Thursday, December 30, 2010

Tips To Get You Out Of Bed And To The Gym (or trail)!

We all know the start of a new year means new goals. It's perfect timing, if you think about it, to make some changes. Right after the holidays and all the holiday treats, we've been thinking about (and experiencing) all the things we have to be thankful for. Why not set new goals?

As long as I can remember it's always been the thing to do - to set a resolution for the new year. Personally I didn't really put much thought into it when I was younger, and sometimes would just say whatever came to mind when someone asked me on New Years Eve. A lot of Americans make resolutions at the start of the year, but even with the best intentions, the majority of them don't follow through for one reason or another. Some of the most common resolutions are to stop smoking, eat healthier and to lose weight. (I'll share my goals for 2011 in a few days)

Most of you probably know that I like to work out in the morning. But this wasn't always the case, it was just necessary. When I started going to the gym after I had moved out to NYC and gained a good bad amount of weight, I recognized that my work schedule wouldn't allow me to exercise at night. I worked late hours and often had shows to go to that wouldn't be over until close to midnight. There was no way I could get to the gym at night on a regular basis.

Instead, I joined a gym (money is always a huge motivator for me since I don't like to waste it) and started waking up a little earlier each morning. Yes, it was helpful that the gym was only a few blocks from my apartment and didn't take long to get to. Not long after I started doing this did I realize that I was feeling better, had more energy throughout the day and my diet naturally changed because I didn't want to ruin my day after I had started it off so well! I then set my alarm a few minutes earlier and would line up outside the gym with several others so we could get in right when they opened at 5:30am. Sometimes it was really tough. I just wanted to roll over and go back to sleep, but then I would remember how good I'd feel afterwards and I'd get myself to the gym. Once Woody moved out here, it was even easier. Having someone else waking up with you with the same goal, is great support! Whether I actually would or not, I feel like I would let him down if I went back to sleep after the alarm went off. I don't want him to have to tiptoe around getting ready so I can be lazy and sleep instead. Plus, our walk to the gym together, first thing in the morning when there is hardly another sole around, is our time to be together. Just the two of us. Even if we don't say a word the entire way there.

My tips for anyone who wants to workout in the morning (it's pretty simple):
1. Write down your goal, put it in a place where you'll see it, and make it simple.
2. Set your alarm (or two) a little earlier every few days to gradually get used to waking up earlier.
3. Have your gear out and ready before you go to bed the night before so you'll need less prep time in the morning.
4. Remind yourself why you're getting up as soon as the alarm goes off.
5. Tell someone about your goal and keep them updated on your progress.
6. Have a buddy: either make a date to meet someone at the gym or running path or make a pact to go with someone you live with.
7. Don't plan to go every day of the week. Start out with two or three days a week and if you want, add another day or two, but always have at least one day off.
8. Make it fun! Do something you enjoy when you get to the gym or go running! If you don't like doing it, you'll definitely never like getting up early to do it.
9. Make it a habit. If you only go once a week, every few weeks, it doesn't work. Do it regularly, even from the start.

These easy tips will really help you get moving in the morning and stick with your resolution! After a month of waking up early, treat yourself to something special! Maybe a manicure or new piece of workout gear. Reward yourself (in a healthy way) and celebrate all your accomplishments along the way!

Is getting fit or working out more on your list for 2011? If you get up early to work out, what is your favorite tip?
today's workout -
50min elliptical
3x10 cable pull push-downs
3x10 leg press
foam roller


Kate said...

One thing that gets me out the door in the morning is sleeping in my running clothes with my hair already braided. It gives me that much more of a push knowing how lame I'll feel if I have to take off my running clothes without using them.

Rose said...

Sometimes for races I'll sleep in my running clothes, especially in the winter. Because, man, I hate putting on cold clothes.

Amber said...

What a great blog post! I am printing this out and sharing it with the bf!
We are gonna be on board for 2011!

ajh said...

Don't think about it. Just get up and do it!

Lynn Roylance said...

I love your list! I run in the mornings before my kids and husband are awake. My tricks are similar to yours. Set two alarms (5 min apart). Set my running clothes the night before. Email my running group the night before saying I'll meet them in the morning. That way if it is cold or rainy I can't chicken out. :)

Thanks for the post!

Emily said...

It's always a struggle starting out. But once in the hang of it, you vow to never go back. I like the comment about sleeping in your clothes!

Detroit Runner said...

Great tips for starting in the morning. I do many of them!

Karyn said...

I had been struggling with this lately... thanks for sharing the list. It's back to early morning workouts in 2011 for me.

SueMac said...

I prefer to run in the mornings...... once I get home from work, I'm usually in for the night. Here's to a great 2011!

Silly Girl Running said...

Great tips! What I do on weekends is plan a fun route for my long run: a scenic route can make a hilly 22 miler fun! :)

Gina; The Candid RD said...

Believe it or not, I also started working out in the mornings this year. My whole life I never thought I could workout in the morning, until I was actually forced to due to my new schedule. Like you, I feel a million times better and now I workout in the mornings even if I don't have to!! It's great :)

Happy new year to you!

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