I have been working out for years upon years and have been a member at many different gyms. As long as the gym offered morning classes I was happy! I don’t know if it was because in the mornings you have a little more room to spread out or if I am straight up lazy and will negotiate myself out of an afternoon work! Whatever the reason, mornings are my thing. And early mornings at that. I am talking 5am or 6am, 8am may even be too late! When I literally have no other choice but to take a class I love at 11am, I FORCE myself to get there!!! What is with that?!? How do I do it?!? These are questions I get asked everyday! (and I ask myself too, lol) While I don’t have a straight answer, I can share the steps I take in preparation, my morning workout best practices if you will! Planning is key to make your early morning trip to the gym a success!!
Best Practice #1 –> COMMIT to the morning!
If I plan on attending a morning class my commitment started the afternoon before. I do this because there are several things that have to be just right to ensure I am successful at making that morning class. (can you tell I like my daily rituals/routines?) If I am going to make a 5 or 6am class I have to get my sleep. There are no ifs, ands or buts about it. ATLEAST 7 hours is what I need. I know each individual is different when it comes to the amount of zzz’s they can catch to be a productive employee/mom/wife/gym participant, but for me that’s a minimum of 7. I usually count backwards to the time I need to be in bed and then determine when I can eat dinner. It seems like an awful lot of planning, but if you have ever lost sleep due to a full belly keeping you up and then calculated how much sleep you still could get as you checked the clock every hour, on the hour, you understand why it is important to leave a few hours in between dinner and bed time!
Best Practice #2 –> PACK the NIGHT before!
After I have had my dinner and it is time to get ready for bed, I will either lay out what I am wearing to the gym or pack a bag. If I am going to go straight to work, I choose my outfit, pack the necessary toiletries and then place them in my CAR! That’s right! Not only is it one less thing to think about in the morning as I am stumbling around getting ready but the chance of forgetting something very important is much, much LOWER! I forgot a very important undergarment one time and I panicked! (thank goodness I worked across from Victoria’s Secret and I had the closing shift) However, with an 8am start time most days of the week now, that is not an option!! So tip #2, pack everything the night before so you can just roll out to your early morning class stress free!!
Best Practice #3 –> FUEL your day!
What the about the afternoon slump, you ask?
I can tell a true difference in the days that I work out hard in the morning from those that I do not. I get to work and already feel accomplished and want to keep that going. I am more focused and feel more productive on the days that I get an early start. With the outfit and toiletries prep, I also get my lunch bag ready. I usually include not only my after work out snack, but a snack for after lunch. This snack is my energy and fuel to carry me throughout the rest of the day. Sometimes its an apple and peanut butter (who am I kidding that is most of the time!), or an orange, almonds and blueberries, it can really be whatever you are craving, with in reason!! You don’t want to completely cancel out your hard work by eating a king size Kit Kat at 330pm….
Best Practice #4 –> POSITIVE THOUGHTS!!
Like I said earlier, I truly can tell a difference in my attitude and outlook on life after a great early morning sweat session!! If the music is bumping and we are pounding away at our workout I just know it will BE A GREAT DAY!! I have always believed in ‘positive thoughts bring positive outcomes’ and it is so true!! Truth – I get negative just like the next person and traffic doesn’t help! But as long as I can remind myself that I had the opportunity to share 4% of my day with other like minded individuals and influence our health and change our bodies, those negative thoughts disappear!! Not everyone has that opportunity, so its important to be thankful we can strengthen our bodies and stay healthy and keep those positive thoughts flowing! I hope you have a great rest of the week!!! 🙂
Don’t forget to smile! 🙂
What do you do to commit to your workout? Do you prefer morning or evening workouts? Have you tried anything new that did or did not work?