You ARE the incredible hulk
The sun is up and I missed traffic. Blood pumps in my veins, it’s 8am, I’ve washed stale sweat from my skin and I’m seated at my desk. Muscles ache and mind is focused. I’m ready for my day. My colleagues walk in. They yawn. They discuss the price of baby diapers and the accident on the N1. I watch them out of the corner of my eye while I wallow in my endorphins. Morning workouts are worth it.
Nobody likes getting up in the morning. Nobody likes doing push ups early in the morning. As long as you focus and do your best, you will find early mornings one of the most productive ways to get exercise into your schedule. If you want to be an early riser, preparation is key. Listen, no-one has time to dig through the week’s washing for jogging pants or remember to pack pink socks at 5am. You barely know your name at 5am. If you’re serious about your early morning workout, organise everything the night before. Put your clothes aside, pack your shower stuff, put your lunch for tomorrow in a tupperware and ziplock your makeup. Run through what you need for the next day and check it off. The process is worth it. When your alarm goes off in the morning and everything is ready, you will push your big toe out from under the duvet covers and leap onto the floor. Slap on clothes, splash water on your face, grab a banana and energy drink. Prepare and you prevent the “I can do it later” thought.
It sounds like a lot of effort, I know. Early morning workouts mean you may not watch the last episode of Suits because you want to get in bed at a reasonable hour. It’s a sacrifice, and to keep it up you need motivation. We all struggle with motivation, especially when it comes to early mornings. Here’s the best way to keep your self motivated: have a clear goal. If you do your work outs without a goal in mind you will get stale faster than a bread roll at the beach. Find something tangible you wish to achieve. How do people get up every morning 5 days a week- they picture the finish line of a half marathon and a time clocks which says 1 hour and a half. When I need motivation, I picture my favourite pair of skinny jeans and I look fly. When you have a goal back it up with rewards. You are your own personal trainer. My reward- shopping trips or sushi. More tone; new clothes. Now you want to go to gym too, huh?
Don’t do it alone.
Whether it’s your shopping trips, the early mornings or the big race. Everything is better with a buddy. If you want to win your war against morning workouts, don’t fight it alone. If you’re meeting someone, you won’t let them down. If the instructor knows your name, he’ll ask why you missed 3 pilates classes in a row. Share the victory, and inspire a friend. If you can do it, she can do it. “Hey girl, I lost 1 kg this week. It’s my shopping reward time, want to join?” If you discuss your progress with a friend once a week, even that can help. Let your friends challenge you, don’t be afraid of pushing to be better? Find the person in your class who does the same exercise quicker and for longer and work out next to them. It’s human nature, if you can’t fight it, make it work for you.
But Fran, I’m so bad. I said I was going to do it last week, then I missed 3 in a row and ate 4 Easter eggs. My thighs are big. I hate my arms. I can’t do it. You failure. Kidding, don’t beat yourself up. Don’t sweat over last week’s losses, put your game face on, follow the tips above and sweat (actually sweat) this week. Relax, and have fun. Be proud of the progress you make. Tell yourself good things when you look in the mirror. Tell yourself you’re the incredible hulk, or pretend you’re a Victoria Secrets model. Sit in your awesomeness. Remember, every time you get up early and sweat, you’re one up on the world. They know it; you feel it and it feels good.