Wakey Wakey: Why Mornings are Best
“I can’t believe you got up at 5.30 in the morning!”
I hear that over and over again. I keep getting told that going to the gym before work, or early in the morning, is madness. Why do I do it to myself? Here’s the thing – mornings work best for me. I don’t mind the early start, walking to the gym as the sun rises, joining the other early risers on the gym floor. It gives me a buzz.
And then here’s the absolute truth – I’m super lazy. I’d rather sit in front of the TV and eat my bodyweight in junk food if I thought I could get away with it. But no one can – ultimately, clean eating and fitness is the only tried and true method to stay healthy. It prevents physical disease, mental illness and keeps off those flabby areas. The results are different in everyone, but the end game is kind of the same. So I have to make it work for me. I have to go to bed early (I love my bed more than anything) and get up at the crack of sparrow, in order to actually do it.
You see, when I wake up at 5.30am, half the time I’m not even aware of what I’m doing until I’m halfway to the gym. I’ve prepped the night before so it’s just a matter of climbing in to my workout gear and going. The gym is fairly quiet, so I get the run of the machines, and by the time I’ve sweated and worked, the sun is high and the day is about ready to begin. I can go to work wide awake and feeling good (if a little achey).
And guess what? After work, I don’t have to build up the energy and motivation to go. I don’t have to battle it out with everyone else for the machines. In fact, I can just go home and watch TV. I can go for a drink in the pub, or meet friends for dinner. I can do everything else, without having to compromise on my fitness regime. Smug? You bet. Knackered? More often than not. But I don’t feel so guilty when I eat a huge pizza any more. I’ve earned it.
There is a lot about fitness out there right now, but ultimately it’s about finding what works for you. You’re never going to stick to a regime if you try to shoehorn it in to your life without compromise. Those fitness bloggers on Instagram and YouTube? They spend their whole day working out. It’s their job to look like that and do those things. Don’t try to be like them – try to be like you. Choose your own standard to measure against and go for that.
So you don’t work out every day? Most people don’t. Even twice a week is more than a lot of people. So you prefer the evening to the morning? Go in the evenings. There’s no right or wrong way of doing this. Make it work for you and the rest will come.
Of course I’m going to advocate going to the gym in the morning, or going for a run, or even waking up with a bit of yoga. It works absolutely perfectly for me. Saturday mornings are filled with gentle yoga to set me up for the weekend, Sunday mornings are fast and furious at BodyAttack to get me pumped for the day (I never get that Sunday feeling). Monday is HIIT, which leaves me buzzing for the week ahead, and Wednesdays are intense weight sessions with BodyPump to strengthen my body. Tuesday evenings are a bit hit and miss and I’m still working on that, but ultimately I’ve found a routine that works for me.
No, I’m not doing handstands on the beach, and my abs are more feather pillow than steel, but I feel healthy and strong. And then I can go and enjoy that feeling in the evenings. Now who doesn’t want the best of both worlds? With morning workouts, I can. Now who’s mad?