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I am a big believer that if you really want to do something, you’ll make it happen. If not, you’ll make excuses. It may not happen just when you want, but you’ll get it done. When I started back to work after my Summer off, I found myself making excuses. It was difficult to get back into my routine and find balance. Some days I felt overwhelmed at my day job, some days it was with my blog, and others, it was both plus all sorts of little things in between. I had a lot of things going on in the afternoons and evenings after work and I continually found myself skipping workouts. This is a spiral affect because working out is my main stress reliever. Even the days I dread it, I know I’ll feel so much better after it’s done, both mentally and physically. Not working out a few days in a row leaves me feeling more and more anxious, which isn’t healthy for anyone. All of this lead to a big change in my every day routine: a five AM wake up call. Today, I’m sharing why I’ve switched to morning workouts and ten morning workout benefits.
For years, I’ve said ‘I wish I could work out in the mornings.’ In my time off from my full time job, I always find myself working out in the mornings and loving it. I love the tone it sets for the day and that I get it crossed off my to do list first thing in the morning. I love that it wakes me up and is time that I get for me as I start my day. My work day starts pretty darn early. I am at work usually around 7:15 in the morning. I used to commute to work, too which meant that I was leaving for work around 6:45. I was already getting up around 6:00 and feeling tired, so I didn’t think there was any way that I could wake up earlier. Plus, I didn’t want to be gross and drenched in sweat and then try to get ready for work. All of this lead to the constant excuse of ‘I can’t workout in the mornings.’
Excuses, excuses. Well, after a few weeks of barely fitting in one or two short workouts, I decided I had to prioritize. I could change my schedule around and force myself up at 5:00 to get in a workout, even if it was a quick one. My drive to work as of last year is now only about ten minutes, which is definitely a game changer (a whole post on cutting down your commute is in the works because, y’all, it’s life changing). I’ll be honest, it’s been an adjustment. I’ve been doing it for about a month now and I’ve definitely had my ‘zombie mode’ days where I feel like I’m running on fumes come 7:00 at night. If my to do list is basically finished for the day, i.e. if tomorrow’s blog post is finished, then I am getting in to bed as early as possible. My schedule isn’t fully adjusted, but I’m getting closer. I’m a pretty disciplined person when I set hard limits for myself, so I’ve been able to stick to almost five mornings a week for the past month.
Overall, I’ve noticed more positives than negatives since I’ve changed to a five AM wake up call:
- I’m less likely to skip my workout. That time is carved out just for my workout, otherwise I’d still be asleep. In the evening, I may get caught up with something at work, have errands to run, or have something else come up.
- I have my whole evening after work. I am loving that when I get off work in the afternoon that I have the entire afternoon. If I am caught up on errands and blogging, I have the evening to get ahead, actually relax, cook a more elaborate dinner, spend time with my friends or family, etc. I can’t see myself going back to my old schedule now.
- I am more awake. I feel like I’m up and at ‘um after a workout even more than I usually am after a cup of coffee. Maybe the morning workout is the key to kicking my almond milk chai tea latte habit!
- I am more upbeat when I get to work. Elle Woods had it right, ‘Exercise gives you endorphins. Edorphins make you happy.’ I feel like I have endorphins circling around all during my work day, which is a game changer. I feel like I am more prepped for the day to take on stressful situations that may come up at work.
- I’m more likely to make positive choices throughout the day. I am less likely to reach for unhealthy food after I’ve worked out, so getting it done in the morning means I’m making better decisions all day long. Since schools always have unhealthy snacks lying around, this is super helpful for me!
- I’m more productive first thing in the morning. Instead of feeling like I need to ease into my work day as my caffeine kicks in when I get to work, I feel ready to conquer my to do list. I really have noticed I am getting more done earlier in my work day.
- I drink more water throughout the day. I’ve always heard that the first thing you drink in the morning is what you’ll crave throughout the day. Getting a liter of water ahead on my water quota for the day helps me reach my water intake goal for the day. Staying hydrated is key for mental and physical health– plus, for keeping your skin looking good!
- I sleep better at night. Since exercise energizes me, I find that I am able to wind down in the evening easier and not only get to sleep easier, but sleep better.
Other benefits according to the pros:
- It jump starts your metabolism.
- You burn more fat. Doing ‘fasted’ cardio or workouts can lead to even better results!
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If you’ve ever thought of switching your workouts to the mornings, I hope this motivates you to try it. Don’t give up the first few days or even the first few weeks! It takes some time for your body and circadian rhythm to adjust. I really can’t think of any downsides to working out in the morning, especially once you can adjust your schedule and start getting to sleep earlier! If you do start working out in the mornings, I would love to know what you discover you love about it! XO
PS: My pants come in several colors and I am obsessed! I also have them in blue and a version of the black. I’ve been eyeing them in wine, too! Shop all the colors below.