Momentum will be used for your own advantage if you master it. For me, the morning is the best time to knock out all of my priorities. This includes working out whether it be: swimming, running, lifting, pylometrics, or pilates.
If you’re like me then you dread the thought of having to workout later on in the day. I’d much rather work out earlier in the day and get it over with; that way, I’m able to go about my day freely. I won’t have that nagging thought that I need to find time in the middle of the day to workout. If you’re avoiding the morning workout so you can sleep in more, you’re just wasting your valuable time. I shouldn’t have to tell you this truth cause you already know it.
During the Cross Country season, my coach emails the team a schedule of which workouts we need to complete for the week. This helps each athlete organize their upcoming days, and we email or text each other to see which days we can meet up to run if we can’t go at the regular practice time.
I wasn’t able to make practice a number of times during last year’s Fall Semester. For example, on Wednesday’s I had a required Journalism class at 3:30 PM. I can’t run that day with the team because practice starts at 2:00 PM. Wednesdays are usually scheduled progression runs; we warm up for 35 minutes and then finish the last 35-40 minutes strong. It’s a tough workout, and it helps to have someone with you to run and push each other.
I met up with two other teammates who couldn’t make the practice time as well for every Wednesday that semester. We met up first thing in the morning and it was an awesome feeling to get that out of the way. Here are my favorite benefits of working out in the morning:
Head Start On The Day
If you don’t want to deal with the unnecessary stress of trying to deal with “life” as you workout, you need to wake up earlier than most people so you can get a head start on the day.
While everyone is sleeping in from going out the night before, playing video games, or just wasting their time on the Internet, you get to force yourself to jumpstart the day and tackle your priorities.
If you can go out the night before AND get up early to workout you’re a real Hero-6.
Set and Ready
When you workout in the morning, you place exercising as the first priority of the day. This is the perfect opportunity to start the day off with a bang and put in a large part of your effort for that workout.
You’re not dreary from an exam you had to take in the middle of the day, and you’re not worried about wasting any time. On some days before class starts, I make sure to get an early run out of the way to take care of business.
I wasn’t always like this. In middle school, I would sleep in on weekends until 10am-noon. Then I would lay in bed listening to music or go on YouTube to watch anime, or anything to make me laugh. After another hour and a half would pass, I would get up and go to the living room only to lie down on the couch. I’d fire up the PS3 or Wii and do nothing for another 3 or 4 hours, then I’d go back into my room to take a nap. I didn’t have anything to look forward to.
Wake Yourself Up
Exercise is a phenomenal way to de-stress and clear your mind.
Everyone is tired the first thing in the morning. Here’s a description of a typical morning for the average Joe:
- Alarm disrupts your sleep
- Dread the thought of starting the day
- Hit snooze button for the first time
- Roll over on bedsheets
- Hold hand up to cover your face due to fatigue
- Hit snooze button again
- Lie in bed for another 8-45 minutes (varies with people)
- Finally realize you’re going to be late and force yourself to wake up
- Check social media
- Rush out of the house because you realize you’re running late
When you force yourself to leap out of bed and grab your shoes for a run you’ll force yourself to wake up. I always feel tired and fatigued as I’m walking down the stairs to run before class. My subconscious tries to tell me it’s easier to just sleep in. The moment I start moving and feeling the crisp air, I automatically wake up. My blood flows and I’m out there moving. Meanwhile, someone probably just yelled at their alarm clock and slammed the snooze button for the sixth time.
After every 80 minute run Wednesday morning I feel the same way. I’m relieved that it’s over with, and I’m fired up to take on the rest of the day. A bonus is that I know I got to take care of this priority before my teammates because I’m unable to make the regular practice time.
This isn’t the only time where I wake up to go run first thing in the morning. Every Sunday starts off the same for my team. We wake up and drive upstate from Manhattan to get our long run in. When we’re all finished we head back to the sports center and shower/get clean etc.
When we stroll up to the dining hall to eat breakfast we stand in line with a dozen other college students. They’re exhausted, and hungover because they just rolled out of bed.
Workout in the morning immediately after you wake up. For a bonus tip, it’s easier to motivate yourself to get out of bed if you have a training partner(s) waiting on you. This doesn’t have to only relate to working out; it’s better to tackle any of your priorities just as the day begins. Rest easy while everyone else is counting down the clock to when they have to head to the gym.
P.S: When you’re traveling or on vacation away from home, definitely workout first thing in the morning. If you don’t, you won’t be able to relax cause you know you’ll eventually have to break up your day to run/swim/lift/get after it.