Monday, February 26, 2018

How I've Started Working Out in the Morning

It's now week eight of waking up early to work out before work. I honestly never thought I would type that sentence. Off and on since I started working out consistently I have attempted early morning workouts. I've done a handful of 5:45/6 AM Pure Barre classes and for a few weeks last summer, I attempted to get up early and on the treadmill but it clearly never stuck.

Finally, this year (so far), I have committed to the morning workout game. Before I share how I'm doing it, I want to share why.
  1. It's the only time I can use the "free space" in my YMCA. The Y I go to near work is small and there's only one real free space with mats/free weights/Bosu balls/kettle bells/etc. and there are usually classes going in it. There's a 5:45/6 AM, noon, 5:30 PM and 6:45 PM on most days so my only open window to use what I needed and feel comfortable is from 6:45 - 8:30 AM.  
  2. I can easily lose motivation throughout the day. Honestly, I will sometimes spend the entire day talking myself out of working out. Why? Well, I need to cook dinner, we can just walk the dog instead, I can do it tomorrow, today has been rough and I just don't want to, etc. 
  3. I like having my nights free! I was really missing out on time with my husband and being able to do things I enjoy like reading, The Bachelor, family walks around the neighborhood, spur of the moment trivia night, hand lettering, blogging, etc. And with summer coming, I know these things will happen more so I needed to make the switch so I was ready. 
Alright, so there are my three big reasons that pushed me to finally make the change and stick to it! But how in the world am I actually accomplishing this since I've been a true night owl my entire life?

one // Gym preparation. Honestly, this is my life saver. I prep my gym bag which includes everything I need to get ready in the morning and my clothes for the day. I lay my workout clothes on top of the bag once its prepped, tuck my socks into my shoes and put my headband on top.
two // Food preparation. As mentioned in my meal prep post, I do as much as I can on Sunday to be ready for the week and I eat a lot of leftovers for lunch. I look at the menu before heading to bed and put all the foods stacked together in the fridge so I can grab them in the morning and put them right into my lunchbox.

For my smoothie, I have my bananas frozen, spinach bunched and blender cleaned and ready to go. My goal is to make as little effort as possible in the morning so I can throw my smoothie together in about 1 minute. While the smoothie is blending, I throw together the lunch bag and then I'm off to the gym.
three // Unwind before bed. I've started trying to turn off my cell phone/TV around 9 or 9:15 in order to help myself fall asleep early. We all know how easy it is to get into bed and then spend 45 minutes scrolling through Instagram and Twitter.. so I'm doing my best not to do this anymore.

I start my wind down routine around 9:30/9:45 which includes light yoga, stretching and sometimes foam rolling. I've found some good slow flow and meditation yoga playlists on Spotify that I listen to while I wind down.
four // Stick to a bedtime. This can be hard on nights we have plans or Tuesday when This Is Us doesn't go off until 10 pm. So occasionally when this happens, I may not do my full yoga routine because I jump right into bed when the show ends. My goal is to get into bed at 10 and be asleep no later than 10:30.
Ignore that 5 hour night... that was leaving Orlando and it was rough.
I track my sleep with my Fitbit and I've been doing pretty good at being asleep by 10:30 even on nights when we've been busy so that's definitely a win!

five //  Just do it. 

Honestly, this is the biggest thing. I had to stop making excuses and realize that this was something that I want and need for my sanity so I just need to suck it up and do it until its a habit. I just kept kicking myself out of bed and making it happen. There's no way to accomplish this without that will or drive to make it happen.

I didn't have this before and it clearly didn't stick.

What's your preferred time of day to work out? 

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