It has been quite a week! Sloane and I took a trip down to Florida to escape the cold and visit with my family. We had a great time, as we always do when we are there, but we had some BUSY days. I think we are both going to need a day or two to recover from all the fun and excitement.
Even though it was a vacation, I wanted to stay on track with my daily workouts. Now, when I am home I plan my workout into my day, so I knew that if I wanted to make sure I got them in while away, I would need to set a specific time to do them. Even though I don’t workout at the same time everyday, sometimes I workout in the morning and sometimes those workouts don’t happen until after Sloane goes to bed, I always know when I will be working out. This helps me avoid excuses – these workouts are just part of my day.
While I do workout both in the morning and at night, my preference is absolutely to workout in the morning. This is not because I am a morning person, who jumps out of bed full of energy, ready to take on the day – far from it! I love working out in the morning because of how I feel AFTER I workout in the morning.
I started working out in the morning when I was working really long hours at my advertising job. If I left my workout until after work it usually didn’t happen. I either ended up working later than I planned, or someone would throw out the suggestion of going to happy hour, or I would get home and just want to relax and sit on the couch. When I started working out before work, something awesome happened. My workout became part of my routine! I looked forward to starting my day with some exercise. I had more energy when I got to work, and was productive from the moment I got to my desk instead of needing 30 minutes to “wake up”.
Exercising boosts your metabolism, so another benefit of working out early in the day is that your body continue to burn calories all day long. And while this may sound a little counter-intuitive, hear me out – exercising in the morning has been proven to improve sleep! Exercising stimulates your body, so when you workout at night it can take a while to settle down and be ready to go to sleep. By exercising in the morning, your body is able to fully relax and drift off into a good night’s sleep. And of course when you get a good night’s sleep and wake up well rested it’s easier to get up and start your day. Talk about a cool cycle!
Okay, so who’s thinking “sure, it sounds good, but I already have to get the kids and myself ready to get out of the house. How am I going to fit in a workout?”. Trust me, I hear you! As you are trying to make early morning workouts part of your morning routine, it takes some discipline and commitment. It’s easy to hit snooze and tell yourself you’ll just workout tomorrow. So, while it is still new, here are some tips to help make getting up and getting it done a little easier:
Put your alarm clock across the room. Once you are out of bed it is much easier to stay up, than if you can reach the snooze button while your head is still on your pillow.
Rehydrate with a glass of water. Your body naturally becomes dehydrated overnight, so drinking a glass first thing in the morning gives your body energy. If you want an extra boost for your workout, add a few drops of peppermint oil, as research has shown it helps with oxygen concentration and ventilation.
Lay out your workout clothes from your top down to your socks. It’s not a bad idea to buy some moisture wicking clothes too. These are made to be breathable and to keep you dry, which help keep you cool and less sweaty.
Plan your work outfit the night before. If you go to the gym, non-iron shirts are a fantastic option for your gym bag. It’s also good to consider breathable clothes in case you are still hot from your workout by the time you get to the office.
Find a friend, colleague, or group to help you hold yourself accountable. You are working hard on a new habit and it takes time to make it truly second nature. Sharing your journey and progress will make your workout feel more like a “must-do” than an option. A little (friendly) competition can go a long way too. I love adding challenges and prizes into my groups to keep everyone checking in. Even if it’s just you and one other friend you can add in a little competition – how about whoever takes the most steps in a week gets treated to lunch?!
These are just a few ideas to help make morning exercise a part of your day. If you already workout in the morning share with us what you do to make getting up and moving easier. I think I can speak for us all when I say any extra tips and tricks to make the morning a little easier are ALWAYS a good thing!
written by: Jessica Dooley