DiZclaimer: Ive always been a morning person. A morning girl. (tell me you know the musical?) I didnt drink coffee until long after college & have always leaped out of bed like a puppy.
Now that I have a partner-in-crime for all this it’s almost worse. We both adore the promise of what could happen during any given 24 hour period.
When I owned my training studio I was frequently asked what time I thought was the best to exercise.
My response was always the same:
The best time to exercise is when you will actually do it!
I definitely saw greater success with morning exerciser clients, but I credited most of that to the fact they rarely canceled.
Meetings, kids, conference calls and LIFE simply seemed to intrude less at 6am versus 6 pm.
Regardless, I believed morning-time ROCKED for some yet for others–the OWLS among us–mornings were to be avoided at all costs.
I respected that.
I could no more summon the energy & motivation to do hot yoga at 8pm (!) than I could….do something else which requires a preponderance of energy later in the evening.
And then I read a few new studies.
And then I saw this:
GONE was my benevolent:
Explore & discover what works best for you!
And back was my verging-on evangelical from my FIRST days of working out:
OOOH People. Mornings are the ONLY time to get your workout on!!!
FOUR STEP PROCESS TO BECOMING A MORNING EXERCISER*:
- Make the decision/tell accountability partners (friends, family & social media). This is the easiest and most challenging step. It’s like letting the proverbial cat out of the bag (types the blogger whos never had a feline): once you’ve announced your plan you cannot easily take it back. And, quite frankly, that’s the plan! Announce. Commit. DONT START. Which brings me to…
- Plan/practice workout routine. For any life-transition to work it requires we set ourselves up for success. Im a mindful-exerciser now, but when I launched my morning-routine I planned in advance precisely what I would do. Whatever approach works for you (old school workout log to newfangled online source) prepare workouts for the next few weeks and PRACTICE. Eliminate any excuses (“It’s too early to think! I dont know how this goes!”) before they occur. And then…
- Wake up & dont workout! Set alarm for the intended waking time and dont exercise. Im a firm believer in the power of visualization (this isnt lolling time! envision yourself getting up and exercising in precisely the manner youve planned). I also found this acclimated my body to the new routine. Dont get stuck on this step—I recommend a week—but do allow your body to grow accustomed to the change. (Here’s where many experts say: Move your bedtime up earlier! I do not say that because Im pretty damn aware we’re all so busy an earlier bedtime may not be an option.)
- Go go go! The goal here is get up and do your best. One morning you may ROCK the workout. The next you may practically phone it in. No one workout matters more than any other. We arent training for competition—we are striving to shift exercise time! Each morning you wake, climb out of bed & workout is a victory. Whats most important is you commit and dont stop. Consistency. ZERO FITS AND STARTS. That is success.
- Are you ready to transition to morning workouts?
- Do you have life-challenges I failed to address?
*This is the process I used when committing to my 5am workouts. I wont lie: I repeated steps 1-3 few times before I nailed step 4. As with all things healthy living this is a simple process….TO EXPLAIN. It takes time/patience to implement. Be kind to you as you transition.