Disclaimer: Ive always been a morning person. A morning girl. (tell me you know the musical?) I didn’t drink coffee until after college & have always leaped out of bed like a puppy.
Now that I have a partner-in-crime—it’s worse. We both adore the promise of what could happen during any given 24 hour period.
(most people feel like THIS about the morning)
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 clients who exercised in the mornings, but I credited much that to the fact they rarely canceled.
Meetings, kids, conference calls and LIFE seemed to intrude less at 6am versus 6 pm.
I saw how morning workouts were perfect for many 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.
(nighttime, fleece-tanked, no-mojo Carla)
And then I read a few new studies.
And then I moved & was reminded of the DOUBLE DEPRESSION whammy of colder climates & shorter days.
And then I saw this:
(Source: Health Magazine)
GONE was my benevolent:
Explore & discover what works best for you!
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!!
And BACK were your questions about how on EARTH I get up at 4 am:
My 4-step process to becoming a lark:
- Make 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 who has a canine): once you’ve announced your plan you cannot retract it. And, quite frankly, that’s the plan! Announce. Commit. DON’T START. Which leads me to…
- Plan workout routine. For any life–transition to work it requires we set ourselves up for success. I’m now an intuitive exerciser, but when I launched my morning-routine I planned in advance precisely what I would do. Whatever method of planning works for you (workout log to online source) map out workouts for the next few weeks and practice them. Eliminate excuses (“It’s too early to think! I don’t know how this goes!”) before they occur. And then…
- Wake up–don’t workout! Set alarm for your planned waking time and don’t exercise. I’m a believer in the power of visualization. I also found this time of visualizing myself getting up/exercising in exactly the manner I’d planned helped acclimated my body to the new routine. Don’t get stuck on this step—I recommend a week—but do allow your body to adjust to the change. (Here’s where experts say: Move bedtime up earlier! I do not say that because I’m aware we’re all so busy 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.
These 4 tips are the process I used when committing to my own early morning movement.
sugar salt coat it: I repeated steps #1-3 a few times before I nailed #4.
As with all things healthy living LARK’ing is a simple process….to explain.
It takes time/patience to implement.
Be kind to you as you transition.
- Are you ready to shift to morning workouts?
- Got life-challenges which make early rising impossible (& which I failed to address)?
Runner Girl saysFebruary 2, 2015 at 4:26 am
You know I love the mornings because that’s when I come and comment LOL
If I wait until later I wont run.
Hannah saysFebruary 2, 2015 at 4:30 am
I’ve always been a morning person, too, and it has gotten better with my twins.
I know if I don’t go to boot camp at 5a I wont get a workout that day.
(I love your fleece tank top!!!)
Rita saysFebruary 2, 2015 at 4:53 am
I am awake, but I cannot see myself leaving the house and working out at all.
It’s too could outside.
Maybe something on demand or youtube?
Polly saysFebruary 2, 2015 at 5:17 am
I am reading this from my BED!! 🙂
That’s where I am with my workout.
Tina muir saysFebruary 2, 2015 at 5:39 am
Hehe I always look forward to the way you word your posts, and this was no exception! Great job, I love it! I am a morning person, but this will be huge for some people to read and understand from a real perspective. I actually used to love running in the afternoon, but now it feels weird! Have a wonderful day!
misszippy saysFebruary 2, 2015 at 5:41 am
Like you, I have always been an early riser…and to me the very best way to start the day is with a run. If I’m lucky, a run that includes a sunrise!
Pamela Hernandez saysFebruary 2, 2015 at 5:41 am
I am an owl who became a lark when I started following my passion. Getting up at 5 am is ok when you’re getting ready to do what you love.
AmyC saysFebruary 2, 2015 at 5:46 am
I love my mornings too!
Michele @ paleorunningmomma saysFebruary 2, 2015 at 6:18 am
I’ve always been an early morning person, going way back! While the winter sometimes makes it tough to motivate to get outdoors, when I know I’ll be doing yoga in my basement 5am is my time. By 8pm though I’m pretty much good for nothing, mind and body.
