What do you consider sleeping in?
Are you one of those people who get up at 0′dark thirty to run or workout?
Or are you a card carrying Night Owl?
I’m a night owl.
I’ve been one since I was a child.
I remember still being awake in my bed most nights when my parents would check on me on their way to bed. I can’t tell you how many nights of my life I’ve been up past midnight, but if I think the number is higher than 50%.
This makes it really hard to get up early.
Other than races and long runs for my only fall marathon (MCM in 2008), I have never gotten up early to work out.
Don’t get me wrong. I’ve tried.
But I’m not a “hit the ground running” kind of person in the morning. (Pun intended.) I need an hour at least to get from bed to activity of any sort.
When you think about the fact that my husband leaves for work at 6:30am and back that time up for wake up time, work out time, etc… Yeah, we’re talking about a 4:30am wakeup call.
Not.going.to.happen. (I don’t need a lot of sleep, but even I need more than 4 hours.)
Which leaves me having to workout later in the day. All the studies say that you are much more likely to work out if you do it first thing. I’m too lazy to actually get statistics, but it’s true. Otherwise, life gets in the way.
So, why do I still work out later in the day and how do I make sure it happens?
Why? Honestly, it makes me unhappy to try to shift my body clock and work out early. And since exercise is my happy, it’s not worth it to me.
So how do I make sure it happens?
- I evaluate each week on Sunday night and figure out which days will work best for which workouts. I have a general idea in my head of what I’d like to accomplish and I fit it into the week.
- Each morning, while I’m drinking my coffee and waking up, I look at my schedule and reconfirm my plan.
- I don’t shower until after I get my workout in. (I’m absolutely sure the moms at my kids’ school love this. Not.)
- I dress in workout clothes from the moment I get up. (I work from home, so I have that flexibility. When I worked in an office, I took my clothes and worked out during lunch some days).
- Prioritize! Prioritize! Prioritize! I’m a better wife, mother, and employee when I’m working out on a regular basis and everyone around me knows that.
- Accept that shorter is better than nothing. If I’m really missing my workout, I’ll try to squeeze in a quick HIIT or Tabata workout.
Sometimes, I have to cut myself some slack.
Sometimes, things just don’t go as planned.
And that’s ok.
I just remind myself that a few missed days are not the first steps down the road towards couch potato.
Tomorrow (afternoon) is another day.
Erika is a mom of two boys. She spends her time running, running after her boys, & attempting to work amidst chaos. In her spare time (ha!), she’s pursuing her goal of running a race in every state combined with visits to as many brewpubs as possible. She writes about her adventures at MCM Mama.