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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Finding the time and energy for early morning workouts

I love to workout first thing in the morning.  I am relieved to know that no matter how busy I will become later in the evening I won't have to worry about finding time to get around to it.  I am always helping one of my kids with their homework or driving someone to an extracurricular activity. The biggest difficulty I have been facing is not to be dragging by the middle of the day because I am so tired after waking up at 6 AM to go to the gym.  I feel energized after exercising, but at about 2 PM in the afternoon I have been becoming a little sleepy.  And no, I can't take naps at my desk at work!

I know what needs to happen.  I need to move my bedtime earlier to about 10 PM at night.  I could easily manage this if my 3 children were always highly organized and managed to get their homework done on time.  But you know how it is, there are always the variables you do not plan for and are difficult to control.  Sometimes you have to leave the dishes in the sink, save that extra load of laundry for tomorrow, and not stay up to watch your favorite late night TV talk show.  It is all worth it in the end, because I feel so much better when I exercise. 

Here are some thoughts on how to be more organized in the evenings so that you will be better able to make it to the gym for those early morning workouts.

1. Ask your kids to tackle their homework right when they get home from school.
2. Try to prepare meals in advance to freeze and serve during the week when you are busy.
3. Avoid coffee and caffeinated drinks in the evening.  Try decaffinated coffee or warm milk instead.
4. Try not to fill up on heavy snacks at night that might interfere with your ability to fall sleep.
5. Avoid watching TV in your bedroom as this makes it difficult to unwind at bedtime.
6. Listen to some soothing music and take a warm, relaxing bubble bath.
7. Set your workout clothes out before bed so you can make a quick dash to the gym in the morning.
8. Have family members help with household chores so that you can have an earlier bedtime.

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