I love making morning exercise part of my regular daily routine!
In fact, I’ve found that, for myself, mornings are really the only time I can stay truly consistent with an exercise program.
I’ve learned this about myself over the years as I’ve become a busy adult with more side projects than I can even believe. Despite all of my obsessive planning, you just never know where the day is going to lead or what may be in store for you by the evening time.
Some years ago, after losing nearly 100 pounds, I decided to take up running as part of a major wellness overhaul and to help maintain my weight loss. I joined a run club and really enjoyed the camaraderie of my running community. I also appreciated the feeling of safety in numbers when running in the darkness of the early morning and evening hours around my day job.
The runners’ 5:00 a.m. group runs several times a week worked perfectly into my schedule, and also into a new “Morning Person” lifestyle I was creating for myself based on leadership guru Robin Sharma’s philosophies, and his 5 o’Clock Club plan. The 5 AM Club sets out the notion that if you want to live a world-class life, you should arise and breathe life and energy into each morning, nourishing your body, mind and soul.
Sharma encourages everyone to set aside the first hour of every morning to enjoy some type of exercise, to read something inspirational or educational, and to journal our goals for the rest of the day. I just loved this way of thinking, and it’s really made a huge difference for me in my life.
And so my 5:00 a.m. group runs became the beloved core of my fitness routine for a couple of years. I relished being outdoors and exploring all kinds of different neighborhoods, parks and trails I hadn’t known about before. And it was easy to throw on an audiobook or podcast and take in some great personal development.
Then I changed day jobs, and unfortunately I couldn’t make that particular activity work for me anymore. It was hard to give up, and without something to easily replace it, I got lax about waking up early. I experimented with after-work walks, bicycling, group fitness classes, a little of this and that, but for whatever combination of reasons, I found I wasn’t staying consistent in this evening time slot.
Happily, I have returned to morning exercise, and I’m back where I belong. Right now I’m doing activities that my schedule will allow, namely getting my workouts in at home. I joined a web-based On Demand program with an online library bursting with dozens of today’s most popular fitness programs. It’s fun and there’s plenty of variety to keep from getting bored. And I’m a member of some great social media coaching and accountability groups, which is extra-awesome! Now I reserve outdoor activities for the weekends, and some evenings, if I can squeeze it into the daylight hours.
So once again, as part of my daily 5:00 a.m. plan (actually more like 4:30 but who’s counting?), I try to make sure that morning exercise is automatically built into that first hour of my day. Granted and in all honesty, sometimes life gets hectic and I fall away from this ideal to grab a few extra winks. My weekends are more like the 7 or 8 AM Club. But still, I always come back to setting the early bird alarm through the week, because I know that morning exercise works best for me. Here’s why:
Obviously, it’s energizing. Morning exercise wakes me up, gets my blood pumping, and my brain functioning. It gives my complexion a lovely flushed glow, stokes my endorphins, and helps me start my day in a happy mood.
Morning exercise revs up my metabolism for a nice steady burn for the rest of the day. Plus, some studies suggest you burn more fat on an empty stomach. Whether that’s true or not, who knows? I just know I do better, and am more comfortable, without any food on my stomach.
Exercise in the morning forces me to drink a few glasses of water right away as I’m getting through the warm-up, workout and cool-down. Otherwise, I’d be straight into the coffee pot. Not that there’s anything wrong with that! But still. Water!!
I really hate to shower more than once a day. It’s such a production! And constant double-shower days get pretty dehydrating for my hair and skin. So one shower in the morning after a good sweaty workout suits me just fine!
I feel confident with the rest of my day knowing I’ve completed my morning exercise. It’s like a big red check-mark on the list of really important things I need to accomplish. That’s so empowering!
It’s not hanging over my head, and I don’t feel guilty if something comes up later that I need to attend to, like a late business meeting, or an impromptu get-together over cocktails!
After my morning exercise, I start my day off with a healthy mindset and am more apt to put the effort into sticking to my meal plan.
I sleep better at night when I exercise in the morning. It’s too hard for me to wind down after a great evening workout! I mean, if I have to do it on occasion, I will. But no-can-do on the regular!
If you’re not already an early riser, why not try waking up a little earlier and get your 5 a.m. fun on?! What are your favorite morning exercises? Leave me some comments below!
May we all enjoy many energized and empowered mornings to come!