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How to Survive an Early Morning Workout

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If you woke up in 2017 with the same amount of hours in your day as you had in 2016, you might find yourself wondering when you will fit in your 'Me-time' to reach your New Year's resolutions. You may turn to waking up in the wee hours of the morning whether it's to get it over with or you are far too busy in the evenings. Here's how to survive an early morning workout...

My friend invited me to a 5 a.m. workout because that was the only time she could fit fitness into her busy schedule. Being a fitness buff and a good friend…OK, I couldn’t think of a good reason to say no. I thought I should try every kind of workout ONCE. You know, for science.

Anyone who knows me laughed at the idea of me getting up at 4:45 a.m. because I am the eternal night owl. I started at a horrible time too, because it was my kids first week of school and we were still used to staying up late and getting up late.

The first morning, I was prepared and popped right up at 4:50, got dressed, got my water and met my friend outside. I didn’t feel too tired. We worked out and I was home by 6 a.m. It was such a great feeling to start the day with my workout already out of the way. I got the kids off to school without a hitch and then made my first grave mistake; I sat down. I felt like I was hit by a truck. I got so tired! So I popped up, took the laundry up stairs and made the second dire mistake of the day; I sat on my bed! One moment I was thrilled to be on my second load of laundry by 9 a.m. and the next time I looked at the clock it was 11:30! How did I lose that much time? I woke up groggy and now I was sore! Thinking, “What did I get myself into?” I spent the rest of the day feeling horrible physically and regretting the whole idea. Sadly, the only solace I had was that my friend felt just as crummy. At least she made me feel a little more normal.

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The second morning, 2 days later, I went to bed much earlier and still popped out of bed in the morning. We had a good workout and we waited for that horrible letdown from the first outing. It never came. I got all my errands done and was only a little bit sore. I thought, “OK that wasn’t the end of the world, maybe I can do this.”

As the days and weeks go on it’s getting easier to get up. I love the workout high, I’m getting more sleep, and I get more done in the day when a workout isn’t looming over my head all day.

Another great thing I noticed right away is the 5 a.m. crowd does not care about cutesy matching outfits, a face full of make-up and they aren’t super chatty. Turns out I’m not the only night owl working out in the morning!

Keys to Success:
• Pick your clothes out the night before. This will help with less decision making, it’s a time saver, and it is quieter so you won’t wake up your family.
• Do not set your alarm for an earlier time so you can hit snooze. It is so much better if you can hit the off button and get up. It helps your body get ready faster.
• Have your keys and water bottle ready!
• Get a friend to go with you. You are WAY more likely to go if you know someone is counting on you being there.

I have made a few adjustments since starting my experiment, obviously my bed time. This momma’s got to sleep. Now when I put the kids to bed I start winding down too. Second, I also noticed right away that when I eat breakfast at 6 a.m. I am hungry for lunch at 10 a.m. I instantly started working snacks into my day so I didn’t crash and reach for junk food. Lastly, I found that since I only do the early morning workouts on Tuesday and Thursday I do get enough rest the remainder of the week to get up at that ungodly hour twice a week.

So if you are a night owl like me, give it a test run. You don’t have to jump in with both feet and do it forever, but it is certainly worth a test run. Whenever you start a new workout of any kind you are going to shock your body and it might not always feel like a super workout high. Give it some time, let your body adjust and see if you like it. Try your own workout experiment and let me know how it turns out. I’d love to help you through the ups and downs of your journey!

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