by Matthew Devoti and Michael Walerius

You’re busy. A new baby just entered the family. Your youngest child needs a ride to practice and your oldest has a weekend baseball tournament. Your employer demands your time, both during and after business hours. The “honey-do” list seems to grow every weekend. And, you promised to sell hot dogs at the Parish picnic, pick up trash at the neighborhood park or make cupcakes for the church potluck.

Oh, and your spouse. You need to make time for her or  him, too.

But, what about you? It’s difficult to give your best to life’s demands if you’re not at your best. So, how do we take care of ourselves? Exercise clears the mind, rejuvenates our body, and provides each of us a better opportunity to be around for our loved ones long into the future.

When do we find time to train? For many of us, the only real time to train is first thing in the morning, before our daily routine starts. The thought of training in the morning can be daunting. You’re probably already creating excuses:

» “It’s hard to get up and out of bed.”

» “I’m not an ‘A.M.’ person.”

» “ All the coffee in the world isn’t going to help get  me going!”

So, how do we jump start our early morning training journey? First, if you’re considering exercising in the morning, you’re probably driven by a lifestyle change of some sort. Recognize and embrace the change. New job, new family addition, new health goals; whatever the case, your schedule probably demands you invest your “P.M.” time elsewhere. Perhaps your want is driven by the need to work on your fitness before breakfast. You have priorities and you’ve worked extremely hard after work and don’t want to lose the progress you’ve made. Maybe you’re just starting a new journey of exercise and the morning is the only time you can train to achieve your commitment to a healthier lifestyle.

Nevertheless, training before breakfast demands an analysis of your lifestyle and individual goals. Some fixes are simple: you must minimize those nights of staying up late and setting up yourself to not get enough sleep. Here are other tips to jumpstart your way to A.M. training:

 Understand WHY you are getting up – You must answer the basic questions: “Why is exercise a priority for me?” and “What do I want out of fitness?” Making the switch to a prebreakfast routine will be easier IF you understand and clearly identify your motivations.

Get more sleep – Put the kids to bed, turn off Netflix and get the rest necessary to recover from the day’s activities, restore energy and rejuvenate your body for the next day’s tasks.   Drink more water – Staying hydrated helps the body  flush toxins, assists in absorption of nutrients and helps balance energy.

Plan your whole day … the day before – In other words, prepare your mind. Having a game plan helps you focus and stay committed to the process; planning also serves to hold yourself accountable.

 Find your circadian rhythm – Going to bed and getting up at the same time each day helps balance energy as well as routine and habit—the habit to get up in the A.M. to crush your workouts!!!

 Get a professional coach – Enlisting a professional trainer serves to hold yourself accountable; a trained coach also guides you onto the path of success by designing workouts that uniquely interest, challenge and motivate you.

How bad do you want to achieve and maintain a healthy lifestyle? Feel healthier, be stronger, have more vitality? Start your training in the A.M.

Some of the above mentioned tips are OPEX Basic Lifestyle Guidelines. OPEX is a fitness education company with a global network of gyms and trainers that provide smarter coaching with better results through personalized fitness programs. OPEX St. Louis Central is the first OPEX gym in Missouri—empowering individuals to achieve greater through fitness.