Friday, January 27, 2012

Fitness Fridays: Get Your Fitness on in the A.M.

I am really loving your ideas for future Fitness Fridays posts! Keep them coming, and you still have a few more hours to enter into the Blender Bottle Giveaway! Click on over here.

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In this post, I wanted to answer a question that I got by email pretty often. How in the world did I become a morning workout person?!

How did I go from not working out to working out five days a week?

I’ll be honest, I never would have thought it would happen to me. I used to sleep until the absolute last minute I could and still make it to work on time. But two years ago I made a resolution to “stop living for my days off”, and I felt like my morning routine was a big part of that.

I didn’t want my work days to be: wake up, shower, eat, WORK, home, eat, sleep. So I started giving myself a two hour buffer in the morning before I had to start getting ready. Now I had to work up to the two hours, by slowly waking up thirty minutes earlier over a period of a month (week by week), but sure enough my body clock adjusted.

Then last year I made the decision to start working out again, and I knew my morning time slot was the perfect spot to schedule it. It started out as a morning walk/run with Max. And then for me, it meant joining my local YMCA and utilizing their machines. However, gym or not, the following are tips that I found helpful to keep myself focused.

1. Organize your Workout Clothes

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I’m a little embarassed to admit how many time I used an excuse like “I don’t have any workout clothes clean” or “I don’t know where my shorts are” to keep myself from working out! So I keep them organized by tops (shirts, tanks, and bras) and bottoms (shorts, capris, pants) and in these fabric bins at arm’s length.

Make them easily accessible.

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Each time Target puts the bins on sale, I buy one. Winking smile

It also makes doing laundry a breeze, because I never have to fold any of the clothes!

2. Plan the night before

I always start planning the night before to make sure I workout the next morning.

I lay my clothes out:

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and get my gym bag ready.

I also make coffee the night before (or Parrish does) and make sure I have a protein bar in an accessible spot.

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That way I can munch on one on the way to gym if I don’t have time to eat a proper breakfast before.

3. Trick Your Brain

The key part about prepping the night before, and laying out your clothes, is that you’re going to trick your brain. I keep my workout clothes close to my bed (or in my bathroom) so that as soon as I wake up, I put them on.

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(anyone want to me make me a headboard?!)

As soon as the alarm goes off, I force my feet onto the floor. No snoozing. That just gives me time to make “deals” with myself. (which aren’t really deals by the way! More like excuses)

That way I can get geared up and ready before my brain can think about how sleepy or tired I am. I try to get as much done in my zombie state, that way as I’m driving to the gym, I munch my protein bar and drink my coffee, already proud that I’m staying motivated.

I wish I didn’t have to trick my brain, because once I’m at the gym and sweatin’ it up, I really do love it! But for now, it seems to be the only thing that gets me there!

4. Keep it Separate

This last step is really only if you’re going to the gym, but for me it was a biggie. I make going to the gym a part of my daily routine, and shower there to get ready for work. I was lucky that the YMCA had a location in between my house and work. (I highly suggest this method!) That way if I’m working, which I do five days a week, then I’m working out.

Keeping it separate is in regards to your necessary shower and beauty items. Buy yourself a cheap and effective organizer, and don’t try to use travel items over and over. Also I don’t recommend repacking and sharing your items between gym showers and home showers, because one day you’re going to forget something…and it may just be your deodorant!

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I have separate everything, including a toothbrush! The only thing I keep in travel size is my gluten free EO body wash, but that’s because it’s expensive and you only use a dot!

That way when I pack my bag:

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the night before with my clothes for the next day, I know my shower supplies are already inside. No thought necessary!

And note that I do not have a fancy gym bag. It is in fact my old book bag. Everything fits in it and it fits in the locker. That’s all you need! However, I’m not saying that I wouldn’t love a nicer gym bag for…oh…say, my birthday!

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But I have to say that the best part about working out in the morning is that it COMPLETELY energizes me for the day ahead. I also make better eating choices because I’m already feeling pretty jazzed up about being healthy.

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Do you have tricks and tips that help you stay focused and motivated to workout?

Share them in the comments!