I'll let you in on a little secret. Sometimes I write about certain fitness topics primarily to help myself first, then if you receive benefit from it that's a bonus.
If I am struggling with anything, the best way I know how to overcome my struggle is to write about it. I can write about what has worked for me in the past, what I've learned, what other people are suggesting and use my own words as a motivator when I need a healthy kick in the pants.
You can do the same thing, even if you don't have a blog. When you write about your struggles, think through possible solutions, document your progress and clarify your purpose, it can help you reach any goal. You don't need a fancy journal (although I have a journal obsession) any piece of notebook paper or computer document will do.
Lately, I've been struggling to get my butt out of bed in the morning to get my workouts in before it gets too hot outside. I'm in Texas, It's not even June and we are going to hit triple-digit temperatures this week. In the summers hubby and I get up early to get in our runs/workouts done before the sun comes up. It allows us to stay consistent with our outdoors running schedule through the brutal summers.
Just like any new habit or routine, it can take some time to establish. It will feel hard at first, but with some consistency, over time it can become second nature. I know this from experience. I am not a morning person at heart (is anyone, really?) but I have found that getting my workouts in before my day begins is a great habit to establish, especially in the summers. You know, when I actually can do it.
If you're not a morning person at all, prefer the treadmill to beat the heat and just don't want to get up early, there is nothing wrong with afternoon or evening workouts. There is no magic in the morning workout. The very best time to work out is when you can do it consistently. But If you're anything like me, here are some ways that we sabotage our morning workouts and how to overcome.
5 WAYS WE SABOTAGE OUR MORNING WORKOUTS
Staying Up Too Late
Most of us humans thrive on seven to eight hours of sleep per night. I know there are some anomalies that claim to function like a rock star on four hours a night, but that ain't me. A sure-fire way to sabotage your morning workout is to stay up too late. If you're planning on getting up an hour or two earlier in the morning, you must make up the time by going to bed earlier. One of the best things we can do for our health is to get enough sleep, it helps with hormone balance, workout recovery, fat loss and so much more. You're not doing yourself any favors to cut out sleep in favor of a workout. Work to get into a routine when you go to bed and get up the same time every day.
Hitting the Snooze Button
The snooze button doesn't do anything but delay the inevitable. You will not feel better, more restful, less tired or more awake nine minutes after your alarm first went off. If you know you will hit the snooze, you're better off setting the alarm for nine minutes later that usual (5:39 am instead of 5:30 am) so at least you're not interrupting your sleep. The snooze button is a saboteur of your morning workouts.
Not Having a Plan
Your morning groggy brain isn't going to be able to find that shoe under the bed while you try unsuccessfully not to wake your spouse. Your morning-self doesn't have time to plan a workout. Write out your workout the night before. Lay out your clothes (heck, sleep in them if you must). Have a plan. Have a plan B. What if it is raining? What if my morning workout partner bails? What if...? Having a plan is half the battle.
Not Having Accountability
The truth is that we often feel more accountable to other people than we do ourselves. If we have an appointment with a friend, a trainer, class or even an eager four-legged running partner, it can be all the motivation we need to get going in the morning. If you are not finding enough internal motivation to get going in the morning, establishing some external accountability can be the difference between success and failure for certain personality types. Even if you don't have a morning workout buddy, having a long distance friend message you in the morning to make sure you're up can make a difference.
Viewing it as a Choice
Even notice that when you have a plane to catch, have to get to an early meeting or have something scheduled in the early hours, you always get out of bed, even when you don't feel like it? It's because you do what you know you have to do. You couldn't tell your boss that you didn't feel like showing up for work on time. When we change our thinking of workouts from a choice to a commitment, the decision is already made. We just have to follow through on our prior commitments. Put it on your calendar and get it done.
More Morning Routine Success Tips
Drink water. You wake up dehydrated. 12 ounces of water can start you on the path to feeling like a human.
Move. Take a quick walk to wake up. Get some fresh air. Do a dynamic warmup. A little bit of low-intensity activity can help wake you up for a full workout.
Keep Moving forward. Resist the urge to go back to bed. Just keep moving forward. Put on your shoes. Eat a banana. Every little movement leads to the next.
Write out your goals on an index card and read them as soon as you get out of bed to remind yourself why you wanted to get up early in the first place.
If you tend to fall victim to the snooze button, place your alarm across the room so you have to get out to bed to turn it off.
If you don't succeed, try again. What didn't work? What can you do differently next time for a better result?
Accept that it will probably be hard and will take an adjustment period.
Think about how great you feel once your workout is done for the day.
Who's with me? I plan to get up early this week and hit the hill for some repeats.
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