Making the Case for AM Workouts

A conversation with a dear friend on a walk last night reminded me of why I desperately miss my morning workouts … and why I need to find a way back to them.

You see, prior to getting Rocco, I never had a problem with morning workouts.

A lark by nature, I loved the idea of getting my workout out of the way so I could enjoy the rest of my day. It set the tone for my day and it energized me. It made me feel happy and whole, and any walks in the afternoon were just a bonus in terms of physical activity and a positive jolt to my mental well-being. When I worked out in the morning, I ate better and slept better.

But then things changed.

Once Rocco joined our family, he was like a baby — waking a few times at night in the beginning and he’d cry if he heard anyone up. So I stopped working out in the AM because I knew I’d be walking him later in the day and didn’t want to risk waking him up. Plus, I was tired all of a sudden. Bone tired, like never before.

Little did I know …

A week after we brought Rocco home, we found out I was pregnant!! (cue the cheesy cartoon lightbulb!)

And though I continued to work out throughout my pregnancy (up til about 2 weeks before), I usually went at night because I just couldn’t get myself out of bed in the AM and needed something to occupy my nights while hubby had class or conference calls for school.

Then once Maya was born, I was living by her feeding schedule. Once I got the green-light to work out (six weeks post-partum and halfway through my maternity leave) I went to the gym in the morning.

Then I went back to work, and everything got ten times more complicated.

(See a pattern here? Excuse after [legitimate] excuse for bucking my AM workouts.)

And while she has been consistently sleeping through the night  since she was eleven weeks old (at the time, 8:30/9 PM-5/5:30 AM), I haven’t returned to a morning workout regimen for a couple reasons.

In the beginning, it was because I worried that she’d wake while I was gone and need to nurse. This was a problem because 1) hubby can sleep through an earthquake and probably wouldn’t hear the baby monitor and 2) hubby can’t nurse. No dice.

Then it was because though she went to bed a little earlier (8/8:30) she was still waking around 5:30 AM once I went back to work — and I needed to nurse, plus my gym opens at 5:30 … No dice.

Then she began to sleep til 6/6:30 AM … but I was pumping and she wasn’t totally predictable yet … No dice.

Though I know with a baby things could change at any time, for the past four or so months, she has consistently slept from about 7:30 PM – 7 AM (though today she was up babbling to herself and blowing raspberries in her crib at 6 AM, WTH?!). And though I’m still pumping in the morning, it’s a quick 10-minute pump … and not for much longer. (The 18th is her 9-mth birthday and I am retiring the pump completely at that point).

Which means I really have no excuse.

Especially since the gym is literally one mile from my house … and I’m only planning on a 30-minute workout — a “good enough” workout that, in the past, I’d have scoffed at but now today, suits me perfectly. Funny how our minds can shift … 😉

Point being, it would be tough, but in theory, I could make it work if I did the following:

-Wash/dry my hair the night before (a huge time-suck–I’d still need to fix it up — but in reality I only wash it every other day now anyway so it shouldn’t be TOO bad … )
-Go to bed no later than 10 PM (this will be hard …)
-Sleep in workout clothes like I used to, with my sneakers next to the bed
-Wake 5:15 AM (same time I woke for like five years anyway to hit the gym in the AM)
-Gym 5:30-6 AM
-Shower 6:10-6:20 AM
-Hair/makeup 6:20 AM-6:50 AM
-Wake Maya, snuggle/change/feed 7 AM-7:20 AM
-Leave for work 7:30 AM
-Be at work 8 AM

Given my 15-minute commute to work, this allows me 15 minutes of wiggle room for my morning latte … or for mornings like today where there was an emergency diaper change needed (and hubby was in the shower and couldn’t help) that made me run a few minutes behind.

I think I can do it … I just need to actually DO it.

Monday I’m giving it a go — starting the new week with a good start … wish me luck!

How about you? How do you make morning workouts work when there’s a family to consider?

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6 thoughts on “Making the Case for AM Workouts

  1. Hi!
    You’ve pretty much just described my schedule on the days I workout in the morning. At the moment those days are generally once a week since I’m expecting again and I’m in the exhausted and nauseous phase. But I’m determined to workout and be healthier this time around.
    So – to share my morning schedule:
    Get up 5:05-5:10.
    Run/walk 5:20-6:00.
    Shower/get dressed/dry and straighten my hair 6:00-6:50.
    Either me or my husband also has to get our 1.5 year old up and dressed during this time too. Usually it’s me since I shower first. Getting him up doesn’t really require much anyway since he’s an early riser and sleeping in for him is 6:30.
    Breakfast 6:50-7:10.
    Leave by 7:10 to drop my son at the babysitter and get to work by 8:00-8:15, so I can stop for coffee some days depending on how the morning went.

    I’m hoping to do this 2 days a week once I hit the second trimester! I workout on the weekend too, so I figure 3-4x a week is better than nothing!

    1. Thanks, Jen! Congrats — that’s awesome!

      I am going to try to do this M/T/W … Thurs I will work out at night (hubby is home that night). F is usually a rest day, and Sat/Sun I never have a problem fitting the workouts in. I need to be realistic … even getting up M/W would be OK.

  2. Good luck Liss, I hope the first day goes well!!! it’s just sooo hard to get out in the morning!!!! (I’ve been struggling sooo much since going back last week. Packing real food for Noa is a PITA) I’ve been trying some Jillian Michaels DVDs at home the past week. First workouts in um…15 months? pathetic. Anyways, they’ve kicked my ass and are like 25 minutes. I figure it’s better than nothing. I know you can do the early workouts and I bet you could get to bed earlier too once you are working out—you’ll be so tired! (in a good way!)

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