Thursday, June 6, 2013

Rise and Shine

Picture coutesy of Mekenzie's early morning Wash Park Run last week!

I am a creature of habit. I love a spontaneous road trip or adventure; an impromptu happy hour or a pick of game of volleyball. But typically, schedule is how I live my life. Living by routine is comfortable and natural for me and it’s how I keep my sanity in my very busy life. In a previous post about my life essentials, I mentioned how I can’t live without my day planner and it’s still as true as ever. That little book tells me where to be when and who to meet at what time.

Working a full time job can make it challenging to get in the workouts that we would like. It seems like other obligations take precedence over our physical activity and the gym time either gets cut short or doesn’t exist at all. Typically, I like to do my training in the evenings after work. It’s written in the planner that I go from 6-7:30. That’s my time- uninterrupted and full of time to decompress from the work day through a good sweat. However, about half of my days during the week, this is not possible because of various evening obligations.

I have become a morning workout girl on these busy days. It wasn’t easy at first but I love the satisfying feeling of being done with my exercise for the day by the time I get into work. It frees up my evenings and still keeps me on track for my fitness goals. For many of us, schedules are busy after work and if it’s not a small group meeting, it’s a dinner party or sporting event that keeps us from making it to the gym. My advice- do your work out in the morning, that way nothing can interrupt your time or goals. Trust me, no one will be asking you to hang out at 6am, so it’s pretty much a guarantee that this will fit into your schedule.

When I transitioned into morning workouts, I found these tips helpful.


Plan Ahead

Set out your gym clothes before you jump into bed the night before. This will prevent you from digging around your drawer at 5am looking for a matching pair of socks. Have that your lunch packed and ready to go for the next work day. Then when you’re walking out the door you can snag it from the refrigerator. If you are showering and getting ready for your work day at the gym (like Mekenzie does) have your work clothes packed and in the car- it’s one less thing to load in your arms or think about in the morning.


Start Easy

For the first couple of times you start your morning workout regime, pick exercises that you enjoy doing. Don’t do a plyometric work out if that is the thing you dread most. Choose a work out you like and stick with that the first couple times. Choosing a group fitness class is a good option.

Find Accountability

For me, the best thing for my fitness goals is accountability. Knowing that the girls will ask what I did for a work out that day motivates me to get out of bed and hit the gym hard. If possible, plan to attend a class with a friend. Choosing the 5am cycling class with a co-worker will motivate you to not let her down and will encourage you in the midst of the 10 minute hill climb. Even though, I am 60 miles away from my favorite work out buddies, we still hold each other accountable through picture messages. I can count on a sweaty picture of Kenz and Lo most mornings!

Thanks for letting me embarrass you Kenz.

Commit to it

Don’t get discouraged if the first week seems really challenging. Your body is learning to a new routine and it will adjust. The workouts will become easier each time you do them- so don’t lose heart, commit to morning workouts and your body will thank you later!

Enjoy it

Find great satisfaction in the feeling you have after your morning workout. Take a couple minutes once it’s completed and notice how amazing it feels to have it accomplished so early in the day. Also, enjoy the feeling at 6pm when you normally would be working out and realize that you have already finished your regime for the day. It’s a very gratifying moment.

I hope you find these morning workout tips and tricks useful.

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