
  • Virtual cycling classes. Indoor cycling is all the rage and I am here for it! If you’re not interested in spending thousands on an at-home spin bike, check out these great cycling options all for under $500!

    Psst, if you do go this route, I highly recommend downloading a copy of my eBook and guide to indoor cycling – perfect for beginners!
Beginners Guide to Indoor Cycling Pricing
  • Be active as a family. Get the whole family involved by staying healthy and fit together! Check out this list of 25+ cheap (or free!) ways to be more active as a family and build some amazing new traditions and memories.

No matter how you do it, get in the habit of regular exercise and find the best times to go to the gym for you by thinking about your habits, schedule, and preferences.

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