Most mornings I snap a quick selfie as I am getting ready to head of to the gym and post it on Instagram. My hope is to inspire others to start their day with exercise.
This morning I received a comment on one of my photos commending me for being a morning person. The commenter also said they didn’t know how I did it and they could never drag themselves out of the bed to workout in the mornings.
I had a quick laugh to myself as I read this comment because here’s the thing:
Now, I preface all of the following by saying that if you have no interest in working out in the morning and you prefer to workout at a different time of day, that’s fine—as long as you get your workout in. However, if you struggle with fitting in a workout or you procrastinate it all day and often end up skipping it, I highly suggest morning workouts.
I am not a morning person. Not even close. Most days I literally have to roll myself out of bed and that’s even after laying in the bed for 5-10 minutes after my alarm has gone off, trying to pep talk myself into actually getting up. Feel free to ask my husband… it drives him crazy. HE is a morning person and wakes up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, ready to tackle the day, often before his alarm even goes off. We couldn’t be more opposite.
I used to only workout in the evening, but I noticed an emerging pattern: I was often tired or lazy at the end of the school/work day and didn’t feel like dragging myself to the gym. I missed far more workouts than I should have because of this and had a terribly tough time mustering up the motivation to get moving in the evening.
So, after college, I decided to try working out the morning. It was quite the transition for this night owl. I had to get my butt into bed earlier, which sucked. I had to stop hitting snooze, which sucked, too. And I had to make a choice: was an extra hour of sleep more important than my goals? (Note: I rarely get less than 8 hours of sleep a night.)
Eventually I decided I wanted to reach my fitness goal—at the time it was finishing my first marathon—more than I wanted the extra sleep. But, as I transitioned to fitting my workout in before work, I realized I was becoming more consistent and I didn’t have to worry about my day getting in the way of my workout because it was already done! I also noticed I had more energy and didn’t feel like I needed to chug two or three cups of coffee just to make it through the day. Not surprisingly, I was also starting to make better health and food choices during the day. I mean, when you’ve already woke up and kicked ass in the gym, why wouldn’t you try to fuel your body better?
But here’s the kicker: It is still a choice everyday for me to decide whether I will sleep through my alarm or roll myself out of bed, eat breakfast, and hit the gym before the rest of my day takes off. Two years later and it is still a choice, not a natural habit for me. Knowing myself it will probably never be natural for me, but that’s okay. There are still days when I choose to sleep in and I almost always regret it later, but I rarely regret getting my workout in first thing!