By Di Westaway | Chief Adventure Chick and Founder of Wild Women On Top and Coastrek
I’m a morning exerciser. Every day, my alarm goes off when it’s dark and I leap out of bed, full of enthusiasm and energy, ready to take on the day.
Except I don’t. Ever. But you might be forgiven for thinking I do if you’ve ever been to one of my Trek Training sessions. In fact, I became a fitness coach precisely because I knew it would force me to exercise!
If I'm not meeting clients, my brain sounds a little something like this when my alarm goes off.
“I want to train, but I really need to make breakfast for my teenager because if I don’t, he might not have enough nourishment and won’t be able to focus at school and I’ll be a bad mum. Do I really need to exercise?”
“I think my back tyre is going down… did it go flat overnight? If it does, I’ll have to pump it back up and then I’ll be too late to get there for the warmup.”
“Damn… my exercise gear is dirty and I really can’t wear that favourite smelly crop top again so I’d best stay home and put on a load of washing.”
“Eugh, the Telstra guy can’t tell me what time he’s coming so I’d better stay home in case he comes at 7am.”
“I need to get to the office early for a meeting I forgot about and there’s just no time to get home, have a shower, wash my hair and make the meeting. I’d better skip the workout.”
Sound familiar? Yep, people who “do” mornings don’t have some magical motivation dust that makes them bounce out of bed. They, too, have that brain over body battle to stay under the doona after the alarm sounds.
And yet I exercise every day. I absolutely love it. I'm able to do that because I've come up with tools and strategies to help take motivation out of the equation.
Here are some of my favourites ways to become a morning exerciser if you're not a "morning person":
- Get a goal that’s really scary so you just HAVE to train for it.
- Put up a ‘ritual’ board on the fridge and tick off the days you walk.
- Arrange to meet a buddy and turn off your phone so you can’t late cancel.
- Sign up for a group workout where you pay in advance.
- Choose exercise that’s fun and adventurous, like hiking.
- Reward yourself with a coffee and girlie catch-up afterwards.
- Get a trainer who will notice if you’re not there and keep you accountable.
- Go to bed earlier so you can’t use “I need to sleep in” as an excuse.
Follow these and you, too, can be a morning person. Unless the Telstra guy is coming. There’s no way around that.