Vonnie saysFebruary 2, 2015 at 2:11 pm
I need to find that kind of motivation for basement yoga!
Coco (@Got2Run4Me) saysFebruary 2, 2015 at 6:21 am
Without an alarm I’ll sleep until day break (horrors!) but I do like getting up before the sun. I think I’ve gotten hooked on getting so much done before anyone else in my house is up.
Debbie @ Coach Debbie Runs saysFebruary 2, 2015 at 6:46 am
I became an early riser in my 20s (still am as evidenced by it being about 4:40 am right now). It happened when I was still waitressing. The morning shifts made more money, so as soon as I had the seniority I started taking the. I found out that a lark was what I was meant to be.
RFC saysFebruary 2, 2015 at 7:59 am
This is great! I had someone just this morning ask me if it was better to run in the morning or before bed, and I had the exact same answer as you: whenever you will actually DO it is the best time! I am not a 4 am kind of girl, but I’m usually up and ready to go by 6. I too love the promise of a new day!
Patti saysFebruary 2, 2015 at 2:12 pm
I ask that same thing to my trainer too.
I think I’ m hoping she will tell me what I want to hear. She always says MORNING.
Erin@BeetsPerMinute saysFebruary 2, 2015 at 8:04 am
I have to exercise in the morning for myself. However, I teach classes in the evening, and I can definitely see the difference in enthusiasm from people who come to my 6 am classes vs. my 6 pm classes. Most people also say they would rather exercise in the am, but can’t (for whatever reasons – I don’t pry). I will share your blog/tips with them!
Jennifer F saysFebruary 2, 2015 at 8:10 am
I hear what you’re saying, but it’s not happening . . . . I’m a “little bit later lark”
Dr. J saysFebruary 2, 2015 at 8:12 am
When I first stated working out, I did it after school or work. That was all right for a while, but often other things got in the way. Then I just changed to the morning and have done it then (mostly) ever since. I’ve started as early as 4, but usually a little later 🙂 Getting to the hospital AWAKE and ALERT as only a morning runner can understand is the best for everyone concerned, lol!
Lisa @ RunWiki saysFebruary 2, 2015 at 8:14 am
I am a morning girl- I’ve always loved the freshness of a new day and nothing beats a beautiful sunrise! Two of my three children are earlier risers– my boys are up by 5am, sometimes earlier. It must run in the family.
Colorado Gal saysFebruary 2, 2015 at 8:31 am
I have to workout in the morning just because I absolutely know that I won’t do it later in the day– the motivation is gone. Knowing that makes it easier for me to get moving!
Jessica @eatsleepbe saysFebruary 2, 2015 at 8:37 am
I only work out in the mornings because that’s when I have the most energy. At the end of the day I can do weight/body training, but I lack the drive to push the cardio.
Jody - Fit at 57 saysFebruary 2, 2015 at 8:51 am
I was so happy when 24 hour gyms started! I was never good wit the after work – too physically & mentally tired. I like it done & nothing to get in the way of doing it that early – most of the time! 🙂
I am writing another post about how it is easy to explain but it is always hard work & hard to do for many… there is no sugar coat for sure! 🙂
Elle saysFebruary 2, 2015 at 9:40 am
I love some early morning quiet! I am an up early girl but I like to revel in it and move slow till I have enjoyed it awhile!
Courtney @ Journey of a Dreamer saysFebruary 2, 2015 at 10:22 am
Love these super easy and practical steps!! It is so important to be kind to yourself and let yourself have a win by just getting up early, you don’t have to wake up and kill it on your first morning trying to wake up early.
Cat @ Breakfast to Bed saysFebruary 2, 2015 at 10:43 am
my sched and my hub’s sched is too changing to fix it to one time, but I am ALWAYS up and doing SOMETHING at 5:15-5:30am.
crabby mcslacker saysFebruary 2, 2015 at 11:00 am
I really wish I COULD exercise later in the day, because mornings are also the only time I can write or do anything else productive. But I’ve tried afternoon exercise and it’s torture! So yeah, early bird here too!
