While not technically a morning person, age and motherhood has pushed me grudgingly into that category, at least two days a week. My morning routine these days is actually what keeps me partially sane during the week, so let’s discuss!
Two days a week, I sign up for a 6am workout class outside of the house. It’s a fitness studio about 15 minutes from our house, so that means I have to get up at 5:10am—a time that would have made me literally cry only a few short years ago.
While I cringe setting the alarm for 5:10, I’ve actually come to love this time. It’s one of the few times I can be the only one awake in a quiet house; and even though it’s only 15-20 minutes of me getting dressed, making coffee, filling up my water bottle and going, it’s time where it’s just me. No demands on my time or energy from anyone or anything else. It’s insanely gratifying and almost a bit meditative for me.
The morning workout also works much better for me now than it did pre-motherhood, because if I don’t work out before the kids get up, chances are I won’t do it during the day. Even though I have a sitter several times a week for our 3-year-old (she’s not in school this year) to help while I am running around doing pickups and activities with the big kids, it’s still hard for me to pull myself away from work and housework to exercise during the day.
And finally, the energy and sense of accomplishment I feel from the workout are the other huge reasons I’m now a partial early bird. I always leave class with a pep in my step, blasting music on the way home and ready to take on the (inevitably crazy!) day.
It’s no secret that exercise impacts your mood and overall mental health, but I think one of the biggest barriers to entry for women when it comes to getting active is finding the time and energy.
So here’s the thing with that: You’re rarely going to hop out of bed early saying, I can’t wait to get tortured on the Peloton today!! But on the other hand, never will you regret having gotten up and going after the fact. I find the best motivation for me is signing up for classes where there’s a penalty if I cancel at the last minute. Ha! Hey—whatever works! And apparently the threat of losing money works for me!
Also, keeping on top of research showing that exercise can ease depression and anxiety symptoms doesn’t hurt either. Keeping the “long game” mentality has truly been beneficial for me; when I’m in a period of prolonged anxiety, getting my body moving at least twice a week almost always has an immediate and drastic impact on my mood.
Exercise isn’t the only thing we can do to improve our mental health. In fact, it’s just one facet of this week’s conversation on Healthy Body, Healthy Mind.
Tomorrow we’re digging in deep on emotional eating, and how to conquer it, with the amazing Andrea of Things Andrea Says—a nutritionist and certified food and body coach. Make sure you tune in on Facebook at 10am EST when the show is live, or listen early Thursday! We’ll be diving into all of the emotional components that go into staying physically healthy.
See you then! In the meantime, shoot me a DM on Instagram if you have any questions for Andrea!