Saturday, August 22, 2015

How I Became A Morning Workout Person

I talk to so many people who struggle with finding time to exercise. We all know exercise should be a priority in order to have a healthy body but, more often than not, it’s the first thing to be put off. I have found that I am most consistent with my workouts when I get them done first thing in the morning before my busy day even starts.

I’ve totally been there though. I used to be an evening workout person and it kind of went like this – I would spend all day at work dreading it. Then I would go home and mom duties would take over – dinner, playtime, bath, bedtime. After my son was in bed, I would have to push through the exhaustion of the day and drag myself to my basement, groaning and yawning, to do my hour long Insanity workout at 10 pm, sometimes even later. Ugh, it sucked! A lot of time, the stresses of the day won and I opted out. Or unexpected events would come up in the evening, which eliminated the opportunity to exercise at all that evening. If I did do the workout, I was adrenalized afterwards, which pushed my bedtime later and I was getting less and less sleep as this cycle continued. It was a day to day struggle.

Now, I have a great routine and I’ve never been so consistent with my workouts. I always used to look at my coach, who woke up every morning to do her Insanity before work, and I would think “I would NEVER be able to do that!” Well, one day, I decided I needed to. I could see the benefits from making this switch, but how to do it?! Of course I’ve tried before and that lasted maybe two days….but I was determined this time. I KNEW this was going to be a great thing.

So I really RESEARCHED this morning workout thing! This is what I came up with and put into practice little by little.

  • If you want to wake up earlier, you have to go to bed earlier!
    • Don’t try to alter your sleep time by a whole hour right away. It won’t work! You’re more likely to become frustrated and give up when trying to make such a huge change all at once. Start small.
    • First, pick a date to begin your morning workouts, maybe a week or two in the future. Go to bed 15 minutes earlier, and wakeup 15 minutes earlier for a few days. Then increase it to a half hour for a few days. Gradually increase to an hour before your pre-determined morning workout start date!
  • Use ALARMS for wakeup time AND bedtime!
    • Bedtime alarm – Count back the number of hours of sleep you need from your desired wakeup time and that’s your bedtime! I have found that 6 hours of sleep is good for me so I need to go to sleep by 11:30 pm to be up by 5:30 am.
    • Set two alarms on your mobile. One alarm should be 30-45 minutes before your bedtime and the 2nd should be 15 minutes before your bedtime.
    • When your first alarm goes off, this is when you should begin to rest your brain. Start giving up ALL screen time when this first alarm goes off. Turn off the tv, computer and put your phone away. Dim your lights. This will help your brain prepare for sleep. Bright lights in our faces do NOT help with getting us into a restful mode!
    • When that second alarm goes off, that’s when you head to bed to do your night time routine. Go to bed in the dark with no distractions. Breathe deeply. Clear your mind of existing thoughts so you can drift off peacefully. Save your troubling thoughts for the next day…because what the heck are you going to do about them now anyway as your lying in bed?! Get over it and you can start back at it tomorrow.
  • Your WAKEUP alarms…..
    • What I’m about to say is huge. DO NOT HIT THE SNOOZE BUTTON! The “extra 5 minutes” does absolutely nothing for you and it’s a waste of your precious time. Our bodies need to go into a restful sleep for 20 minutes for it do anything for us. Your extra 5 minute snooze button could only be making you groggy in the morning. That snooze button is nothing but a tease!
    • Set your morning alarm and put it on full volume IN A DIFFERENT ROOM. This will ensure you need to get UP out of bed to get to that alarm. If there’s a room in your house that is brightly lit in the morning, where you will be able to hear the alarm from your bed, use that room. The light will automatically start to wake you up. Flip on every light switch that you pass. You can turn them off after you are fully up and awake.
    • Instead of hating your life and dragging your feet to that alarm, begging for the snooze button to relieve you, immediately start to say in your brain “I am awake, I am awake, I AM AWAKE!!!” The body follows the brain. It works!
    • I never took an energy supplement before I became a morning workout person. If I didn’t start, I would’ve stayed in zombie mode during my entire workout. So what’s the very first thing I do in the morning? I zombie walk right over to my energy and endurance supplement and chug it down immediately. 15 minutes later, I am ready to ROCK! I use that 15 minutes to pack my healthy foods to take to work for the day. One of the great things about chugging my supplement first thing in the morning was, there was no turning back! Once that supplement was in my body, I wasn’t going to waste it by NOT doing my workout!
    • Beachbody now has two awesome energy supplements that will get you ready to move – I use the Energy and Endurance Formula regularly and now they have the new Energize! Both are completely safe for your body without the jittery feeling that I hear some energy supplements can give you.
    • I am now at a point where I still take my Energy and Endurance formula before every workout, but I feel like my body is now used to my morning workout time. My body has gotten used to the schedule and now expects me to be moving at that time, so I feel more awake in the mornings even before I take it!

So, there you have it. A look into how I became the morning energizer bunny. People see it like a myth or a legend, that people can actually have more energy by working out in the mornings. It’s so true though! The benefits I’ve experienced from creating a morning workout routine have been plentiful.

* My body feels amazing all day. I love the added energy boost I get from working out in the morning and I can literally feel my muscles changing as I sit at a desk.

* My water intake sky rocketed! When you sweat first thing in the morning, you want more water ALL DAY LONG. Plus, you get a quick couple glasses first thing in your day during your morning sweatfest.

* Food choices improved! I doubt you want to ruin an awesome morning workout by getting McDonald’s for lunch. One good choice, like working out in the morning, will lead to better choices all day. And it’s important to refuel your body with the nutrients it needs to repair and recover! You’re not putting in all this work for nothing, and you can NOT out work a bad diet! Give your body the healthy food it needs.

* Night time FREEDOM! Ah, it feels so good when I take a look at my evening and I don’t have to set aside an hour in it to workout. That’s a whole hour in my evening I can spend my time doing other valuable activities.

* Sleepy sooner! The earlier you wake up, the earlier you’ll get tired. This is a great thing when you want to continue your early bedtimes, in order to continue your early wakeup times!
Stay the course. It may take a while to get your new routine down but I promise you, with all my heart, it will be completely WORTH the change!

Let’s talk and see if you can make adjustments in your life to start reaping the benefits of morning workouts! I am ready to help you get there in any way I can!

Check out this helpful article with more tips to start a morning routine!