Molly the Pilates Puppy’s guide to getting a great morning workout in, even when some mornings it is more tempting to snuggle under the duvet even more!
We have called in the expert for our 5 step how-to guide to make you a morning exerciser!
[ONE] Have a plan and set two alarms
Ok so this will definitely sound like basic advice but when your alarm (or alarms: Julette sets two for obvious reasons!) goes off and you can hear the wind and rain outside, you do NOT need any obstacles to getting out the door and 5 minutes the night before can make the difference between a workout or a snooze in. Have your outfit ready, right down to the sticky socks and just jump into it (there are lots of blogs that will tell you to sleep in your workout clothes – we think that’s mental, you’re not preparing for war, it’s just a Pilates class, just having your clothes set out should be enough). You should also have your breakfast/lunch ready to go if you bring those with you and all your other bits – laptop and work stuff/shower stuff/make up bag/work clothes if you go straight from the studio to the office etc. etc. Have it all at the door like it’s the night before the first day back at school and you’ll be all ready to go. Which leads us to point no 2….
[TWO] You need to sleep
For real though, you cannot expect to leap out of bed at 6am like a puppy when she hears the dog from 7 houses away get up for breakfast and she remembers that it’s her civic duty to leg it out to the garden to bark good morning to them if you only wandered into that bed at midnight. Uh huh honey! You need to prioritise a good sleep routine and make sure you are in bed early enough to give yourself time to fall alseep and get enough sleep so you don’t wake up feeling zonked. Give yourself a cut off point and then stick to it and do your evening thing – in the Pilates Puppy household it’s a shower, a mug of Pukka bedtime tea in bed with a book for 20/30 mins (belly rubs optional but encouraged) and then lights out. Oh and for the love of Oprah, just turn off your internet router – I can easily lose an hour scrolling through #puppiesofinstgram in bed and that is a recipe for a disasterous sleep routine – again there is so much out there for you to read in terms of the benefits of not bringing your phone to bed so we won’t go into that here. Just don’t do it, k? Oh and that goes for waking up and spending the first 10 mins of your day checking out what you missed overnight on #puppiesofinstagram. You can catch up on that over your first cup of coffee!
All that to say that sometimes life just kicks you in the tail and you are TIRED! If you have been working crazy hours or you’ve had a cold or flu or you have been travelling or whatever it is that has your routine out of whack – sometimes a little more sleep is more important than making it to your class. Be honest with yourself and know the difference between ‘I feel zapped of energy’ (stay in bed for another hour!) and ‘oooh I don’t know, it sounds like it might be about to rain and it’s less cosy outside my bed than in my bed and I think my left middle toe just twitched which is a sure sign I’m getting the ‘flu’ (Get Up. Get Dressed. Come tuck with us!!)
[THREE] Bribe yourself
Ahhh breakfast – a sure way to get us out of bed in the morning in the Flex house. You’re about to think ‘nah, I’ll just skip it today’ and then you remember ‘NO! I have the most delicious breakfast ready and I want to eat it now!’. Ridiculous as it might sound, having something really tasty prepped can be a huge motivator. Whether it’s a fritatta or overnight oats or even a treat like getting breakfast with your barre crew after class, go back to basics and bribe yourself out of bed. And remember that the Flex crew all head for coffee after early morning classes so even more reason to wiggle out of bed and into your sticky socks and GO!
[FOUR] Remind yourself that you are doing something good for your body
There is lots of research to suggest that people who exercise earlier in the day or before work (like our 6.45am crew) tend to be more consistent and workout more regularly and because of this, often see better results faster. We have definitely seen in the studio that the early birds are very consistent and usually get to all their classes every week. If you know there is a chance your day may not go as planned, that meetings could drag on or you are delayed by client appointments backing up and you might not escape in time for your class, try to eliminate the obstacles of a ‘busy day’ by getting in to the studio before your work is even open. There is plenty of research on the benefits of early morning exercise on your mood, productivity and energy levels and it can really set you up for a great day (where you also get to feel smug because you were tucking while others were snoozing). And remember that sometimes you might need to be stern with yourself, you don’t have to bounce out of bed but remind yourself of all the reasons you want to exercise and before you know it, you’ll be in the car!
[FIVE] Figure out what works for you
Ok so this is a Flex house specific tip and depening on who you are living with, you might not want to try this at 6am OR you might want to use your earbuds. Once out of the shower, I put on one of my ‘morning songs’ (usually something totally cheese – ‘Gold’ by Spandau Ballet is a firm fave, as is Kate Bush’s ‘Wuthering Heights’) and have that blast as I get ready. I know you think I’m mad but try it and then tell me it doesn’t put an instant pep in your step. Again, lots of other blogs will recommend silence/3 minutes of journaling/whale music or ‘birds of the rain forest’ – for me, none of them compare to ‘Gold’ but they might work for you! Also try to have a really big stretch the second you get out of bed – arms up to the ceiling and just pull your body longer and stretch side to side, waking up your muscles as well as your brain and telling your body that it’s time to get in gear.
And always remember – you don’t have to ‘win’ the class – just go and try your best, some days you’ll grab the morning class by the tail and boss it, other days you might feel a little more snoozy and that’s fine. It will all balance out but you will never feel worse for having taken the time to move and flex.
Have you other top tips for motivating yourself out of bed and into the studio? Let us know in the comments!