Learn to Love Morning Workouts!
If you’re doing great with your evening workouts, then keep at it! Exercising in the evening has its own benefits. However, many of us night-owls find that when we put our workout last chronologically, it gets treated as last on our list of priorities. If your workout keeps getting bumped, maybe it’s time for a change. And, barring circumstances where you’re really short on sleep, waking up earlier probably isn’t going to make you feel too much different. Alternatively, a great workout in the morning may be just the thing you need to set a tone of energy and productivity for your day.
For your first few weeks of morning workouts, we recommend that you rely heavily on some external motivation. Take group fitness classes (book them in advance online), plan to meet up with a friend, or schedule some personal training sessions. The long-term goal is to think of your morning workouts as “can’t miss” appointments that you’ve made with yourself. But for now, it’s a little easier to get out of bed when you have a real-deal appointment with someone else. Even when you’re on your own, don’t go to sleep the night before without writing out your precise workout plan. Because there is something about the act of physically writing something down that makes it real, and then you don’t want to have to think about it when you’re bleary-eyed in the morning.
Along the lines of taking out the guesswork, do your A.M. self a few more favors before you go to bed at night. Put on the coffee pot timer. Set your alarm up far from your bed so that you have to get up to turn it off. Pre-pack your lunch box, your gym bag, your toiletries. Do you ever feel a bit overwhelmed in the morning, as you lay in bed and stew over your mental to-do list? Having the first few items already checked off makes getting out of bed and on to your workout as quick and painless as possible.
One more thing to add to your night-time routine: set an insulated bottle filled with cold water next to your bed. Start drinking it as soon as your feet hit the floor in the morning. If coffee is what you really need to get your day going, no problem! Drink coffee as well. But start with some water. Many people are opting for warm water, as the weather cools down. But we find a cold glass of water is more invigorating and refreshing when you’re trying to wake up. Sort of like a cold shower, but on a smaller, less miserable scale!
The breakfast debacle
To break the fast, or not to break the fast? For decades, doctors and health professionals have advised not to ignore the “most important meal of the day.” But, as intermittent fasting has become an established fitness trend, many people are questioning that wisdom and skipping the morning meal. Which should you choose? The real answer is probably pretty simple: which actually works better for you? Do you wake up hungry? Does a fasted workout feel easier? Or do you quickly fatigue with an empty stomach? Do you even have time to prepare breakfast? Answering these questions may require some trial and error, and your body could change over time. When in doubt, you can’t go wrong with a small snack like fruit, yogurt or some raw almonds. You should also keep something in your car and gym bag for emergencies.
When you’re first starting out, don’t expect to have your best workouts right away. Think of your first week as an exercise in getting up and out on time, packing everything you need, and getting on with the rest of your day. Your body may need to adjust to movement in the morning, and it could take a few tries to work out the kinks in your new schedule. And, if you’re really dreading your morning workout, remember the 10-minute rule. If after 10 minutes of your workout you’re still hating every second, then you can stop. You probably won’t need or want to, but we always recommend starting where you can and building up to more.
Feel the difference
Keep track of the extra workouts you have squeezed into your week, and enjoy the positive changes in your mood, your energy, and your physical health. Working out in the morning adds a little silver lining to your day. Whatever else life throws at you, you crossed something major off your list before anything else. Give yourself time to relax in the evening, to unwind and prepare for the next day. And, when you’re extra tired or some more work comes up, you can rest easy knowing that you don’t have to try and juggle a workout as well.
Are you feeling inspired to get to Edgewater Fitness a little earlier tomorrow? Us too! Let us know how you squeeze in exercise every day of the week.