We’ve all been there before. It’s [insert ridiculously early time here] in the morning and you have to make the decision to sleep or workout. You’re comfortable warm, and cozy in your bed. Waking up would not only require getting out of that comfort zone, but also missing out on valuable sleep. On one hand, getting a morning workout in can provide energy to fuel you through your day. On the other hand, getting that extra sleep could also help to avoid the mid-afternoon caffeine binge. So which do you choose?
Believe it or not, you don’t have to choose one over the other. All you have to do is follow a few simple steps and stay committed in order to feel fully rested and ready for your morning workout. The benefits of both sleep and exercise are well researched. Heck, Google either one of them and you’re bound to find plenty of studies that support having a physically active lifestyle as well as maintaining healthy sleep hygiene. You don’t have to sacrifice one or the other. Living a truly healthy lifestyle consists of finding the right balance. That means choosing sleep over a workout when you truly are feeling sleep deprived, while also getting your butt out of bed on the days you’re feeling a little less motivated to do so. How do you go about finding this balance?
First, make sure you are committed to a healthy sleep routine. This means turning off electronics 30-60 minutes before bed, avoiding exciting and stimulating activities during this time as well, and maintaining a regular sleep cycle. Good sleep hygiene also includes keeping your room at a cool and comfortable temperature and avoiding the use of your bed as an area to work or watch television. By making a commitment to maintaining a healthy sleep cycle, you’re preparing yourself to be in the best shape to become active. Because after all, everything’s easier when you’re not groggy and sluggish in the morning.
Once you have your zzz’s in a row, you’ll have the energy to make fitness a priority. Motivate yourself to workout in the morning by setting out your gym clothes, participating in a fun class with a friend, or setting your alarm across the room. Most of the time getting out of bed is half the battle. The first few days may be tough, but after sticking to the routine you’ll find that being active in the morning can help with motivation, concentration, and just generally being in a great mood all day long.
Instead of debating on which to choose, sleep or exercise, why not make a goal to include more of both in your life? Start by working on getting enough sleep, then move on to tackle becoming active. Above all, remember to focus on balance. Sometimes you just need that extra hour of sleep, and that’s okay. However, when you start choosing that snooze button over your physical health day in and day out, that’s when you need to start assessing which changes to make.
How do you stay motivated and energized through your morning workouts?
Prior Fat Girl is a blog written and maintained by Jen Emmert. Jen is one of Around the Plate’s Healthy Eating Champions and is a member of thePlate community. As a Healthy Eating Champion, Jen enjoys sharing her weight loss journey and building a community for other to be connected with those on a similar journey. Find other healthy eating champions, nutrition experts, and recipe gurus on our community blog network.