What? The sound of your morning alarm doesn’t motivate you to wake up early and hit the gym?
In all seriousness, it can be very hard to get to the gym at any time during the day, let alone before the sun comes up.
I remember when I made the transition from afternoon workouts to morning workouts. In my first job after college, I hit the gym after work. I got off work at 4:30 p.m. and was able to work out and still be home by 6 p.m. This schedule worked very well for me.
Then I changed jobs. All of the sudden my hours were all over the place. I’d often be at work after 7 p.m. and frequently found myself in the office later than 9 p.m.
As I became accustomed to my new schedule, I found myself irritated that my varying hours and demanding workload cut into my gym time.
Gradually it became clear to me that if I wanted to make my health a priority, I had to work out before I went into the office. This meant waking up in the 5 a.m. hour. The horror!
The first week was a challenge. My workouts were not nearly as intense and I felt sluggish.
The next week wasn’t so bad. By Wednesday, I felt like my workouts were returning to their normal intensity. Plus, it felt amazing to be done with my workout as I headed into the office. Checking something off my to-do list before 7 a.m. felt great!
Once the third week of my new morning workout routine rolled around, it felt natural. I didn’t have the desire to sleep in anymore because I felt like I would be missing something. I didn’t want to drive to work without that feeling of post-workout satisfaction.
As I shifted my work outs to the morning, I found the transition easier by following these little tips:
- Commit to it: Your first morning workout will not be fun. You’ll be tired and cranky, but that’s okay! Don’t give up. General consensus says it takes around 21 days to make a habit. Commit to keeping up your morning workouts for 21 days and they will begin to feel like part of your routine.
- Schedule a Workout You Want to Do: For your first morning workout, schedule a workout you want to do. Don’t tackle sprints or a five-mile run on your first morning workout if this is the workout you dread the most! Plan to take your favorite spinning class, do an at-home circuit workout, walk your dog, or bring a friend with you for an early morning yoga session to give yourself something to look forward to when you get to the gym.
- Revel in the Post-Workout Sense of Accomplishment: When your morning workout is over, make a mental note to remember how great it feels to have your workout done before the day really begins. Remember this feeling when the alarm goes off in the morning.
- Make it Easy on Yourself: Make getting to the gym in the morning as effortless as possible by laying out your workout clothes, filling up your water bottle and having your keys ready the night before. Streamline your morning routine.
- Enjoy that “I’d normally be at the gym right now” Feeling: When I switched my work out to the morning, I loved thinking “I’d normally be at the gym right now” around 5 p.m., when I would typically be working out. It made me appreciate the effort I put into getting my workout done earlier in the day.
About Guest Blogger Julie Fagan:
Julie Fagan is the author of the blog Peanut Butter Fingers that follows her life as she strives to exercise regularly and eat (mostly) healthy. Julie lives in Ocala with her husband and their crazy dog and frequently updates her blog with random stories, sweaty workouts and recipes that transform indulgent dishes into healthy meals. You may follow her on Twitter @PBFingers or Facebook.