Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Oh, What a Beautiful Morning (Workout)!

Smart Sassy Sisters all the way!-Sarah, Lexy, Carrie

The guest blog post below is from Carrie & Lexy's friend Sarah Mashburn Vogel.  She is definately a Smart Sassy Sister!  We have know each other for nearly 20 years and reconnected while in Washington DC last week.  She's our go-to Yoga expert and lost 30 pounds (the healthy way) and has kept it off for 7 years.  (And how can you not love her shout to to the musical Oklahoma! in her title)  She's definately the classy poised version to balance out the craziness of Carrie & Lexy. 

The truth is, I'm not naturally a morning person. Just ask my mother. As a kid, getting me out of bed and ready for school was quite the ordeal. I got better as an adult, but I never became bright-eyed and bushy-tailed in the AM until I started beginning my day with a workout.

Two years ago, I spontaneously decided to wake up for a 7am fitness class with my now-trainer. His enthusiasm woke up my groggy mind, and the exercises he lead us through left my body feeling energized and ready for the day. Soon, I was regularly taking his class and working out on my own on the other days. Now, I wake up at 5:30 a.m. four days a week to work out. I certainly look forward to the day I sleep in, but I don't feel nearly as good as I do on the other days.

If you're rolling your eyes at this post, I don't blame you. I used to think people who worked out in the morning were crazy, but I promise it's not as insane as it sounds. All it takes is a little planning and change in perspective.

Does the idea of morning exercising intrigue you? Here are four tips that keep me from hitting the snooze button:

1. Be Prepared. It's not just the Boy Scout motto. Every evening, I pack my breakfast/lunch/snacks for the day as well as bag with everything I need to get ready for work  (Side note: I go right to work from the gym, but known plenty of people who go back home too. It's your call). That way, I don't have to think about it the morning. I just get up and go. Plus, I get a few more minutes of sleep because of it.

2. Drink Up! Water, that is. I always start my morning with a large glass  of water to rehydrate and get my body ready to work up a sweat.  As for eating, there's differing opinions about whether or not to eat before a morning workout. I usually stick to water and if I need extra energy, 8 to 10 almonds that I can eat on my way to the car. I also keep a water bottle nearby for post-workout hydration.

3. Find a Friend (or a Class). Three mornings a week, I participate in a strength training class with a small group of women that I've grown to call friends. One of them even helped me find a job at her company! I know they wouldn't judge me if I didn't show up, but I do feel accountable to them. Plus, having a friend working out with you makes the time go faster.

Sarah-far left, bright eyed and bushy tailed for her morning workout
4. Mix it Up.  Whatever time of day you workout, it's important to find a fitness routine that incorporates activities you like to do. This is especially true in the morning. A  couple of weeks ago, I woke up feeling overheated (not unusual in humid Washington, DC). I knew a sweaty cardio session wasn't going to happen.  So instead, I decided to go the local pool and swim laps. The cool water felt  great, and I felt great for not sleeping in.  Having a few options in mind will make it easier to find a workout that fits your mood.

And last, but not least, don't forget to set the alarm! 

If you start a morning fitness routine, let me know how it goes. Us early birds need to stick together.

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