Oh how I remember the days of high school when I slept until noon every Saturday and Sunday!!! I remember how it used to irritate the CRUD out of my Dad! He actually WOKE ME UP at 7:00 a.m. on a Saturday morning once because he felt I needed to learn how to change a flat tire on the station wagon I drove. Sure, it is a great skill to have and has come in handy, but 7:00 a.m.?! (insert virtual eye roll)
As I have gotten older I have realized that my circadian rhythm lends me to be more productive in the MORNING. I can work on a document or an expense report in the early morning hours and crank it out! If I try and do that stuff after dinner at night I am extremely inefficient! But working out super early in the morning- that took PRACTICE. It all changed for me when I ran my first marathon! I did all of my training after work. So on race day it wasn't until mile 10 that I finally settled into a groove. For any marathoners out there they know--> that is just torture!!! So I decided I needed to start doing my training in the early morning hours instead.
But let's be real, people. Mornings aren’t widely known for their motivation. I am always a little jealous of those people that just WAKE UP at 5:00 a.m. all on their own, feeling "rested". During the morning, your body is rising from a period of rest, and objects at rest tend to stay at rest. Even when you wake refreshed and ready to start your day, jumping out of bed and getting active isn’t necessarily something that many yearn to do each morning! However, for some, there are many benefits to using the morning as your peak time for working out, and this means finding some motivation to get you out of bed and into your workout routine with a smile on your face!
A few benefits to working out in the morning are:
• Hormone levels – Your hormone levels tend to be highest in the morning, particularly with muscle building hormones like testosterone. When you work out in the morning, these hormones can help to give you a boost which will allow you to see your results even faster.
• Better focus – Working out in the morning allows for better focus throughout the day, and this can help you to remain positive and determined for whatever the rest of your day may have in store.
• Boost in metabolism – A morning workout can give your metabolic rate a nice boost, keeping your metabolism up throughout the rest of the day.
• Boost in energy – A workout in the morning can help to give your energy a boost much better than your average cup of coffee. The endorphins created while you sweat it out at the gym can keep your energy levels high without the crash.
So, now that you know the benefits of working out in the morning, how can you stay motivated? A great start is to simply remind yourself of why the morning makes for such a perfect workout time. What's in it for me?!?! A higher metabolism will help you to burn calories faster, higher hormone levels will make your results easier to see, and a boost in energy will help you to feel great throughout the day. Reminding yourself of these benefits is an excellent motivational tool, and one that should never be wasted in order to slip back into bed! I also use some of these strategies:
make an APPOINTMENT with yourself for the morning
wake up early enough that you can have a cup of coffee/tea and do something that you enjoy waking up to for 20 minutes or so; bible study, write in a journal, scrolling on FB, whatever!
set your clothes out the night before- pick outfits you LIKE! It makes a difference!
decide the night before what workout you are going to do and if it is a DVD, have it cued and ready to go!
if you use your phone as an alarm, set it across the room so you have to get out of bed to turn it off
sleep in your workout clothes if you must!
set up a reward system if you must! For instance, for every 5 early morning workouts you do you get $10 towards something you are wanting to buy
get an accountability partner!!! You WILL get out of bed if there is a friend on the other side of that early morning alarm!
Whatever it is that motivates you, USE IT! Sometimes we just need to trick ourselves into getting it done!
Cheers to happy, healthy living!