Hit the Snooze Button or Hit the Gym? Oh the Dilemma

Early Mornings and I do NOT mix. Given the choice, I would love to laze around in bed until I felt like waking up, not when my alarm or kids think I should. But, of course I choose to be in a career that requires me to be up before dawn training clients, teaching fitness classes or squeezing in my own personal fitness. So, over the years I have come up with a few tricks and tips to get my butt outta bed and moving. It’s not easy – I won’t lie, but it can become a habit and then it’s a no-brainer to exercise early in the morning.

1. Mind Over Matter: I tell clients “Don’t think, just DO”. Our minds are powerful tools that can help or hinder our best efforts. Unfortunately it’s just too easy to talk ourselves out of giving up sleep for sweat – I know first hand and I love exercising. For those who aren’t as fond of sweating, it’s much more challenging. These are some of my own examples of excuses NOT to get up with my alarm: “You’ll have plenty of opportunities later today to fit in your fitness” (NEVER TRUE!), “Just a few more minutes and then I’ll get up”(LIE!), “My throat feels scratchy, I must be sick, I should get my rest.” (PULEASE!), “It’s (insert weather condition), I can’t possibly run in that.” (WHY NOT?). I can go on. If you can wake up in the morning and get to the gym or out for a run before your brain kicks in and starts protesting, you will be successful.

2. Be Prepared: To prevent your brain from interfering, prep everything the night before. For the gym, have your shoes, keys, gym card, water, towel, and music ready by the door. A run or bike ride, have your route pre-planned and a backup plan in the event of inclement weather. At home, have the exercise plan ready whether it’s the fitness channel, the DVD loaded and ready to play or a written plan and all your gear set up. Have workout clothes ready to throw on as soon as you wake up (some people even choose to sleep in them). Make it so that when the alarm goes off, you’re on automatic pilot – the body goes through the motions without having to rely on the brain to figure out what to wear, or locate car keys etc.

Bring a friend for motivation.

3. Assemble a Posse/Entourage/Partner: For some, external motivation is key to their success. Knowing that a friend or group of people will be expecting you can be one of the greatest motivators. If you don’t know anyone willing to commiserate with you in the early mornings, consider joining a class. Early morning exercises are a breed of their own – highly motivated and motivating. You won’t find a more encouraging group of people more than willing to accept you into their fold.

4. Baby Steps: Establishing this particular habit is not about going big or go home. Trying to commit to too much will ultimately end in epic failure (probably because you’ll be so tired, you’ll be more than willingly throw in the towel). If early mornings are not your thing – start small- choose ONE day a week to get up 30 minutes earlier than usual. From there build on weekly. Maybe try for 2 days a week or 45 minutes earlier.

The way you’ll feel afterwards.

5. The Rewards:  Remember, this is an investment in your personal health and time. As difficult as this can be, the rewards far outweigh the challenges. There is NOTHING like being done with a workout before your family is even awake. The energy you feel post – exercise is better than a cup of coffee and the feeling of knowing that you do not have your workout hanging over your head all day is priceless.

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Author: tammyjuco

Motivating and assisting you and your family to a healthier and happier lifestyle.