Friday, February 13, 2015

The keys to morning workouts

I have become a big fan of morning workouts.  For reasons I listed here and reasons Holly outlined on her blog a few weeks ago.

With my busy schedule, morning workouts are my only option.  And, honestly, now that I'm into it, I think I'd keep this routine even if I had more free evenings.  The only thing I really miss are my fitness classes -- I haven't been to Zumba in weeks or BodyPump in months. I might have to start working harder to get to those on the weekends.

Now, just because I enjoy my a.m. sweat sessions doesn't mean they're easy.  There have been many days I wanted to push "snooze" and go back to sleep for another hour. Especially in the winter when I'm tucked in my nice warm bed and I'm none too anxious to step out into the cold.

Here are a few keys I've picked up to help with transitioning to morning workouts:

Pack your gym bag at night and put it right by the door.
I get ready for work at the gym. It wasn't my favorite at first, but since it's only about 10 minutes from my office, it's ideal.  I've figured out which beauty corners I can cut and found a routine that works for me.

Sleep in your gym clothes. 
I've found it's much easier to get up and get going if all I have to do is brush my teeth, pull back my hair, and put on shoes. 

Put your bedroom lights on a timer.  
The lamp next to my bed comes on at 8:30 p.m. and goes off at 10:30 p.m.  This keeps me from reading into the night.  It comes back on at 5:00 a.m., which helps a lot this time of year, when it seems to be dark all the time.  This probably isn't a great idea if you share a bedroom with someone, but since I sleep alone, it's fine.  

Have a plan before you get there.
If you're not going to a class, make sure you know what you want to accomplish before you get to the gym.  I don't know about you, but my brain doesn't wake up right away in the morning.  I can't handle a lot of thinking.  I have saved some workouts on my phone and map out what I want to do each day.  This allows me to be more efficient with my time in the gym instead of wandering and trying to figure out what to do next.

Don't miss a Monday.  
This has become my motto.  It really set the tone for the week, and I was more likely to follow through with my workout schedule. 

Find a workout buddy.
I'm much more motivated to hit the gym and I enjoy the time more when I share it with a friend.  It's a good time to catch up, and there's a little peer pressure in knowing someone is waiting for me on the treadmills.

Don't give up.  
Changing habits is hard.  I read somewhere that you have to do something for three consecutive weeks before it becomes a habit.  I began my morning workouts right before Christmas and made a diligent effort to stick with it.  If I missed a day for whatever reason, I made sure that didn't become a habit.


Last week's workouts
Friday: Off
Saturday: Off 
Sunday: Off
Monday: 3 miles on the treadmill + push-ups
Tuesday: 3.5 miles on the treadmill + push-ups and arms
Wednesday: 1 mile on the treadmill + circuit training (woke up late, so I had to cut my workout short ... boo!)
Thursday: Off

I fully intended to go to BodyPump on Sunday morning, but closing at the brewery Saturday night kept me out until 1:30 a.m.  And I knew I had to work at the library around noon on Sunday.  I chose a relaxing morning of coffee and Hulu over workout.  I don't regret it either.  I needed that time.

By the way, there's still time to join me for a virtual race!!


  1. I like the "don't miss a Monday" tip. I totally agree that it sets the right tone for the week and from now on that's what I'm going to try to do.

  2. Such great tips!!! I try very hard to never miss a Monday as well--you're so much more likely to skip more the rest of the week then. And having a plan is SO good.

  3. I love your tips. I am just getting back into working out and doing it at home even though I have have a bootcamp thing I need to use. I am saving it for when I have a little bit of fitness built up and can really make the most of it which seems stupid but somehow it makes sense to me. Anyway, I love your friday blog updates!

  4. I used to love working out in the mornings. But now it's a miracle if I manage to work out at all.

    I love the tip about putting the lights on a timer. That's pretty genius!

  5. You definitely need to plan in advance! I, when going in the morning, pack my bag/food/supplies all as soon as I get home from work so I have no excuses in the morning.
    Also, I set my alarm on the other side of the room so I have to get up.

  6. I'm about to start morning workouts as well! I love the light on a timer idea! That is seriously brilliant! The thing I'm nervous about is getting ready at the gym- will ppl judge my beauty routine?? How much is too much? Ya know?! Lol


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