Do you dread the alarm clock? Hit snooze several times, until you realize you now have barely enough time to shower, dress, and get to work? Yep. I’ve been there too.
I used to schedule my workouts for the afternoon/evening, right after work. That is when I felt I had the most energy, not to mention I was a zombie in the mornings. However, over the past 9-12 months, I’ve slowly been moving some of my workouts to the morning. Nowadays, nearly all of my workouts are done in the AM, before work. And I love it!
For starters, after enrolling in a nutrition program and later deciding to start a business (while still working full-time and tending to everything else my life encompasses), I now have to maximize my time. My weeknights became devoted to schoolwork and business planning. And on the nights when I didn’t have either planned, I didn’t want to spend it running 4 miles (although that sounds glorious!). I wanted to be able to spend that time with my boyfriend, or grab drinks with my girlfriends, or even just lay on my couch and catch up on my DVR. But I also wasn’t about to give up my workouts (hello!?!?!). I just needed to alter my routine a bit. Which leads me to my first tip…
TIP #1: MAKE IT A PRIORITY
Now, this tip can go for afternoon/evening workouts as well. No matter what time works best for you, it’s about making it a priority and fitting it in somewhere during your day. But you have to make it a priority first before you can even decide where it fits into your day. And I don’t know about you, but I like to tackle my most important tasks early in the day. Then, if something does fall off the to-do list at the end of the day, I can rest assured it won’t be a top priority.
TIP #2: FOCUS YOUR MIND
I really think that overcoming the dreaded thoughts of waking up earlier is half the battle. Rather than focusing on thoughts of waking up before the rooster crows and missing out on sleep, focus your mind on the positive thoughts of what this means to you. Think of the health benefits you gain from working out. Think of how great those skinny jeans are going to look. Think of all that time you’ll have in the evening to spend with your kids/spouse/friends. Even just a little extra me-time!
TIP #3: PREPARE THE NIGHT BEFORE
This is all about making your morning as easy as possible. I like to lay out my workout clothes, as well as anything else I’ll need for my workout, the night before. This eliminates scrambling around in the morning trying to find those headphones or socks! If it helps, you can even sleep in your workout clothes – just roll out of bed and go!
TIP #4: GO TO BED WITH THE INTENTION OF AN EARLY MORNING WORKOUT
This sort of goes along with Tip #2. It’s all about getting into the mindset. I find that if I tell myself before going to bed that I WILL get up and work out first thing in the morning, I tend not to fight it so much when that early alarm goes off. Set your intention prior to going to bed.
TIP #5: EASE INTO IT
Start with just one morning per week. It definitely is an adjustment if you’re not used to it, so ease yourself into it. You can also try easing into it by starting with lower intensity workouts, such as yoga. To make things even easier, use a workout DVD right at home!
Bottom line, it doesn’t matter what time of day you exercise, as long as you fit it in. I have come to enjoy the perks of working out in the morning (more free time in the evenings, feeling energized throughout the day), and these are the tips that I have found work for me. Happy exercising!