Thursday, January 27, 2011

10 New Reasons To Get Out Of Bed: The Morning Workout

Whether you're an athlete or just trying to get fit, actually getting to your workout is sometimes the hardest part.

I mean, it doesn't take that many neurons to run in place on a treadmill for a bit. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure out a basic set of core exercises. And it's not mentally strenuous to ride the trainer. Okay, maybe that one's a stretch, but hear me out.

Once you've arrived at the gym, or your living room, or got your shoes on for a run around the block(s), the rest is, in my opinion, comparatively easy. In the words of a sports company that will go unnamed, once you're there, you "Just Do It".

So sitting here, scheduling February's menu for fitness and fun and juggling an increasingly busy calendar at the office, I'm seeing more and more benefits to THE MORNING WORKOUT.

Many readers will scoff at the concept. Getting out of bed early (a chore on its own) in order to accomplish the chore of working out simply isn't an option for most. But I'd like to dedicate this blog post to changing your mind. Here are 10 reasons why training in the morning is where it's at.

  1. You are literally putting yourself first. And that's good livin'

  2. You eliminate the nagging feeling that there's still a workout to do after a long day at the office

  3. Half the workout is done before your brain is entirely switched on, so that's like free hours/miles right there!

  4. You have the evening to do whatever you want. Like another workout! Or get a pedicure, go to dinner with actual other people, join a book club (or just read facebook, whatever.)

  5. You can have bacon with your breakfast and enjoy it, guilt free

  6. Sunrise is pretty. You can check it out!

  7. You only have to have ONE shower a day ... So you could say that working out in the morning is actually good for the ENVIRONMENT as well as your health!

  8. You'll get to benefit from the natural high and energy boost working-out gives you all day long, instead of wasting it trying to get your stimulated brain to sleep if you workout in the evening

  9. At the gym, there's not as many people waiting for the equipment or classes

  10. You get to go ahead and feel dedicated or "hard core". It's great for the ego :) Plus, you probably aren't doing anything else so you don't have to free up space in your day-planner.
True, when that alarm goes off in the 4s or 5s, sometimes it's easy to just lob a closed-fist over to the snooze button. So here are some ideas on how to help with "the hard part" -- getting out of bed.

1.) Get a sunrise clock. I stole one from my dad who doesn't need it now that he's retired and can work out whenever he wants. The concept is basically a natural-ish light gradually turns on beside your head that simulates the sun and stimulates your body's natural wake-up mechanisms. It makes wakey-time a hundred times easier for me (but I recommend pairing with an audible alarm just to be safe).

2.) New equipment. Sometimes I can trick myself into wanting to get up just by promising myself I get to wear that new pair of shorts, head band or use that new medicine ball. Oddly effective.

3.) Treats! Just as with new stuff, I respond well to food-motivation. A nice cup of tea WHILE on the trainer. A smoothie for the train ride to the gym. Whatever works.

4.) Consistency. It's actually WAY healthier for your body to get up at the same time every day, weekend or weekday. Our systems like consistency and patterns. So even though it hurts at first, rest assured that your body will make the transition to "morning person" happily and it won't take that long.

5.) A new playlist or TV viewing. I'm totally willing to make that extra push out of bed if I know I've got a sick new track loaded on the iPod or the latest Desperate Housewives episode to watch.

Remember training is all about you. So put yourself first, enjoy your you-time (extra so since YOU are likely the only person around at 5am) and I hope this post doesn't cause all of you to run to the gym tomorrow because I don't have time to wait in lines ;)
Happy training,

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