Working out in the morning might be a bit of an adjustment, especially if you are use to after-work or late night workout - or even just late nights in general. Recently my own work schedule changed with the return to in-person hours, and the time I am losing for travel and preparation really began to add up. Pregnant with my second child, a toddler at home, and the responsibilities of running a household and being a partner in marriage, I suddenly found myself facing the challenge of fitting in my all-important workout. Now I know, that everyone has different priorities, but working out has truly been a non-negotiable for me since long before I even met my husband. The benefits I get from daily exercise make it worth the sacrifice of an hour or two. Bonus - my husband also gets to reap these rewards (and I'm not talking about the physical ones). Better mood, better sleep, better wife, better parenting. I am just better when I have that time to myself.
In an effort to maintain my physique and my sparkling personality (that's a joke, kinda), I had to re-evaluate when I was planning to put my "me-time" or my workout into my day, without sacrificing time away from my kids or family duties. In came the idea of getting up an hour early.
I love to sleep. Now more than ever do I love sleep. At 8 months pregnant, there are few things I am enjoying more than actual, deep, uninterrupted sleep these days - which, by the way, is extremely hard to come by with the indigestion, back pain, and constantly moving babies (one on the outside who refuses to sleep anywhere but next to me and the one on the inside who lets me know non-stop that he is doing just fine in there). Once I made the decision; however, and committed to actually waking up for the day an hour earlier than normal, it has been a real game changer. Not just for my workouts - but for my whole day in general.
When I wake up and workout, I find that I am more alert the whole day. Instead of exhausting me, it energizes me and gives me that extra push to start the day out on the right foot.
I find that I make better food choices - especially because this extra hour in the morning forces me to plan my at-work meals in advance. My protein shake is ready to go after my workout, as is my coffee. My snack and lunch are packed and ready the night before.
Contrary to what you might think, I'm also not running late or rushing to get out the door. Knowing how much time I plan to devote to my workout in advance of the morning allows me exactly the right amount of time I need to get myself together and out the door after my workout.
I have a bigger sense of accomplishment at the end of the day. I go to sleep knowing I gave my all and not feeling like, "Ugh...I really should go work out, but I'm too tired. It's been such a long day."
I close my MOVE and EXERCISE RINGS before 6am. If you know, you know.
I have more freedom. Because I'm not beholden to a post-work workout, I'm suddenly free to do whatever I feel like if an opportunity for happy hour (well, the food part for now) or early dinner, or a meet-up with friends should come up. I can make a guilt-free decision to actually go an enjoy myself, instead of thinking, "I really should be working out right now" the whole time.
I am more present in the moment. This one I can't explain. I just am. I don't know where the correlation comes in, but I feel like I'm living more in the moment instead of worrying about what's next.
I am happier.
It won't be easy to start a new routine, especially if you already have difficulty getting up in the morning, but it will be worth it. It's not for everybody, and waking up early isn't feasible for every situation, but for me - for now- it's working. In a few weeks when Baby #2 arrives, there will again be changes. However, if you feel like you can give it a go, I suggest trying it for a whole week. Commit to it. Set the alarm. Get up and move. See how it changes your life, and if it doesn't...that's ok. Try something else. Fitness, like our bodies, are not one size fits all.
If you do try to start doing the early morning workout routine or already are, let me know your feedback in the comments! I'd love to hear from you!
Hi! I'm Nugget. I am wife to my awesome husband, Fran, and mama to our toddler son, Remington. We also have another baby on the way (due very soon!) and our pup, Fiona. I am body positive fitness instructor, teacher, and health/wellness advocate. I believe in the potential of EVERY body to be happy and healthy.