Exercise. You know you’re supposed to do it. You know all the benefits to doing it. Yet, you just can’t seem to get on a regular routine where exercise is a part of your daily life.
Life gets in the way.
- Your boss needs you to stay late to finish a last minute assignment.
- Your kid gets sick and you're stuck at home cleaning up puke all over your living room couch.
- You have a headache after a long and stressful day and would much rather just veg out in front of the tv.
What’s the solution?
You've got to get your workout in before heading to work!
First thing's first. Getting your workout in before going to work means that there's no chance for it to get pushed aside. No way your boss's agenda can interfere with your gym time. No way your stressful day gets in the way of your fitness plans. With an A.M. workout, it doesn't matter what happens throughout your entire day. You're able to face the day knowing that you've gotten it done and out of the way and that you can relax and spend time with your family when you get home from work.
Secondly, studies have shown that working out actually gives you more energy throughout the day, and who doesn't want that? I know, it sounds totally backwards. Exercise should be making you tired, right? But no, that's not the truth. As long as you are fueling your body with the proper nutrient-rich foods, you should feel more energy on days you workout. Plus you should be sleeping better if you're exercising regularly.
The last reason you should be working out before work is that it just sets a positive tone for the day ahead. Beginning your day with healthy movement will increase your blood flow, get those happy endorphins going, and all-together just make you feel like you're rockin' at life. You'll finish your workout feeling like you can take on anything the day has to throw your way.
"But I don't wanna get up at the crack of dawn!"
Believe me, my friend. I get it. I totally do.
You know what, I didn't used to be a morning person. I used to be the type of mom who would be putting her make-up on in the car, feeding the kiddo a granola bar on the way to preschool, and running a good 10 minutes late. It would be a good day if my clothes matched. I couldn't even imagine trying to fit in a workout each morning! No way!
What's getting in your way of an early morning workout?
- You just can't stop hitting the snooze button. Alarm off. Snooze on. Alarm off. Snooze on. This used to go on for literally an hour. It was an automatic reaction that just happened as soon as I'd hear the alarm. I'd have all the intentions of getting up early to exercise, but that all went out the window as soon as that wretched alarm started sounding.
- You decide it just doesn't matter. You wanna know what happens in your extreme sleepiness? You become so irrational and make deals with yourself. The night before you may have been going on and on about how fit you want to be for your 15 year reunion, but come morning time, that all goes out the window. In your sleepy state, you tell yourself that you're beautiful as you are. You tell yourself that the people in your life that really matter won't care if you workout or not. You decide in that state that it just doesn't matter.
- You're just too dang tired. Oh, I understand being exhausted. I'm right there with ya' sista'. But you know what? You're going to be tired whether you get up to workout or not. Seriously. You're a working mom. It's unfortunately, part of the game. Luckily, exercise gives you more energy and the ability to sleep more soundly, so that's a plus, and even more reason to get up and move.
But the question is...
HOW do I wake up early to workout before work??
Step 1: Make a plan!
Knowing what you are going to do for your workout is absolutely imperative. I can't tell you how many mornings I'd wake up early, put on my workout clothes, and just sit there in my early-morning stupor not really knowing what I was supposed to be doing.
Decide what you're going to do so you don't end up in that situation. Once you're up and know what you're going to do, you can get it done and over with quickly.
Step 2: Get enough sleep.
This is super important. Often, we aren't able to get up for our workout because we went to bed too late. I get it. I do. Our evening time is often the only time we get to chill and relax. It's the only time we get to see our spouse. It's the only time we get to watch our favorite tv shows.
I understand. But getting enough sleep is what will power you through each and every day as a healthier, happier, and more energized woman (which means you'll end up kicking ass at all other aspects of your life).
Step 3: Get everything ready the night before.
You wanna know what's the worst?
Getting up early, trying to be quiet so you don't wake your spouse and the kids, and you can't find anything you need. It's dark. You're running into things. You have no idea where a clean sports bra is. You found one shoe, but no clue where the other one ended up. It's a disaster, and you end up wasting so much time and energy just trying to gather all the things you need.
Having it all ready the night before is going to save you!
Step 4: Put your alarm across the room.
Eek, you're going to hate me for this one. I'm sure of it.
It's totally important though. Putting your alarm across the room will make the difference of staying in bed for an hour longer while your alarm goes off every 10 minutes OR getting out of bed the first time it goes off.
I know. You're resistant of it because it's uncomfortable. Getting out of your nice warm comfy bed is not fun at all. But getting that workout done and out of the way is. And it's totally worth it.
Step 5: Drink water right away.
Drinking water as soon as you wake up is the perfect way to tell your body that it's time to wake up and get to work. You're telling your systems that it's go-time, and you're replenishing those 6-8 hours of sleep time when you didn't hydrate yourself at all.
I keep my water bottle right by my alarm so that as soon as I've shut it off, I can start sipping.
Step 6: Visualize tomorrow.
Sometimes I believe in hokey things. Like thinking positive thoughts and putting them out into the universe in hopes that positivity comes back to me. And in a way, this is a little bit like that. I totally believe in it though, and I think you've got to at least give it a try.
What's your morning going to look like? Think about it. From the moment you turn off your alarm, drink water, get changed for your workout, etc. All the way until you finish your workout. Close your eyes and visualize each and every step before you go to bed at night.
Doing this will help you solidify the actions you take in the morning because you already pictured yourself doing them the night before. Again, I know it's one of those weird "hippie" sort of things, but I truly believe in it. Try it a few times, and you may too!
Step 7: Have a consequence and reward system.
Now this one's fun, because you get rewarded for your "good behavior." You know, like a sticker system.
First thing's first though. What are the consequences of you not waking up early to workout?
- You won't have time to workout later in the day.
- You won't be happy with yourself and probably with others.
- You may not get in enough training to reach a fitness goal (say, a 5k, a push-up challenge, etc)
What is it for you? What consequence will you suffer if you don't workout? This is what I want you to think about before bed. You could even put the consequence on your alarm so when you see it in the morning you are reminded of it.
On to the fun. Let's talk rewards.
Think of one thing you want to work toward in the next 21 days or so.
- a new workout outfit
- a much-needed massage
- running shoes
Now you gotta work toward them. Come up with a reward and a time-frame and start working towards earning it. This makes it more like a game worth playing!
I hope this helps you to start waking up early so you can get those workouts in and out of the way each and every day. You will be so thrilled see how much your life benefits from it.