Turning Over a New Leaf: Morning Exercise

I am not a morning person.  At all.  I’m the person who stumbles into work with dark glasses, heads straight for the coffee pot, and really doesn’t wake up until about 10 AM.

I’ve tried exercising in the morning, and except for a short period about 10 years ago, it has never worked for me.  I hear the alarm go off, groan, hit the snooze button, and end up exercising in the evening.  Which is fine, because at least I’m exercising, right?  The only problem is that by the time I get home from work and then work out, it’s seven o’clock and I still have to make supper, eat, clean up, and all that.  I feel like my whole life is work, exercise and eating.

I just finished reading The Female Body Breakthrough by Rachel Cosgrove (which I’ll be reviewing later in the week).  She is a big proponent of exercising first thing in the morning, so that your workout is a priority and nothing else gets in the way.  She also has a strategy that helped me overcome one of my morning exercise obstacles.  I don’t want to eat a big meal before exercising, but I can’t give it my all without breakfast.  In addition to exercising first thing, Rachel says you should eat breakfast within 15 minutes of rising and follow your workout with a protein shake.  Her strategy for managing all these early morning tasks is to have half the shake before you exercise and the rest post-workout.  So simple!  Why did I never think of this before?

Yesterday was my first day.  I prepped as much as possible the night before – getting my clothes out, putting my socks with my shoes, rolling out my yoga mat, setting out the dry ingredients and blender for my shake, etc.  I did hit the snooze when the alarm went off, but I got up the second time it buzzed.  I’m particularly proud of myself because I had a lot of trouble getting to sleep (note to self: don’t drink 3 cups of green tea in the evening).  I whipped up my protein shake and drank half while getting my workout clothes on.  Then I did 30 minutes of high-intensity intervals on the elliptical and 25 minutes of yoga.  Then I finished up the shake while feeding the pets.

I felt good and it was nice having the extra time in the evening to spend on other to-dos.  Yesterday was only the first day, and one day does not a habit make, but it’s a start.

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