When given the option of a salad or sandwich for lunch, I’ll usually opt for a salad, unless I am between workouts and want something more substantial to sit in my stomach. However, most of the time I am between classes, not workouts, and I have found that eating a lot of fresh vegetables for my mid-day meal helps keep my energy levels consistent throughout the day, making me much less likely of experiencing that “afternoon slump”.
Some days though, you just want a sandwich. Today was that kind of day.
I made myself a grilled cheese and chicken sandwich with pesto, and a chicken cheese pesto salad wrap on the side.
My sandwich was a taaaad bit burnt (my stove’s fault!) but it still tasted great.
As I was eating my sandwich, I realized that it had transformed into a moustache shape. I then proceeded to take this slightly embarrassing selfie.
How to Make Your Morning Workout a Success
I feel as though people are either morning workout haters, or lovers, and that there is no one who is ambivalent. However, I am also convinced that people are not born one way or another. I believe that anyone can become a morning person, and furthermore, a morning workout person, if they put their mind to it. However, when you’re all comfy in bed, it can be pretty hard to tear yourself away when you know that some amount of pain and suffering lies ahead.
Through a lot of experience with morning workouts (both good and bad ones), I have come up with a number of things that help me get the most out of my workout.
- Don’t do a late workout the night before (for example, after dinner). Your body won’t have had enough time to recover, and you’ll feel like you never took a break, especially if you’re heading back to the same gym, or running route.
- Eat something small before to motivate you. A lot of the time when I plan on working out first thing and I don’t, it’s not because I’m too tired, but because I’ve woken up hungry. Most of the time, if I eat even just a couple bites of a banana or a granola bar, I’ll feel a lot better, and will have a better workout too.
- Don’t make it too hard, but don’t make it too easy. For most workouts, it often takes me about 10 minutes to get into the groove. This is mostly because I need to physically and mentally surpass the “barrier” where my cardio and mind kick in. Therefore, a morning workout of casual walking, biking, or doing the elliptical usually doesn’t cut it. I have to literally force myself to work hard. That being said, a brutally hard interval workout is not always the best option, either. Going all-out first thing in the morning is hard both mentally and physically, especially without having eaten a proper meal yet that day. Your body might not have the energy to push 100%, and this could leave you feeling depressed and unaccomplished.
- Make sure you get a good warm up in. Roughly 15 minutes before the beginning of this workout, your heart rate was at its lowest point. Bringing it up too quickly will not only make your workout seem harder, you could actually injure yourself trying to compensate for this extra tiredness.
- Schedule something engaging and that motivates you. Whether that’s a spin class, running with a friend, or a familiar favourite interval workout, do something you know you can do, and that you’d be excited to do at another point in the day. By scheduling something you would normally dread, you’re just lowering your chances of success.
- Set out everything you need (or at least your clothes) the night before. It’ll be easier to gets out of bed when you see what you have to put on, rather than picking it out of a closet. Plus, think of the guilt you’ll feel if you sleep in, and upon waking up, see your poor unworn gym clothes hanging on the chair. Avoid the guilt!
- Be nice to yourself. Don’t go too hard on yourself, mentally. If you’re setting out to run a 5k that you would usually run at a 9:00/mile pace, but can’t quite keep it up this morning, don’t beat yourself up about it. It will take your body some time to get used to this new routine. Be prepared to lower your standards the tiniest bit, and have a positive outlook. If nothing else, you can always tell yourself: “at least I made it to the gym!”
- Think about how energized you’ll feel afterwards. Remind yourself: “I’ll feel so much more awake after!”. Okay, I admit it’s hard to imagine that workout high when you can barely keep your eyes open, but try it! (Just make sure not to close your eyes when trying to picture it!)
I would be lying if I said that early morning workouts are easy for me and that I always look forward to them. However, I’ve become a lot better at doing them, thanks to these few tips that I’ve learned along the way. Hope they help!