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Morning Workouts Work for Career Women

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It’s no secret that when your professional life kicks into high gear, exercise is often one activity pushed to the back burner. Days running later than planned, deciding to grab impromptu drinks with friends, or being just plain tired after work can all lead to your best intentions being ignored. But if you’re looking to climb the corporate ladder (or jungle gym, as Sheryl Sandberg puts it), prioritizing your health can reap both short- and long-term benefits in terms of energy and productivity. Starting your day with a workout, even just 20 or 30 minutes, is an important habit to start. Here’s why:

Morning Workouts

  • Jumpstart metabolism – Your body burns calories during and after exercise, particularly when resistance training is involved. What better time to give your metabolism a boost than before a day’s worth of meals?
  • Clear your mind – Use working out as a time to take a mental break or sort out your strategy for tackling the day’s tasks. Whether morning meditation or a hard run is part of your game plan, you will be ready to take on the day by the time you reach the office.
  • Increase productivity – Energy from your morning workout will allow you to jump right in without having to overcome the morning fog. Plus, morning exercisers often get to the office earlier, meaning there’s more time to cross items off your to-do list.
  • Spend time with friends – We’re often more successful (and more accountable) when we exercise with a friend. You’re much less likely to skip that 6:00 a.m. jog if you’re supposed to meet someone at the park! There are also running clubs, outdoor boot camps, or group exercise classes to give you a sense of community outside the office. Morning workouts can be the perfect excuse to catch up with friends no matter how packed your work calendar looks.
  • Leave time for play – Without the thought of “I have to work out” nagging you throughout the day, morning workouts actually free up time for you to do other things you enjoy. Want to catch a book signing? Go to happy hour? Cook a gourmet dinner for date night? You’ll feel less guilty indulging in these activities when you’ve already squeezed in your daily exercise.
  • Make healthier food choices – Simply by committing to exercise in the morning, you’ve already started your day with wellness in mind. This can have great impact on your food choices throughout the day, making you less likely to grab a donut at the office meeting and encouraging you to eat that lunch you packed.

Knowing that not everyone is a morning person, you might consider starting small with your commitments. Perhaps exercising 2-3 mornings a week is a good place to start, and you can build from there. Once your body gets accustomed to the new schedule, you won’t feel as tired. Be sure to set your alarm clock on the other side of the room so you have to physically get out of bed to turn it off. You might also try sleeping in your workout clothes so all you have to do is lace up and head out the door!

What motivates you to get up and moving first thing in the morning? Tell us in the comments!

Ask Daniel Rosensweig, President and CEO of Chegg, Inc., what his morning routine is!

Topics:

#How To #Exercise #Morning Routine #Workout Lifestyle
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Working out in the morning makes for such a productive, clear day. Love these pointers!

I want so badly to be a morning workout person- and this article gave me more reasons to try to make that happen. I think I just have to make it into a habit- and I need to go to bed earlier.

I had to switch to morning workouts because I felt like I was missing out on life if I waited until the end of the day. I definitely feel better when I work out in the morning. I also will never get tired of the feeling of accomplishment by 7:30!

I just started doing this yesterday, and I truly do feel more alert and energized today. Now to find a work out buddy...

I've been working out in the mornings for the past few months. Finding workout classes that I like has been a great motivator. I am 10x more likely to get out of bed at 5:30am when I have a fun cycle class waiting for me! Also, the endorphin high gets me going better than the strongest coffee in the world!

I was probably the antithesis of a morning person UNTIL I started working out in the morning. I realized that in order to do anything I wanted in the evenings (whether it was work late, hang out with a friend, or just zone out in front of the TV), I needed to get it out of the way. I started going to sleep earlier (win!) and started small -- thinking I'd only go twice, maybe three times a week. I immediately loved how it felt: I got something BIG done for ME out of the way before I even set foot in the office (and knowing I don't work with morning exercisers made me feel even more proud). Now it's a total routine and sets a day of healthiness. Love it.

Elana Gross
Elana Gross

I am so much more productive when I work out in the morning. It took awhile to get into a rhythm but noticing a real difference in my productivity and focus has been an impetus to get out of bed and to the gym. I agree that making a schedule of morning classes you like helps - I know that I want to go to spin on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7 am and Met Con 3 on Mondays and Wednesdays!

Morning is the only consistent time I have just for me. Makes a world of difference to begin each day with some personal wellness.

Anonymous
Anonymous

I have started working out early in the morning since my children were small as it was the only way I could fit it in... Frankly I think it has changed my life... Today 51 and still do that 4 times a week and I will keep going I hope for many more years to come...

This is a habit I am going to try to get into. I usually like exercising after class/work late afternoon because that is when I am most tense and have the need to burn off stress. But, I often will put this off with other "important" tasks or end up meeting with friends after work. I am going to try the morning routine for a little bit to see if it works for me!

I work out in the morning BECAUSE I'm not a morning person. Nobody should have to deal with me before I'm fully awake, so I get up 3 hours before I need to be at work so I have time to eat breakfast and do yoga, go for a run, or ride my bike.

Marisa Galloway
Marisa Galloway

sleeping in your gym clothes... now that's an idea!

monica garcia
monica garcia

Just did my first A.M. run this morning and I feel great. Cleared my mind , sweat off some calories , drank a smoothie and have been kicking Thursdays butt so far. Thanks for the advice and push ladies

monica garcia
monica garcia

Motivation. I did a run , now to squeeze in some yoga would be great too

Definitely start slow - even just one or two mornings is a great accomplishment. Just think you would have two more nights free during the week!

I love the way you phrased this "missing out on life" - so true!! Exercise is a big part of living healthfully, but you don't want to always say "no" to things just to squeeze in a workout.

6 days later, how's it coming Mariana? :)

I'm a group exercise person myself! I finally found a great gym with classes at convenient times near me that are always changing and on trend - the Pure Barre-esque ones really get me!!

Your story is an inspiration for all of us who have tried to pick up this habit. Thanks for sharing!

They're like appointments you actually look forward to!

Consistency - that's huge. It's the only time you know won't be interrupted.

That's amazing, Nadia. Sometimes I think becoming a mom can really ramp up your productivity since you have to be creative about where to find time in your day. Kudos for keeping this good habit.

It's definitely important to read your body and know when exercise can help relieve stress at the end of the day. Maybe 1 or 2 days in the am would be good for you, and alternate with afternoon workouts, so you still get those nights with your friends!

I've been told I'm not a morning person either...I'm sure my coworkers prefer when I've been up a few hours too :)

Minus the shoes of course :)

And love that you are coming here for accountability! Keep up the great work.

Tiffany Sweat
Tiffany Sweat

I love running but have no energy in the morning to workout before i leave for work at 7am! Anyone in the DC area need a mornin workout partner?!

Trina Strother
Trina Strother

I love all of your ideas, especially sleeping in your workout clothes. Thanks for the support. I'm going to do a morning workout for the first time tomorrow!

Nothing beats Power Yoga at 6AM!

mia uley
mia uley

You never hear the term "career men" so I think it's time to do away with the term "career women." :)


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