My days begin at 4:40 AM. I know, you think I am crazy. And don’t start figuring out the difference between the time when you and I get out of bed in the mornings because, let me reassure you, we probably do not go to bed at the same time; I am a proudly declared grandma. Plus, no two people are the same. Let it be said that I sincerely love the mornings. I love watching the sunrise. I love having time to decompress before rushing out the door. Most importantly, I love having the time to myself before the rest of the city wakes up. So, why does my alarm go off at such an ungodly hour? Because my day starts long before I get to my desk. During my first year at my full-time job I came to notice two things: I was incredibly tired and un-energetic in the mornings, and I was continuously missing workouts when my after-work plans suddenly changed. Between work happy hours, client dinners, meeting up with friends, and just having downright no interest in going to the gym after a 10+ hour work day, I found myself not exercising as much as I would have liked to. Personally, I am someone who views working out as a form of therapy. Playing sports all my life, my body craves the movement and the act of sweating. To be quite frank, without it I turn into a bit of a crazy lady. So, here I found myself, a year of full-time work under my belt, a slew of missed and neglected workouts, the beginnings of some pent-up stress and anxiety, and a new (and very unwelcome) digestive issue.
By taking a step back to reassess, I came to the conclusion of two things: I needed to address the food I was putting in to my body to help my digestive issues, and physical activity needed to become a priority in my life again. The former became a much longer journey, and eventually why I started Freckled Foodie, but the latter was an easy fix. It was time to finally bite the bullet and begin working out in the mornings. After a few weeks of getting used to this lifestyle, and some extremely “airplane mode” mornings at work filled with multiple cups of coffee, I have fully adapted to and welcomed my pre-5AM alarm. Yes, it may be dark out, and yes, some mornings I would like to lay under my duvet for the next few hours, but a morning workout clears my mind (hello therapy), surprisingly gives me energy for the day, and provides me with a free schedule when I leave the office. It is also no surprise to me that once I began incorporating physical activity back into my life my stress and anxiety decreased and therefore also helped with my digestive issues. Another thing that helped immensely? My morning drink that I have first thing every day, which features Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides: an incredibly beneficial for gut health by helping repair the sensitive lining and infrastructure of the stomach and the small/large intestines.
To see what happens after my alarm goes off, here is my morning routine:
- 4:44AM & 4:46AM alarms go off (I’m a freak that hates odd numbers)
- Thoughtless journaling. This is by no means helpful information or worthy writing, but it allows me to get out all of the worthless mind cluttering thoughts that I have and encourages clarity throughout the rest of the day
- Daily vitamin supplements: calcium magnesium, vitamin B-complex, vitamin C, fermented cod liver oil, flax seed oil, ashwagandha root, turmeric, and a probiotic. These supplements are specific to me and my needs and have been compiled with the work of my functional medicine practitioner. I recommend you do the same!
- My morning drink: a glass of warm water with ½ a lemon, a shot of apple cider vinegar, and a scoop of Vital Proteins collagen peptides
- **If you are suffering from IBS or digestive issues, I highly recommend giving this morning mixture a try. With the apple cider vinegar and lemon boosting your metabolism and digestion first thing in the morning and the gut healing benefits of collagen peptides, this drink may be your new best friend. I started drinking this combination first thing in the morning about 1 year ago and it has had an incredible impact on my symptoms.
- 5:20AM out the door and headed to the gym. My morning workouts change depending on the day but I usually am either running on the treadmill or in the park, practicing yoga, doing a HIIT circuit, or going to a barre or pilates class
- 6:45AM rushing to get ready and fighting off serious post shower sweat
- 7:10AM at my desk and ready to take on the day
If the idea of a morning workout routine interests you, here are some recommendations to make the process as attainable as possible:
- Find a friend that is willing to take on this challenge as well. Having someone to hold you accountable or to workout with in the mornings makes a huge difference.
- Do something that you won’t dread waking up for. If you hate running or the thought of lifting weights makes your insides turn, then don’t do it. Find a workout that you enjoy; there are so many different options out there in today’s world that you should never be doing something you dislike.
- Have everything ready to go for the next day: lay out your workout outfit and pack your bag for work.
- Say no to the snooze button!!!
- Have a time when you plan to go to bed and stick to it.
- Stay away from the dark hole of Instagram! No technology for at least 30 minutes prior to bed time.
- Make it a habit. If you are able to try for at least two weeks straight to have a set 30-minute window where you go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, it will make the worlds of a difference. Your body and sleeping cycle react well to routine.
- Accept that there are going to be mornings where you planned to work out and for some reason it didn’t happen. That is okay! There are nights where you should stay out later at a party with your friends or mornings where your body is just too damn tired and needs that extra hour or two in bed. Know what is best for you and don’t beat yourself up over it.