Alarm rings at 4:50 AM and I hit snooze for nine minutes. Nine minutes later, I rise from the bed and go directly to the coffee maker which is set every night to be brewed before my run. I pour my cup and sip it while putting on my running clothes that were set out the night before. I have exactly 16 minutes to be out the door to meet my running partner who conveniently resides in my neighborhood. We simultaneously lift our legs high like silly kids a few times to prepare for our run. We open our runkeeper app and hit start to begin or 3 to 5 mile run. Following the run, I feel energetic and happy compared to the days I turn off the alarm and roll over. When you exercise, endorphins are released creating a positive feeling similar to morphine. I don’t exactly enjoy running even though I’ve been running for several years, but I do enjoy the benefits I receive. There are a few things I feel contribute to my success with keeping on an exercise regimen.
1. Find a running partner
Many times I want to turn off my alarm and go back to sleep but I don’t because my partner is counting on me. I commit to her in the evening so I can’t rescind in the morning. It’s always easier to commit to something that isn’t immediate, right?
My favorite apps that have kept me on track are Runkeeper, Fitbit, and Pact.
Runkeeper is an app that keeps track of mileage, pace, time, etc. Your friends can like your activity and you can share your accomplishments on social media. Let’s be honest, why would I run if I couldn’t brag about it later?
Fitbit is a wrist band that tracks your steps. You can create challenges with your friends and compete for most steps per day, week, or weekend.
Pact is an app that uses positive and negative reinforcement to keep you on track with your exercise goals. You can earn money by exercising. You can also lose money if you don’t complete your goals. Many times at the end of the night, I go out for an additional walk because I don’t want to lose money.
3. Set out your running clothes the night before!
You are less likely to get up and exercise if you have to worry about what you’re going to wear and where those clothes may be located.
4. Have a cup of coffee before you run.
A close friend of mine gave me this advice a couple of years ago and I’ve been doing it ever since! Instead of rolling out of bed and immediately exercising, treat yourself to a few minutes of bliss first. Having the coffee maker set the night before is a must.
5. Get to bed at a reasonable hour!
Getting a good night’s rest is the most important piece of the good health puzzle.
Set some goals, and stick to them. Don’t you think brief suffering in the morning is worth a day of energy and happiness?