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We have had a treadmill in our basement forever. But that doesn’t stop me from joining a new gym every few years. I get bored of the treadmill and sometime around March I “commit” to a new exercise regimen and declare that this year I will stick with it. And time and time again I fail. After the first month I struggle to get to the gym once a week. And then it becomes even less. Until I quit. I waste money and my time.
I decided that if we had more variety of exercise equipment at home I would workout more often. Two years ago my husband gave me a Peloton bike for Christmas and I love it. The instructors are motivating and the workouts are fantastic. But, I still struggle to find time to use it. Once the kids get home there is no way I have even twenty minutes to hop on the bike. As soon as I start a class someone needs a band aid or a major wrestling match erupts right in front of me. So, I thought my only other option was to wait until the kids were in bed to workout. If I am tired at 5pm I am exhausted by 8:30. It just didn’t work. I felt so guilty that I had this amazing piece of equipment but was “too lazy” to use it.
I go to work early – I leave the house before six. But, I realized that the only way I was going to consistently work out was to get up even earlier and get a quick workout in before I leave in the morning. I am an “all or nothing” person, so it was hard for me to compromise and only workout for 20 minutes each morning. But, twenty minutes each day is better than an hour once a month. This is a hard concept for me. Anyway, I streamlined my morning routine and found that not only could I fit in a morning workout, but I actually enjoy it.
Here is what I did to turn my morning workout into an enjoyable part of my day. And like everything I do it involves prepping the night before.
Plan For a Morning Workout
- Lay out my workout clothes
- Pack a gym bag with my regular clothes, make up, towel and shower stuff
- Fill my water bottle and put it in the basement
- Prep the coffee
- Set a Bedtime and stick to it
Lay out workout clothes
I lay out my workout clothes in the bathroom. In the morning all I need to do is brush my teeth and quickly change into my workout clothes to head down to the basement.
Pack a gym bag
Packing a bag is key. I am fortunate that I have a full bathroom with a shower in the basement. Once I leave my bedroom I don’t come back upstairs. I don’t want to wake up the kids or my husband and if I get ready in the basement, I actually have a little more fun. The lights are on, I can listen to my favorite music! So, I pack a bag as if I were going to the gym. I do keep body wash, dry shampoo, deodorant and a brush in the basement bathroom. I always shower at night before bed so after my workout I only need to rinse off and find a way to control my hair. These hair ties are the key to keeping your hair look good once you pull out your ponytail.
Fill my water bottle
It probably only saves a minute to bring my water bottle downstairs the night before but at 4:45 in the morning I really can’t’ be bothered to think about anything. I love my lifefactory glass water bottle – it never leaks and the water always tastes great.
Prep the coffee
I splurged and bought myself a small Keurig to keep in the basement. So, the night before I fill it with water and grab a new k-cup. I even put cream in my coffee cup and leave it in the basement refrigerator. I am that dedicated to saving every possible moment. After my workout when I hop in the shower, I turn on the coffee and by the time I am done I enjoy a fresh cup of coffee while I do my hair and make-up. I actually really enjoy this little routine I’ve created for myself.
Stick to a bedtime
As a mom it is so hard to stop and just go to bed. There is always “one more thing” to do. Some nights I don’t want to go to bed. I want to stay up like a “normal” person and watch tv with my husband. But, if I don’t go to bed I know that I will hit snooze in the morning and skip my workout. Not that it’s the end of the world but now that it’s a habit I really enjoy my morning workout and routine.
In addition to feeling really good all day and having fun in the morning I have found that I am less stressed. We all know exercise reduces stress, but it isn’t just that. That little voice in the back of my head – the one that made me feel guilty for not going to the gym – is gone. When I get home, I don’t feel guilty for playing with the kids or hanging out with my husband in the evening. It isn’t always easy but I am proud of myself for sticking with this new routine and taking better care of myself.