The holiday season has come and gone. Gifts were exchanged, cards given, and New Year Resolution’s written down and tucked away somewhere — doomed to be forgotten. Now that the mornings are colder and calmer, it’s time to be serious and come up with your real New Year’s Resolution — a commitment to fitness.
If you’re scared of stepping on the weighing scale or you’re in denial about the real reason your pants are a little snugger (sorry sweetheart, they did not shrink in the wash) it’s time to reset the alarm an hour or two earlier.
You heard me; it’s time to get up early.
Don’t worry, I get it. When the weather’s this chilly, I would rather sleep late than wake up early. The prospect of getting up before the sun is preposterous. However, the idea of missing pre-scheduled workouts or — God forbid — missing a day of exercise because there just wasn’t time — is something I can’t even begin to comprehend.
BE YOUR OWN CHEERLEADER
Negative thoughts can never beget positive outcomes. If you keep bringing yourself down, you’re not going anywhere. If you keep dreading your early morning exercise instead of looking forward to it, you can bet that you’re never going to learn to love it. A little positive, upbeat energy never hurt anyone. In this case, it could help you immensely.
Go to bed psyching yourself up for the upcoming exercise. Tell yourself you’re excited for the results that are sure to come — a toner body, a firmer set of abs, a smaller waistline … whatever your goals may be.
TOP TIP: Avoid stalling — consciously or not. Lay everything out the day before to make your trip from bed to out-the-door as quick and as painless as possible. Place your workout attire someplace you can see it when you wake up. Put your keys, iPod, earphones, and water jug right beside the door so that you don’t spend minutes searching for either one of them.
DON’T SKIP BREAKFAST
Skipping meals has never been the answer to losing weight. While it’s not advisable to have a full meal minutes before you work out, a bottle of protein powder shake or protein powder drink should give you that extra boost you need. If you’ve never had protein powder before, do some research online or get recommendations from friends, family, or even personal trainers. Do a little digging around and start experimenting with the mix, formula, and taste that works for you.
Once you’ve got the protein mix you want, get into the habit of mixing it up the night before or laying out the powder right next to your jug.
Now you’re good to go. Grab your stuff, get in your car, and you’re on your way! Drink your pre-workout meal, amp yourself up mentally (consider loading your iPod with danceable or empowering beats for this), and you’ll be amazed at what you’re feeling when you’re finally in the gym!
I’ve found that early morning workouts are more productive than those done during “social” hours. Give it a shot; you might like it. Honestly, not everyone is a true early bird. Not everyone wakes up, refreshed and ready to take on the world. Some people consider getting up a chore, and I used to be one of them. But once you make a habit of it — once you get used to it? — nothing beats the feeling of tiptoeing out of the house, admiring the world before anyone else, feeling the early morning chill on your face while you’re tingling with excited energy.