Let me be honest. Morning workouts are amazing. You get to check-off a bullet on your to-do list first thing. You feel great, you’re doing something great for your body, and you don’t have to think about exercise the rest of your day. But also, waking up sucks.
Unless you’re one of those magical unicorns who enjoys waking up with the sun, it’s hella hard to do it. When I started my work day at 8:30 am, morning exercise wasn’t something I considered because I don’t believe in waking up before 6:00 am unless I’m going on vacation. To me, 5:00 am is the middle of the night. Also, I really appreciate a solid 7-8 hours of sleep a night and I don’t want to go to bed at 9:00 pm. I like sleeping and I like having my evenings to decompress after work…so what’s a girl to do?
Pick your poison.
My ideal workout time of day is mid-late morning, but that is not something a person can realistically accomplish when working a 9-5 job. When I was a personal trainer, I made my own hours and it was glorious, but also spoiled me. Switching over to my production job, I knew I needed to go after work and many times, after running around all day, my mind and body were exhausted. I still went because I’d go nuts without my exercise, and it was a solid way of letting the day go, but I didn’t feel as though I was maximizing my body’s potential. You do what you gotta do and you make the best of it, but now that I’m in my new position, I go into work a half hour later and it’s made all the difference.
Thankfully- knock on wood- traffic is also better, so I only need to wake up 40 minutes earlier in order to fit in a full hour workout AND a quick sit-down breakfast. Part of this, is once I’m readying for my day, I’ve already been up for a bit and don’t linger in the shower still half asleep.
But how do I not hit the snooze button once the alarm goes off? Not sheer will power, I just know myself. Once that alarm goes off, I know morning has arrived, and regardless of having these extra minutes of sleep available to me, I know I’m not going to get fully back to sleep and then I’ll be slow and mopey. So when the alarm goes off, I get up, and remind myself that working out now is always better than later. Play tricks on yourself, it works.
I have about ten minutes to get ready before I hop in my car, so to prepare myself for this, I have my clothes out, my bag packed, and my water bottle filled and waiting in the fridge for me to grab on my way out. I brush my teeth, throw my hair into a ponytail, and go. Once at the gym, it might take a rep or five to have my muscles wake up, but they get going and they’re thankful for it. I’m refreshed in mind, body, and soul, and it makes a huge difference.
Another reason I’ve been successful at working out in the morning is that exercise is a habit. It should be as intuitive as brushing your teeth and eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Most days, it doesn’t occur to me not to workout. I need it to feel better and stronger. Exercise, it makes you stronger physically and emotionally.
Number one reason I’m free to workout in the morning: I don’t have a child or anyone else to take care of in the morning.