Get It Done: Morning Workouts

Get It Done: Morning Workouts Conquered
Melanie Douglass, R.D., NASM, Health and Fitness Contributor

No matter what time you wake up, what day it is, or what you have to do on that day… try these 4 steps to get your morning workout done. You’ll amp up your energy, burn stubborn calories, and feel better all day long.

1. Ease into it: Just sit up… and take 5 – 10 deep, cleansing breaths.

It’s have to jump up and change your clothes right after a jarring morning alarm. Sitting up helps you wake up more peacefully so that it doesn’t become something you dread. It takes 2 minutes max. And it gets you halfway there – in a postive, oxygen-rich mindset that feels great.

2. Run in place for 4 minutes.
Don’t change your clothes or make this a production: just get out of bed and DO IT… run in place (or march, or do high knee lifts) for 4 minutes.

3. Drop and do 25 knee tuck push-ups.
Again, no fuss, don’t change your clothes, just do it before you change your mind. Get down into a plank on your hands and toes, abs tight and glutes contracted. Then tuck your right knee to your left elbow, then your left knee to your right elbow, then do a push up. If this move is too advanced, you can just do 25 push-ups from your knees… and work up to the harder option.

4. Change to your workout clothes at go workout!
Okay, so now you are warm and ready to go – and with oxygen and nutrients pumping throughout your body, you will be feeling better about doing to do a full workout. Spend 20 – 60 minutes doing your favorite workout. This is also great time to invite a workout buddy over to help you give your 100% best to a complete workout.

If you sincerely do not have time to do a morning workout at this point, then commit to an exact time to finish your workout and don’t let anything get in your way.

5. Repeat steps 1 – 4 every morning for the next 4 mornings, for a 5-workout test.
If you pass 5 workouts, you can make it happen consistently as well. If you haven’t been doing morning workouts, then passing the 5-workout test is a huge accomplishment! You’ve made it through the toughest part – now you just have to keep it up! If you don’t make it through 5 workouts, scale back to 3 or 4 workouts per week and try again. And keep trying for at least a month.

IF you are not a morning person, and you try and fail, every single day – for over a month – then face it: you are not a morning person and should be working out night (or during lunch). Some people are just not morning people – and if you are one of those people, telling yourself to make it happen in the morning can make you feel like a failure – and that can zap your motivation and eventually lead you to just flat-out give up on exercise. If this sounds like you, it’s time to step back, look at your entire day and say: “claiming I have NO time is not an option here. I can find a few minutes to fight for my health… so when can I fit in a 30 minute workout?” Scour your schedule and find the time – 10, 20, or 60 minutes. If that ends up being 5am, 9am, noon or 8pm or midnight, fine. Schedule it and do it.

A couple tips:

– To keep it interesting, schedule your workout plan: whatever you will do this week to keep your workout exciting. Select at least 3 different activities such as: walking, running, swimming, cycling, workout DVDs with a buddy, Zumba or weight training. Write it down on paper, or put a reminder on your phone – noting the planned activity and exact time you will work out.

– Hire a trainer, recruit a friend, or call in a family member (or try all three if you need serious reinforcements!) to meet you for your morning workout session.

– This article is about morning workouts because statistics show (and my 20 years working in a health club) that people are more consistent – and therefore successful – when they work out in the morning, before the day gets crazy. So give this “morning thing” a try – even if you think you aren’t a morning exercise-type person. Just try. If it doesn’t work with your life, then make lunch or nighttime workouts a part of your regular schedule.

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