As daylight savings time comes to an end, make use of that 'extra' hour to optimize your morning workout routine.
Waking up early to exercise or cross things off your to-do list may is a laughable goal. There, I said it. Snuggling in your bed waiting for the sun to rise may seem like a luxury you can't refuse, but the passing of daylight savings time is an easy time to incorporate some new, healthy morning routines.
Change doesn't have to be hard! As 6am quickly becomes 5am, take the opportunity to follow your body's original waking time and use that extra hour to your advantage.
Give yourself a smooth transition and tangible starting point by using that first Monday after time change to begin your new routine. Set your intentions and prepare about a week in advance to get everything ready. That first morning will be mired with excuses, so remove as many obstacles as you can in advance.
Let's work through a few together!
"I'm up. Now what do I do?"
As you build a new routine, it's important to have a plan. Making decisions about how to move your body before your brain wakes up is a set-up for failure. Your attention span and motivation will be low, so set your intentions to walk the dog, put on a workout video or turn on the treadmill as you fall asleep the night before.
Aim small. I could tell you to reach for the stars and all that noise, but the thought of completing a major task when you're tired makes it much less likely to happen. Talk yourself into a short walk, a few yoga poses, or a couple of HIIT rounds. Once you get into it, you will be likely to continue for a longer session.
"My sweats are in the wash. I can't work out"
Lay out your clothes for easy slip-on in the am. Any mental uncertainty makes an easy excuse to hit the snooze button. Keep in mind that exercise doesn't require fashionable clothes. Old painting sweats and your husband's tee shirt are fine. Nobody cares what you look like.
"I have a busy day. I could really use an extra hour of sleep"
They're all busy days. Show me a day that isn't busy, I challenge you! Exercise gets that blood pumping, delivering oxygen to your cells, tissues and brain. Think of your morning workout as the juice to get you through that busy day, not the opposite. Feeling accomplished before you tackle your to-do list sets the tone for productivity and spunk all day long.
Add an extra incentive
Sack away a few minutes in that hour to do something you enjoy (if that isn't exercising). Coax yourself as if you were talking to a child:
"Complete your exercise video and you can have a splash of that pumpkin spice creamer in your coffee. Oh, and you can enjoy it for a minute before everyone wakes up."
It's the little things in life that keep you going. Sometimes the only incentive you need is feeling accomplished before 7am.
Fuel your day
After your muscle-busting workout, be sure to replenish your body with the nutrients it needs to recover and provide energy for the rest of your day. Make this hearty egg casserole in advance for a quick microwaveable meal, or whip up a chocolate strawberry smoothie to go.
Adding a new healthy routine to your morning does not have to be hard. With a little planning and conscious effort, you can reach your goals of starting the morning with healthy intentions with ease and grace. Just try.
Let me know what you're doing! Comment below with your morning routine!