I love working out in the morning and it something I try to do every single day. Even if it’s just 15 mins of yoga on my rest days.
Of course you can work out whenever you want. People often ask me “when is the best time of the day to work out?”. My answer is “Whatever time you will actually do it”. It sounds so simple, but sometimes we need to just be practical. It’s no use me telling you that you need to jump out of bed every morning and go for a 5 mile run when that is the last thing you want to do. Every night before bed you will start with good intentions mixed with fear and dread at the alarm going off. Then, when it does, you will hit the snooze button and promise yourself that tomorrow will be different. I can promise you this – tomorrow won’t be different. So its imperative that you exercise when you want to – not when someone tells you to.
Of course it’s different if you are in a sports team or belong to a gym where classes are at specific times – to you have to show up or you miss out. But more on that later.
For now we will talk about why I love morning exercise and maybe this will resonate with you and you will start a morning routine too.
Creating a habit is just a case of doing something over and over again until it is second nature and part of your daily routine. So much that you don’t really think about it – it just happens. It part of your DNA. For me, that is waking up, putting on my exercise attire (or as we like to say ‘active wear’), drinking a big glass of water, my antioxidant Juice shot, brushing teeth, and then straight into my exercise.
If you create a habit of morning exercise it is done and dusted before anything else on your to-do list. It’s not hanging over you lo ke a black cloud all day. You have ticked it off and are ready to tackle the day. Which brings me to my next point.
If you want to be on the ball all day, then get your exercise in first. Not only are you sharper first thing in the morning, the endorphin release and flood of blood to all your tissues sets you up for a day where you are sharp, and attentive to the tasks throughout the day. If you want to get stuff done, then start the day by getting your exercise done first.
This flows on from the previous point. Your body is a machine. It’s a machine made to move. EVERYTHING moves better in a body that moves regularly. All systems are go! You will digest your food better, you will handle stress better, you will have less aches and pains. The list goes on.
I’m at the age where fat just wants to stick to me. Gone are the days where I could just eat a couple of salads and I’d lose 2 kilos. Nope – not possible. As we age our metabolism slows down, we have less metabolic circulating hormones (testosterone, estrogen) which makes burning fat and building muscle more difficult. It’s very easy to swing the pendulum in the wrong direction and become a fat storer rather than a fat burner. Morning exercise gets your metabolic pathways awake and raring to go so that you can rev up your system so it uses that fat and doesn’t store it.
If you have ever exercised at night you will probably be familiar with restless sleep. Or maybe not. Sometimes when you exercise at night you are so tired that as soon as you hit the pillow you are out for the count. But in my experience – and probably because I am used to morning exercise – working out at night kickstarts my body into thinking it’s go time and I cannot get to sleep.
Not enough sleep them plays havoc with all my systems making the next day a complete wash out.
“Gee I wish I didn’t exercise this morning”, said no-one EVER! That’s because exercise puts you in a good mood. Even if you are a grumpy pants when you wake up, just a few minutes of exercise sends all that seratonin flooding around your body instantly turning you into a happy chappy. And if that doesn’t do it for you, crank up your favourite tunes and exercise to music. Studies show that exercising to music can increase your overall workload (how long you exercise for or how hard) by up to 30%! Oh yeah! That’s what I’m taking about!
HOW TO START THE MORNING EXERCISE HABIT
- Schedule it! If you use a diary, schedule it. Like it is a meeting with your boss. The one where she is giving you a raise. You don’t want to miss that meeting. So schedule your exercise and don’t let anything bump it off your planner.
- Lay your gym clothes out and night right next to your bed. As soon as you see them, it’s a trigger to start exercise. Don’t be that person who swans around in their “active wear” all day without actually exercising. That’s akin to wearing your PJs all day. Nope – not a good look.
- Make a goal. Maybe your goal is the just get out of bed and do 10 push-ups. Or maybe it’s to run a marathon. Whatever it is, write it down, have it visible and mark off milestones as your achieve them. Which brings me to…..
- Have a wall calendar and every time you exercise, give yourself a tick ✅ or a star ⭐️ or a smiley face 😁 – whatever floats your boat. This works well if you are 5 or 55. Everyone loves to see progress and be rewarded for it.
- Join a team or get an exercise buddy. A few years ago my friend and I decided to run a half marathon. We made a plan and it required running before work 3 times a week. After a couple of months it got boring (as marathon training does) – but I would always show up so I didn’t let down my friend. After the race I told her that there were many times I wanted to hit the snooze button, but did not, because of our plan. She laughed and said that she did the same thing. We both had enough respect for each other and our commitment not to let each other down. In the end we both benefited by completing the half marathon in good time.