It’s hard to get the motivation to work out when it seems like your life is moving in fast forward. You know it is important for your overall health but finding the time can be challenging with all of the responsibilities you juggle. After work you may feel too drained from the day to hit the gym or the running trail. One way I have been able to find the time and energy to workout was to move it to the morning, before work.
Before you say NO WAY! and close this article, hear me out. Yes, it is hard to wake up in the morning, and it’s almost unbearable to think about getting up any earlier. But once you get into the habit of waking up earlier and working out, you will appreciate the extra time you have after work. You won’t have to rush to the gym after work, then home, speedily make dinner and end up going to bed late. You will have time to socialize with friends or hang out with your family. You will gain time back in your day. Some say you will even be more energized during the day!
The preparation for a morning run starts the night before. Before you go to bed, take out your running clothes, socks and all, and put them on your bureau. Keep all of your running gear (headphones, phone arm strap, watch, etc) in one place. This will make getting dressed before you are really awake much easier. Also, get to bed at a reasonable hour, whatever that means for you. I am a person who needs eight hours of sleep to feel refreshed. I also have a problem with the snooze button so I have to factor in extra time for that personal struggle. So, figure out how much rest you need and factor that into what time you need to wake up. Once you set your alarm clock (or clocks) for your wake up time, get to bed (I will talk about my wind down routine in another post). This will be hard to do at first, very hard! But once you are in habit of working out in the morning you will naturally be more tired at night and it will be easier to hit the hay early.
The morning of, I allow myself two snoozes and then I am up. Groggingly getting dressed, grabbing some gum, my headphones, watch and the dog. Once I am outside, I stop, and take a deep breath of the morning air. The world is very different before everyone gets up, it is peaceful and calm. And depending on your running time you may get to experience the sunrise every morning which is a great joy.
On your jog be sure to say good morning to everyone you pass. I have come to enjoy seeing the same people in the morning and when I am away for a period of time, be it a vacation or I had a cold, I am greeted when I get return. This creates a mini-community, and it helps motivate me to get my workout in.
The key to running in the morning is consistency. Get up at the same time every day. I get up at about 6:10 on the weekdays and on the weekends it is about 7:30. This is a bit inconsistent so it makes Monday mornings a bit hard, I am gradually moving up my weekend wake up time to try to even this out. If you are not in the mood to run one morning, stay in the house and do some exercises and stretch. (I will go over some great at home exercises in another post). This will give you quiet time in the morning to relax before your day begins and it will keep you in the habit of waking up earlier to work out. You will be better able to handle the stresses of the day with your workout behind you.