Exercise is often one of the thing that tends to get pushed to the back burner when schedules are busy, but starting the day with a little exercise is one of the best ways to wake you up and make you feel energized for the rest of the day. If you’re dragging along and feeling like you’re lacking energy and enthusiasm for life, exercise just might be the best antidote.
I know it’s not the most exciting things to get up and do in the morning, but exercise is one of those things that you never regret doing. Instead of making excuses as to why you can’t find time to exercise, start thinking of ways to you can fit some exercise into your morning.
Your health is worth the sacrifice of a little time, sweat, and effort. And I promise you’ll feel better the rest of the day!
If you struggle to regularly exercise, here are some suggestions to consider:
1. Check Out a DVD From the Library
If you can’t afford to pay for a gym membership or a trainer, check out the workout DVDs at your local library. Typically, they have quite a large selection to choose from. Some of my favorites are by Jillian Michaels (more intense workouts) and Leslie Sansone (these are great for beginners or those looking for low impact exercise).
I’ve found exercise DVDs are a great way to mix things up — especially if my current routine seems like it’s becoming a bit mundane. And it’s a lot less inhibiting to work out in your basement or living room, rather than in a group of people at a class at the gym!
2. Watch Exercise Videos Online
Can’t make it to the library? The internet is goldmine of exercising videos and resources. YouTube is a great place to start if you’re looking workout videos. Also, some of my readers left other online resources on my Facebook post here this morning.
3. Experiment With New Things
If you don’t enjoy exercising, it’s probably just because you’ve not yet tried enough different kinds of exercise options. There’s pretty much something out there for everyone, so keep trying things until you land upon something you love.
4. Find a Workout Partner
Teaming up with someone else can be a great way to be more successful when it comes to fitness. Either find someone to meet you for a morning jog, to come over and do that exercise DVD with you multiple times per week, or find someone who will text or email you and see if you followed through with the goals you set for exercise each day. There are also many different online accountability forums and Facebook groups (or you could start your own!).
Jesse and I have been doing P90X together and we’re finding that it makes it much more fun than doing on your own. Plus, we’re both helping to inspire each other through the difficult parts — we have fun teasing each other when we mess up or have trouble pulling off some of the workout sequences! 🙂
5. Set Small Goals
A lot of people want to lose weight or run a marathon, but wanting to do something won’t get you anywhere. You have to actually set a goal and break it down into bite-sized, realistic pieces if you want to be successful.
So set some fitness goals and then figure out what tiny steps you can take this week to help you get where you want to be in six months from now. It’s amazing how motivating the act of putting your goals on paper and breaking them down into small pieces can be. You can do this — one step at a time!
If you’re not Type A like me this probably seems crazy, but I find that if I’m doubling up my exercise with something else (listening to an audiobook, praying, working on my Scripture memory, mapping out articles in my head, reading a good book I’m reading during my warm-up walk on the treadmill, etc.), I enjoy it a lot more and it feels like I’m killing two birds with one stone.
7. Be Realistic
If you’ve never exercised before, don’t expect that you’ll be running five miles in a few weeks. Start slowly, set small goals, and focus on the progress you’re making (even if it seems tiny) instead of being discouraged by the fact that you’re not where you want to be.
You’d rather slowly build up your endurance and stamina then to try to do much more than you’re capable of and end up burning yourself out before the first week of exercise is over with.
8. Track Your Progress
Each week, keeping a log of the workouts you do, how much time you worked out for, or how many miles you ran. This will inspire you to keep going, will encourage you as you see yourself growing stronger and building endurance.
Try using online trackers such as MyFitnessPal, SparkPeople, or Nike+. All of these have cool features that make logging your exercise time more rewarding.
9. Reward Your Success
What motivates you? Set some goals and plan some rewards along the way. Maybe you decide to put a quarter in a jar every time you exercise for 25 minutes and then you can use this money on a little special treat (coffee at the coffee shop, a used book from Amazon, etc.) every few weeks.
10. Remember That Something is Better Than Nothing
If you only have five minutes in the morning to exercise, then exercise for five minutes. Sure, you’re probably not going to get the benefits of a 45-minute workout in five minutes, but you can definitely work up a little sweat and get your heart pumping with a short and intense workout.
Do what you can do with the time you have. Something is always better than nothing when it comes to exercise.
My Day 5 Project Update
Bedtime: Made it to bed by 9:36 p.m. Woot — I’m slowly making progress in the right direction!
My Top 5 Evening Must Do’s: Done!
Wake Up Time: Got up at 4:55 a.m. this morning!
Day 6 Project
1. Did you determine your bedtime and 5 Evening Must-Do’s? If so, leave a comment telling us how you did on them last night.
2. Did you determine what time you’re going to commit to waking up every morning for the next three weeks? If so, leave a comment telling us how you did this morning!
3. If you already have an exercise plan that you follow each morning, leave a comment telling us about it. If you aren’t currently exercising in the morning, consider if you have a 5 to 15 minute slot you could devote to exercise. Leave a comment telling us if you’re committing to exercise every morning (or evening, if that works better for you).