This has been a really busy weekend for me. I've been offered two job opportunities, started putting all my ducks in a row to really get serious about personal training, and did some soul-searching. Something had to give and it was my workout. I became really upset about it yesterday until I realized the real issue. I was getting to bed later while trying to figure things out and I'm just not productive at night. This meant, I woke up later, felt groggy in the "morning" and didn't get much done. So, as I blog at 6:45am, I will announce that I certainly am a morning person. Some people, like my boyfriend, can get so much done at night but I just can't. Last night, I got my butt to bed at 10:30pm and woke up at 5am this morning. So far, I've worked out, ate breakfast, and now I am blogging. Woo hoo.
As I was working out, I started thinking about how a morning workout isn't foreign for me. When I lived in the Bronx and worked in White Plains, I had no car. I traveled on the train every morning and before my commute started, I took a train to Harlem to workout in the morning because it wasn't safe for me to go home at night after a workout. Prior to that, when working and living in White Plains, I woke up every morning to take a 6am spin class at the New York Sports Club. I have no excuse. I can totally crawl out of bed and walk to my living room to do p90x2 in the comfort of my own home.
These life experiences also make me an "expert" in the morning workout routine which starts BEFORE you get to the gym. How do you motivate yourself to get up in the morning and exercise? Below is a list of some of my "tricks of the trade:"
- If you are planning to go to the gym in the morning, pack your bag the day before and not right before you get to bed. Trust me, you will forget something, like flip-flops for the showers. YUCK!
- Get to bed 8 hours before you plan on waking up. Even if you don't fall asleep right away, lay down, and count backwards, count sheep, think sleep . . . whatever works for you.
- Do not hit the snooze button. Just get up. Your body will adjust.
- Purchase the travel size containers for your toiletries. Some facilities have shampoo, conditioner, and body wash but it definitely sucks when you get in the shower and they haven't restocked.
- Place your gym clothes on your nightstand before you fall asleep and have your sneakers at the front door, next to the bag with your work attire. This will help you avoid running around the house looking for everything.
- Have that banana or granola bar on your way out. I have gone as far as placing it by the door with the sneakers and the bag. Same goes with your water bottle.
- Brush your teeth, get that hair in a ponytail, and run out the door.
- Remind yourself that you won't be the only crazy lunatic at the gym before the sun rises.
The key is to get out the house as quickly as possible. Sitting around eating breakfast or running around looking for items will derail any attempt to get to the gym. You may also psych yourself out and tell yourself that you are better off at home sleeping. Believe me, I have done it all. I have woken up, dressed myself, and crawled right back into bed for "10 more minutes" which usually equals "two more hours." I have decided I needed a full breakfast and "digestion time" which really means, "oh hell no I'm not going to the gym." You may need a couple of attempts at this before you get it right, but once you figure it out, you'll be out the door faster, and your workout will be checked off your to-do list even before you grab that morning coffee. Hey, you may not even need the coffee anymore.
Note: If you are working out at home, I'll add that you should have all your workout equipment in one easy to reach location or set up the night before. This way, you just have to get up and press play.