When I found my love for working out again postpartum, I was in my element. The challenge was getting back into a routine of early morning workouts. However, I had to remind myself what my reason was for starting the journey and to stay with the course – no matter what. I had three reasons for starting a healthy living lifestyle:
- Renew my physique
- Refresh my mind, my thoughts
- Realign my physical being with my spiritual core strength
It isn’t easy to begin a new lifestyle or change an existing one. For anyone looking to start, struggling to stay committed to the course, know that you aren’t alone. I have so many tips that can help you on your healthy living lifestyle which over time I hope to share. Today, I want to cover the 5 tips that helped me stick to an early…extremely early morning workout; I hope it helps you too.
Before #1, always start your day with God. I make sure I read His word, pray around my house, and make a journal entry…basically some quiet time, first, before starting my daily routine.
- Set a simple goal! This sounds simple but often times people find it very difficult to do. The goal doesn’t have to be an elaborate or extensive one – specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time bound (SMART). It can be something connected to nutrition (example Eat carbs 3 times a week), or connected to working out (exercise 30 minutes on Monday, Wednesday and Friday). For me, my nutrition goals change weekly but the constant is no carbs after 7pm, workout 5 days a week and drink 1 gallon of water a day. As you can see from the picture, I go above the weekly workout goal; by tracking your workouts, you keep yourself accountable.
- Layout your workout clothes the night before. This action prepares you mentally to wake up and go smash your workout. I must admit, being prepared is really important and helpful, and my husband can attest to this – when we are late getting laundry done on Sunday night, I always make sure my gym clothes get in the washer first! Especially if they are my favorite pants or tops. That is because I don’t want to wake up Monday morning and not be prepared…Monday being the hardest early morning rise, the probability of you falling back on that comfy bed is high if your gym wear is still in the dryer.
- Plan your workout the night before. This action is also key. You don’t want to wander into the gym, park, home gym with no plan! Have a notebook, use your phone notepad, have a flip chart…anything that you are comfortable writing in/on. I am a visual learner and I visualize a lot of my workout moves. Even cardio, if I don’t tell myself the type of cardio I will do in the morning, it usually takes up to 15 minutes in the gym for me to ‘feel’ like working out. I have a workout notebook – I’ve been writing down my workouts in these notebooks for over 2 years now. Every single move, even when they get modified, crossed out, added to…the rounds, the number of reps are all documented in the book. Even if I have a buddy joining me for workouts, its all listed in the book. This practice has become a part of my nightly routine…usually the last thing I do before I head off to bed.
- Set multiple alarms on your phone. Gosh…that tiny computer can take as many alarms as you can set them…use that device. If you set only one alarm for all the activities in your life that you need a reminder on, you probably will become a bit disorganized. I have an alarm set for weekday workouts, one for weekend workouts, one for Sunday church serving wake up call, one for regular work week, one for birth control pills etc. And set some snoozes too…for example, weekday workouts i need to be out of bed at 4:15am, alarm is set for 4:00am. then I snooze 15 minutes and when the clock hits 4:15am, I slide out of bed. Its not as easy as it sounds but my body is used to this clock now.
- Charge your gadgets .i.e. your iPod, phone, fitness wearables etc. Can you imagine waking up bright and early, ready to workout and you realize oops my phone is almost dead, or my iPod battery is dead or battery life on my fitbit is really low. Yeah…that workout wouldn’t be fun especially with no music and whole lot of gym chatter in your ears. So before you slide into bed, make sure all your favorite gadgets are plugged up and charged up. And if you can have an extra in your car just in case…my car charger has definitely come in very handy on occasion.
I share these tips because while we are all busy women, busy moms, busy professional women, busy making moves, we need to take care of our health. Check nutrition, check physical activity, check hydration levels. All these tips have one thing in common – preparation. If you fail to plan then you are planning to fail! Take baby steps, small steps, stick with the journey, remember why you started and never give-up. So change into your workout gear, grab your gadgets, grab your gym bag of workout supplies (gloves, notepad, tape, towel, headphones etc), grab your water bottle, grab your car keys/house keys and go slay that workout ladies.