As I’ve mentioned, for the last six weeks or so, I’ve maintained regular early morning workouts. Yes, I still have to talk myself into getting up sometimes (like this morning), but that happens more and more infrequently. I’ve grown to love and look forward to my early morning workouts. And with summer here ( = heat and humidity here in NYC), the wee hours are the only ones that I can comfortably work out.
Several friends and co-workers have said “I wish I could work out in the morning..” or “I’d love to do that but…” you get the idea. The truth is, you can do it! In fact, for those of us with busy schedules, who often find dragging ourselves to the gym after a full day of work gets skipped over, morning workouts are perfect! Here’s how to get started:
- Define early. How much time do you really need in the morning? Set a loose time line. For me, I like to walk out the door for work by 7. To do this, I need to get in the shower by 6, which means my workouts need to begin at 5-5:15 on any given morning.
- Once you set your time table, you can realistically see what parts of your morning routine you can shave down. For me, this means making my whole lunch the night before, laying out my work clothes (underwear, socks, the whole deal), and sleeping in my workout gear. I know that the minute I have any time to think, I may decide not to go. The idea is to take any thought out of your morning routine.
- Set your workouts. Mix up your strength and cardio as you see fit. Jillian’s 30 Day Shred is great is you are tight on time. On-Demand channels have many workout videos that you can often order for free (see FitTV, if you have it). I typically run outside 2 days/week, do circuits 1 day, and mix up the other two days with gym workouts (easy elliptical or strength stuff). It will take some trial and error to see what works best for you.
- Just do it. Really. Commit to at least a full week. It may take you a little time to adjust. Make sure you hit the hay earlier the night before and prep all of your clothes/food/etc…
- Reward yourself. Sure, I know as well as anyone that the true reward for being fit and healthy is, well, just being fit and healthy. But I also know that I love getting presents. Even if I’m getting them for myself and they are things that I’d buy myself anyway. It’s positive behavior reinforcement. Complete your first full week? Treat yourself to a new magazine, or latte at Starbucks – whatever floats your boat. Up the reward ante as you gain some momentum. The lure new workout gear keeps me going…
People who workout in the morning tend to have more energy throughout the day, and are more consistent in their exercise routine than those who workout at other times of the day (SparkPeople). My biggest reason? It frees up my evenings for social activities (I hated trying to juggle dinner plans with gym time).
Tomorrow’s post? How I eat for my early morning workouts.
So how about you – do you exercise in the morning? Would you like to? Will you try it?
Great read from the NYTimes about the “new” generation of foodies who are making a go of local farmer’s markets and festivals. Check it out!