Monday, March 26, 2012

Rise and shine: Tips on getting yourself ready and fueled to workout early!

A friend of mine told me she was determined to wake up super early to go to the gym and asked me for some tips...

What I would recommend to the person trying get on a fitness and nutrition program for health is to have a plan, plan ahead and get it done early in the day. Get it done early and you won't have to worry about it for the rest of the day!

To stick with your program and reach your goals, it is crucial you do a few things. These have worked for me:

  1. Have everything ready the night before. Plan ahead: have your workout clothes, tennis shoes, water bottle, towel and ipod ready to go. Don't forget to have your fitness routine written out in a journal, electronic device or whatever.
    • If you go to work/school right after hitting the gym, then being prepared the night before is the key.
    •  Before you go to bed/fall asleep visualize yourself waking up the next morning and commit to your workout that day by psyching yourself up. 
  2. Get quality sleep. Go to bed early enough so that you can get your full 7-9 hours of sleep or however much your body needs. Sleep is crucial for energy -- and sanity! Get in a routine, make sleeping a priority and a good habit. Set your alarm to go off at your bedtime, do your best to listen to it and do it - go to bed! :)
    • I have an alarm on my phone that goes off-- it says, "BEDTIME!!!" I normally stop what ever I am doing by 9-9:15pm, I wash my face, brush my teeth, put on my facial lotions (which are toxic free!) and snuggle into bed. 
    • I like to read beautiful literature that makes me feel loving an warm inside. Before I realize I am dozing off... I've noticed that I need about 7 hours a night to function the next day. I can sleep up to 9 hours on the weekends, but if I have less that 6.5 hours of sleep during the week I don't workout. So working out is my incentive for catching plenty of zzz's :-) 
  3. Condition yourself to rise up at the sound of your alarm. As soon as you wake up, drink 1 cup of water and then have your hearty and healthy breakfast to jump start your day. 
    •  Eat breakfast. Eating carbohydrate, protein and some healthy fats 30 minutes to 1 hour before will give  you the energy you need to sustain a rigorous workout; the fiber will keep you full.
      • I recommend eating natural oatmeal, whole rolled oat, preferably. Oatmeal is a power food because it has complex carbs, has plenty of protein and fiber, is low in calories, and provides you with essential vitamins and minerals. You can add any type of milk (I don't drink dairy!), nuts or fruit you'd like, but be sure to have portion control. 
    •  Have a post-workout protein shake. Up to 30 minutes after your (challenging) workout or cardio session -- or both :) have a shake consisting of 2 parts carbohydrate: 1 part protein, and limit or avoid fat.
      •  Fueling right after you tear your muscles will ensure that you replenish all the nutrients that were lost. 
      • I like having rice/veggie protein with water and/or coconut milk and 1 tsp. of agave syrup; then I eat a small banana (for potassium) or a piece of fruit (pineapple chucks or dates are my favorites though).
    • Be hydrated, drink plenty of water. Drink 8 glasses of water through out the day (yes, the one you drink as soon as you wake up counts too). 
      • We lose tons of water through sweat, pee, breathing, yawing and crying. Stay hydrated when you work out to make sure your muscles are hydrated to perform at their best. Our organs also need plenty of water to carry out bodily functions and get rid of toxins. 
      • I carry a 2.2 liter water jug with me all day and by 6:30pm it is finished :-)
    You have to do your best, always. Write out your plan and your back-up plan. Post it on your Facebook wall, tell your friends and family about your plan and carry it out. Stick with your plan, be consistent and don't give up.

    If you fail, get up and try again. Remember o plan ahead and always be prepared. Turn a it into a habit. Start developing healthy habits today so that by next year, in five years from now, and even in 10 years you will be your healthiest self.  Each day is an opportunity to re-crate yourself. Make it happen.