health

This is how I motivate myself to exercise (even though I never really want to).

This is what I should be doing right now.
This is what I should be doing right now.

 

By NATALIA HAWK

So. About a month ago, you might remember that I signed up for a 9km run. Which was not the wisest of choices, considering that I’m really not a runner.

But I embraced this strange decision, and I wrote a blog post that included many a clever tip (she says modestly) for becoming a runner. And my fellow comrades, those other excellent non-runners out there, responded. And together, we bonded. We told each other that we would run. We promised to feel the wind beneath our wings as we ran through the streets, the parks, the beaches.

I downloaded apps, I purchased running music, I found books and websites. I organised the exercise-clothing section of my wardrobe. I got excited about my future fitness-freak self.

And then I fell off the wagon completely.

You see, I’m an evening-or-weekend exerciser. It’s always been that way and it’s always worked for me. I’ve been hesitant to change it.

Yes, it's morning time. Yes, you can exercise.
Yes, it’s morning time. Yes, you can exercise.
ADVERTISEMENT

But for a myriad of reasons that I won’t bore you with, my evenings have become too busy to fit any running into.

I start the week thinking, “yes, I’ll definitely get time for a jog at some point,” and then suddenly it’s Sunday afternoon and I haven’t even seen my joggers since last Sunday.

So last week, I decided to just get over myself and become a morning exerciser.

Exercising in the mornings is a great idea for a bunch of reasons. The main one being, of course, that if you exercise in the morning – that’s IT. You’re done for the day. You don’t have to worry about it past 8am. You don’t beat yourself up all night when you’re meant to be Zumba-ing but can’t get your butt off the couch.

Also: there’s barely anyone around. The air is so still and peaceful. It clears your mind for the day ahead and energises you. It’s also been shown to have benefits for your metabolism and energy levels throughout the day.

“But I can’t exercise in the morning!” I hear you say. “I’m not a morning person! My sleep is non-negotiable! I can’t get up 30 mins earlier to do it!”

Seriously – and this is coming from a person that has to set five alarms to get them out of their morning slumber – YOU CAN DO IT. Forget those words of negativity and get yourself out there in the morning. Just do it once. And then if you hate it, you never have to do it again.

(But you won’t hate it. Promise.)

Here’s what I’m doing that’s helping:

This morning
My morning exercise gear. Hey – I’m no Lorna Jane model, but comfort is key.
ADVERTISEMENT

1. Getting organised.

I don’t sleep in my exercise gear – my sports bra is heavy-duty and would be really uncomfortable – but I lay my exercise clothes out on the floor, literally next to my bed.

This means that I don’t even have to get OUT of bed to get dressed when my alarm goes off. I just sit up and start pulling clothes on.

If I’m feeling super organised, I also lay out my clothes for the next work day. Then when I get home from my run, I can congratulate myself for pretty much being Superwoman.

2. Making it easy.

My mind can’t overcome barriers in the morning. So I pick the comfy, loose, uncomplicated clothes. I run around the park next to my house. I run the same route every time to avoid any decision-making whatsoever before 7am. Works well.

3. Guilt-tripping myself into oblivion…

Just when I’m about to skip the morning run in favour of spending 30 more minutes with my incredibly comfy bed… the internal dialogue begins. You are doing a 9km run in a few months, it says. If you can’t do it, everyone will laugh at you. EVERYONE. Even the people who don’t know you or couldn’t care less about you. AND NOBODY WILL EVER LOVE YOU AGAIN.

I know it’s harsh, but hey – it gets me out of bed.

What time of the day do you exercise – and how do you motivate yourself to do it? Any further tips for morning exercisers?

FROM OUR NETWORK
00:00 / ???