Exercising has always been important to me. In high school I was involved in sports and weightlifting, and throughout college I loved the accountability I had with my sorority sisters to go to our campus fitness center or even for a walk after dinner. When I started my career in Wichita, I found amazing classes at the Y and would schedule my evenings around them. My husband and I have sweet memories of heading to the gym together when we were first married and I loved that we could challenge each other. I felt so much better when I worked out, both mentally and physically.
Then the babies came.
Suddenly I realized how difficult it can be to be a mom and find time to work out. When I am working as a teacher nine months of the year, I know I only have a few precious hours after work with my family, and that also needs to include dinner together, dance class, baths, bedtimes, and the craziness of getting ready for the next day. When I’m home with my kids in the summer, our days are usually filled with little adventures and finding time for myself to exercise just seems inconvenient.
When my second born was about a year old, I realized I hadn’t been consistent with exercising in years and I missed it. When I looked at the options I had to work out, I realized if I wanted to be committed but still not rock our schedules too much, I had one option: early morning.
I’m not going to lie, those first couple of mornings I woke up in the hours of darkness felt awkward. I tiptoed around as to not wake my family as I headed down to the basement. I had spent years working out in a commercial gym with others and now I just had myself and a streaming workout on T.V. But even after the first workout, I knew I was on to something. Before the first “mommy” of the day came from one of my babies’s mouths, I had taken time for myself and felt accomplished.
It’s not that every morning since then has been easy and I just jump out of bed, but I know the reward is so much greater than staying under the covers scrolling social media. I wake up quicker for the remainder of the morning, I’m full of energy when my kids wake up, and I head to work with a clearer head and better mental health. I’ve also realized my metabolism is up for the rest of the day, which helps me make healthier choices for snacks and meals. Even in the summers when I’m not going to work, I’m more likely to choose to set an alarm before the kids wake up and get my workout in because I know it’s the only guaranteed “me time” I will have that day – and if I take that time early in the morning, I don’t get as crabby searching for it later.
It’s taken some new discipline to get my workouts done early in the morning, but I know it’s saved my sanity. The quietness of the early morning is appreciated before a day filled with giggles, questions, snack requests, and kid conversations. The act of taking this time for myself and knowing that it’s making me stronger and healthier for my family motivates me to do the hard things every day. I may go to bed earlier than I did before, but I love my morning workouts for all the ways they keep me going.
Wanting to get an early morning workout routine started? Here’s what has kept me going!
- I love my Apple Watch. Closing the rings every day is a huge motivator to me to stay active! I love that I can “share” my activity with my friends and they can send “cheers” to me and vise versa. Several of us do early morning workouts and it’s fun to almost feel like we are working out together for accountability! Apple Watch is my favorite, but many other fitness trackers have the same features
- An online streaming service for workouts that give variety has kept it fun and fresh. I love having the ability to change up my workouts and can do everything from HIIT to strength training to yoga!
- Cute and functional workout clothes really do make it fun! Even when I’m by myself I’m my basement, it’s a lot easier to hustle when I feel confident.
For my fellow early a.m. exercise sisters, what keeps you motivated every morning? I’d love to hear all the ways you keep it exciting or why you love to work out before the sun comes up!