Let’s face it, no one likes getting up in the morning. No matter what time your alarm is set for, it’s pretty easy to groan when it goes off buzzing and you’re awoken out of dead-sound-sleep.
When I made the conscious decision to be active every day, morning workouts were the only option I had. With a 45-60 minute commute for work, a social life, a relationship, and time needed for meals and sleep, heading to the gym first thing in the morning was the only thing that made sense for me. But with the harsh reality of a 5:15am wake up call, I learned some tips and tricks as well as benefits to getting your body moving first thing.
My energy levels went through the roof.
Don’t get me wrong, the first couple days of waking up at 5:15am were BRUTAL. My family said I was nuts, my friends gave me wide eyes, and my coworkers, already shocked by my commute, said “Are you nuts?” But I’m telling you, by the time I got to work, my energy spiked. Caffeine seemed less like a necessity, I actually almost completely phased it out on days I was up working out early, and my mid-afternoon slumps almost disappeared.
Working out in the morning gave me more time for “me” before work. I almost always gave myself wiggle room for longer workouts, an extra snooze or two, and the short commute to and from the gym, so by the time it was all said and done, I was showered, dressed, and ready with time to spare.
What did this mean for me? Time for Jesus.
Sometimes I’d sit at the kitchen table thumbing through my bible app devotions and other times I’d leave for work early, spending a couple moments before work giving myself quiet time to pray and reflect, ready to take on the day in front of me.
My craving for sweets decreased.
Anyone that knows me can say, without hesitation, that I LOVE sweets.
When I met my fiance, sparks flew for a lot of reasons but our biggest commonality, besides our love for chasing after Jesus, was our love for a good dessert. Meeting him set my baker heart on fire and brownies quickly became a staple in our household. Who doesn’t want a good dessert after dinner?
Once we both started working out consistently, our passion for chocolate didn’t change but our drive to being health conscious did. I knew “working out a poor diet” was impossible but I really didn’t recognize it until I saw it in my own life. I was putting hours into the gym every month and sure, was seeing a pound or two here and there, but never really saw a significant change until I remembered just how hard I worked in the mornings and my sweet tooth became a weekly craving instead of a daily one.
Counting down to get motivated is NOT A MYTH.
I will never forget one of my best friends laughing hysterically at the idea of me counting down from five to get out of bed saying things like,
“I think I would smack my significant other if they started counting down like a detonator next to me at 5am to go work out.”
I’m not certain where I ever got the idea but as long as I can remember, it was my only tactic to get me out of bed so early. It’s said that “Delaying the action does not make it any easier. In fact, the worry and stress compounds the longer you debate the task.”
This is where the 5-second rule comes in.
Counting down backwards sets the wheels in motion. It puts a start time to the task you’re setting out to do and makes it near impossible to not to take action. If you keep waiting to feel ready to get out of your warm, cozy bed at 5am, I can tell you right now that it ain’t gonna happen. There are few things more comforting, but there are also few things more fulfilling than accomplishing your workout first thing in the morning.
All of this to say, being active is medicinal. Being healthy pays off. Moving your body and lifting weights is something you’ll never regret. Get moving, friend. After all, 1 hour is only less than 5% of your whole day.
Abby Pereira was raised in Ocala, FL and sought after a degree in Communication (hey, writing skills!) at the University of South Florida in Tampa where she graduated in 2016. After college, she ventured to figure out where “home” would become and it ended up being right back where she started in Ocala. Today, she works at the University of Florida for the College of Public Health & Health Professions as a Human Resources Generalist where she’s found her niche in supporting people in every aspect of their careers. She’s passionate about Jesus, traveling the world with her Fiance, and decorating her first home. Follow along with her on Instagram @abbaybay