Let’s continue this week with that exercise theme. So, I already told you why we aren’t exercising (if you need a refresher see Why We Aren’t Exercising). Now, let’s change that up and make it a new habit. Do you hop out of bed when the alarm rings, full of energy and raring to go? I personally sit up, stretch, and contemplate how many more minutes I actually have if I hit the snooze bar. Don’t worry if you aren’t bunny hopping out of bed – not too many peeps do. All those AM movers and shakers must have some secret superpower to rise and shine at 5 a.m., because you couldn’t possibly, right? Not necessarily. It won’t be easy, but you can slowly train your body to get used to early morning workouts. Mine is seriously just a walk with the dog, but everything counts in the game of life. By choosing to work out first thing in the morning you won’t be stressing later about how to fit it in to your already packed day. And so, by the power of those java beans, I bring you some MBB endorsed tips for making moving in the morning a habit you can stick with. (OK, maybe.)
- Let’s make a deal! No, Monty Hall is not going to show up in your room at the crack of dawn. Instead of bargaining for what’s behind curtain #3, make a pact with yourself. A little bargaining tool if you will. Decide (and really try to stick with it) to work out 5 days a week, for just 10 minutes in the morning. That means that if you set your alarm for 20 minutes earlier, and you do some moving about (think Yoga, Pilates or a quick walk in the dawn) for just 10 minutes, that if you’re still exhausted, you can pop back into bed until you need to run for carpool, work or whatever. I promise, once you get moving, the adrenaline and feel good will be impetus enough to keep you going, and to keep you awake. If not, there’s a pot of coffee with my name on it in the kitchen.
- Be Prepared. Like a boy/girl scout, you need to be ready for anything. Before you pull those blankets up tight, prepare your gym bag, swimsuit, yoga pants, etc. Be ready to go so you don’t have any excuses. If you aren’t coming back home, have some snack and lunch pre-packed as well. And don’t forget hydration – water and coffee. (Yup, need that kick start)
- Work it out at home. Some of us are not gym rats. And that’s OK. Having done it all, often giving up for month long stretches with no real excuses, the home workout is a great option. When I’m in shape, Billy Banks Boot Camp rotated with an old Denise Austin workout are my go-tos. If I’m out of shape, it’s Walking Away the Pounds with Leslie Sansone. And if I am undecided or need motivation, Sparkpeople.com have some great workouts with Coach Nicole. Of course, there are lots of options, and you have the power to choose.
- Be kind, give yourself time. Don’t expect change right away. I mean, if you sleep until 10am every day (who are you and how is that a possibility?) you can’t think you’ll wake up at 5 am ready to jump into those shorts and take on a triathlon. And remember, even when you get into the habit of waking early to exercise, you WILL have off days. There will be times when you must hot that snooze bar and negotiate meals with yourself to compensate for the lack of movement. It’s OK. Don’t beat yourself up, we all need a break from time to time.
- Reward Yourself. This is a BIG challenge, especially if you’re not a morning person. Just again, be kind to yourself, and give yourself a little recognition for a job well done. Little rewards can mean big motivation. Don’t make it all about the material stuff, although I do love a great new pair of shoes. Make it about finding “me” time, even if it’s just an hour at the beach.
Stay motivated and caffeinated!😉☕