Normally I do them on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays… and after reading a book a while back called The Body Sculpting Bible For Women, I started doing them before breakfast.
I came away from reading this book with 2 new ideas about my strength workouts.
The first was to mindfully focus on the muscles being worked… to know what muscles I am supposed to work with the given exercise, and to make sure that I am actually using those particular muscles to perform the move. I concentrate on feeling expansion and contraction as I work. I now tend to watch my reflection in the glass doors on a piece of furniture in the living room when I work out because that helps the whole process for me… and let’s face it… I am really loving the motivation that seeing those muscles brings, too.
And, the the second idea is to exercise first thing in the morning on an empty stomach, and then follow it up with an appropriate breakfast. The authors say that this method burns more body fat than working out after eating… and that exercise itself appears to raise growth hormone levels, especially in a fasted state. There is some evidence that growth hormone causes our bodies to burn fat faster. As a result, elevating level of growth hormone through diet and exercise makes us more efficient fat burners.
Sounds reasonable to me… so, every morning I wash and cut a fresh lime, squeeze the juice into a glass of cold water along with the pieces, and drink that with my EpiCor supplement. Then I have a bit of hot fresh coffee, change into my workout gear, and MOVE.
I drink more lime water throughout my workout, and more afterward while I stretch. And by then I am normally ravenous for my breakfast. It is always filled with lots of protein, usually some veggies or fruit, and perhaps very occasionally a bit of olive oil, coconut oil, almond butter, or even (more recently) butter.
But this week, things didn’t happen quite like this… I worked at Weight Watchers meetings 4 mornings in a row this week and so my normal routine was thrown out the window. I did a couple of early morning walks before breakfasts but didn’t do my 3rd strength workout on Saturday, and I didn't do it on Sunday, either.
I am kind of disappointed in myself. I have given it a lot of thought and came to the conclusion that I do appreciate my first thing in the morning workouts and here are 5 MORE reasons why:
I start the day out right with good choices … working out followed by a nutritious breakfast, and then I am likely to make better choices for the rest of the day.
Working hard and sweating puts me in a wonderful mood. I have a positive outlook all day long because I feel strong. Actually I feel G-R-E-A-T. (Said in my Tony The Tiger voice.) I really feel like I have done something good for myself and the endorphins are flowing.
Once my workout and breakfast are done, I can shower, do my hair, paint my face, and dress for the day, ONCE.
Working out first thing has come to be quiet, alone time for me. Yes, I am concentrating on my workout, but it is also my own time to take care of me. I feel more confident and centred for the rest of the day.
I am never quite sure these days what my day will bring… so if I get my workout done first thing in the morning, I am open and available for other opportunities…. great sailing weather, a walk in the park, coffee out with friends, a surprise visitor… an impromptu run, an extra work shift, or even a shopping excursion. It gets easier to NOT do that workout as the day wears on.
Next time that I am faced with this kind of situation, I am going to make sure I get up earlier and get those workouts in.
So, what about you? When do you get your workouts in? Are you a first thing in the morning person too?