Christine @ Love, Life, Surf saysFebruary 2, 2015 at 12:09 pm
Come teach me your ways!!
mimi saysFebruary 2, 2015 at 12:41 pm
Mornings come naturally, especially when i can convince my night owl Sweetie to let me get to bed when i’m sleepy.
Susie @ SuzLyfe saysFebruary 2, 2015 at 12:53 pm
I’m an early riser. NOT a morning person. There is a HUGE difference. I am awake, but I do not want to talk to you. I will do my blog work and stretch, but I want to eat, drink my coffee, and not speak.
HEAR THAT NO SPEAKING
KymberlyFunFit saysFebruary 2, 2015 at 1:41 pm
Weeeelll, I learned that I can cue fitness classes anytime after 8am. Once every 5 years I will sub a 6:30am class. But when I go elsewhere and get OUT of my routine, well dang if I don’t rise at 6 and hike by 6:30. Not gonna make that 4 o-dark thing you got going on, but I can count on myself to exercise before noon.
Kim saysFebruary 2, 2015 at 1:49 pm
Perfect timing!! I’ve done the early morning thing for years and then this past month really struggled with it. Over the weekend I made the decision to just “suck-it-up” and get back on track. I definitely prefer working out early and having the rest of the day for all the other things:)
cheryl saysFebruary 2, 2015 at 1:59 pm
Over 40 years here of getting up, getting dressed and getting OUT for a run/bike/swim/other before the sun comes up. I HAVE to as I am leaving my driveway for my commute at 6:15 and am at work by 7. By 4:30 I am pretty whooped, but on “two-a-day” days I can swim in the evening – It’s a habit. It’s a good one. And I am definitely PUMPED for HOURS after my workout. Oh, and I sleep really well too!
MCM Mama saysFebruary 2, 2015 at 2:23 pm
Not.gonna.happen. I’ve done it, but the minute I relax my guard my body returns to its owl ways. I’m sure if I ever lose the option running mid-morning, I’ll have to rethink that, but for now, just waking up early is all I can manage. My body needs at least an hour (preferably more) to be willing to work out.
Heathers Looking Glass saysFebruary 2, 2015 at 3:57 pm
I hate the actual getting up but I love morning workouts!
kirsten burnett saysFebruary 2, 2015 at 5:02 pm
some very valuable information for every day tips to better ones life. thank you very much for your insight and knowledge
Rena McDaniel saysFebruary 2, 2015 at 5:28 pm
I get up at 4 am every single morning and I love it. That’s “my” time. It does put me in a better mood all day!
AdjustedReality saysFebruary 2, 2015 at 5:44 pm
During the summer, I’m more of a lark. Bed at sunset, wakeup at sunrise (by necessity, it’s the only time it’s cool enough to run or bike outside). It takes a little adjustment, but it’s just how we do.
During the winter, I love being more of an owl. I find no problems getting motivated to getting outside at lunch or right after work for a run (ok, fine, but I always go) because it’s the best part of the day to be outside in the winter. I do not love rising when it’s dark. I do not love prying myself out of a warm bed to run at the coldest part of the day. I can do it when I have have have to, but it works better for me to go later.
When I am exercising, I find that I’m able to push harder and feel “warmed up” already at noon or night, and in the morning, it takes an extra long warmup and it’s harder to get going. Lunch workouts actually are the perfect time for me – I haven’t had a full day to feel tired, but I have been up for a few hours.
lindsay saysFebruary 2, 2015 at 9:31 pm
total lark here. But i need time to myself before i get anything started. which is why i wake up at 5am versus 5:30. Slooowwwww to start but i love it.
Krysten saysFebruary 2, 2015 at 9:36 pm
because my work schedule is always changing, my workout schedule is always changing also. sometimes its the morning, sometimes its lunch, sometimes its in the evening. It is always all over the place!