Getting our allocated minutes of exercise in during the summer months is much more appealing than in the winter; but how many of us are making the most of the lighter mornings and evenings to do that run, go for that walk, take that workout into the garden or cycle to the gym?
It is a fact that exercising in the morning before work or family life begins is amazingly good for us in many different ways; and this is definitely easier to do in the lighter warmer mornings. So why not kick start your morning exercise routine now, and by the time winter comes round you’ll have created a fitness habit that’ll you take through to the less appealing, colder, darker mornings?
Firstly, I do need to point out that not many people I know, myself included, wake up and bounce out of bed delighted to remember that it’s a workout morning. But, what I can categorically state is that you will feel better mentally and physically, and will have earned yourself bragging rights; safe in the knowledge that you won’t have to fit your exercise in at the end of the day! (This is obviously not the case for some medical conditions and clarity with a doctor would need to be sought first in such cases.)
Exercise fires up the brain, increasing blood flow around the body leaving us with a natural glow (so less make up required!); it gets our metabolism flowing which in turn makes our body feel and look better.
It definitely helps to clear the lethargy and sluggishness that we can often wake up with; and by setting the alarm a little earlier, and not pressing snooze a hundred times, we gradually develop a strong self discipline that can only help us in other areas of daily life!
One of the major benefits of getting that workout done first thing in the morning is that other chores don’t get in the way! How many times have you promised yourself that you will do that workout, after work, after lunch, after school drop off….and how many times has other ‘stuff’ got in the way? If you set the alarm a little earlier and get it done, nothing can knock it off the ‘to do’ list.
I also notice that I make better food choices when I’ve exercised early in the day. I’m more hungry at breakfast time, but for healthier options. To be honest it is the thought of that yummy breakfast that keeps me going on that early morning ‘reluctant’ run or workout; it is only reluctant for the first 5 minutes, I hasten to add and then it feels ok, and, after it’s over it feels great!! Ah the smugness!
There are some tricks to help you become an early morning exerciser:
Move the alarm further away from your bed so that you have to move to turn it off! Don’t push the snooze button!
Always do a good warm up – perhaps even tick one or two mundane jobs off your list to get your body moving first. I often put a load of washing on and then start my workout. Just easing the body into it. You must always do the warm up.
Don’t make it too long – Strengthen and Stretch Weekly Workouts are only 30/40 minutes in length – perfect!
Give yourself something to look forward to once you’ve finished – like that healthy but good breakfast.
Drink as you exercise. You’ve probably not had any water all night and your body needs to be hydrated.
Finally, once done enjoy your breakfast, safe in the knowledge you’ve done something great for your body. You’ll feel less stressed at work, your body will be more toned. try alternating a workout with a run or walk – enjoying the beautiful mornings, exploring your surroundings. When on holiday my family often do a workout or a run before breakfast; not because we are fitness freaks…but to set us up for the day and to explore where we are and get our bearings for whatever our plans are. Sometimes it’s just preparing for a day reading by the pool but when you’ve done your workout in the morning even that feels better!
One final thought. Exercising in the morning could help towards a healthy sleeping pattern at night. You are more physically tired at the end of the day and because of the good start that early workout gives you, you’ve probably been more productive, leading to less stress and therefore you are more ready for sleep when bedtime comes around. A lot of us exercise in the evenings which could be argued, keeps you awake longer because you’ve got that ‘feel good’ factor at the wrong end of the day!
What has been scientifically proven however, is that a good workout causes our body to release endorphins which give us the much quoted ‘feel good’ factor. Over the many years of teaching exercise no-one has ever left a class saying, they wished they hadn’t come, or wished they hadn’t done my online workouts. They only ever regret the ones they didn’t do! So how about setting your alarm a little earlier tomorrow and beginning your day with a workout, building that good exercise habit? Enjoy that first 40 minutes of your day, doing something great for your body and brain, making the most of these beautiful summer mornings. Have a look at http://www.strengthenandstretch.co.uk if you are interested in working out at home. Message me if you would like to try a 2 week free trial and mention you’ve read this blog.