By LMQC Battle of the Bulge blogger, Alan Sivell, St. Ambrose communications professor, RAGBRAI-er, pizza lover and longtime weight watcher.
Overheard every morning at any gym locker room:
“I almost didn’t make it in today. I couldn’t get out of bed.”
“I was going to come yesterday, but slept through my alarm.”
“When my alarm went off, I just lay there, thinking about getting up. Then I went back to sleep.”
Getting out of bed is a major issue for people who want to stay committed to a fitness routine.
But the REAL problem is that these would-be fitness freaks think too much. They engage their brains before they engage their bodies.
Normally, I’m a big fan of thinking first, acting second. But not in the morning and not when it concerns initiating a morning workout.
That’s when thinking will get you in trouble. Too many excuses can flood your mind before you can tell your arm to throw off the covers and your feet to hit the floor.
When the alarm goes off, live by the words of that immortal corporate philosopher, Nike: Just do it.
I learned this a long time ago, when I had a morning paper route.
I HAD to get up, on time, every morning. My job depended on it. I needed that money if I was going to buy the latest Beatles’ album.
So I set 2 alarm clocks across the room – in different corners – that made me get out of bed to turn them off.
These days, there are apps (Spin Me) that won’t turn off until you’ve gotten out of bed and spun your body around twice.
There’s another app being tested that will charge you a dollar each time you hit the snooze button.
Yes. There are apps for everything, apparently.
Once out of bed, it’s not as easy to dive back into bed for “just 5 more minutes.”
Another lesson from my newspaper-carrying days:
Lay my clothes out the night before, so I don’t have to wander around looking for them with my eyes half shut.
Some fitness writers suggest practicing this strategy the night before your workout until it becomes a routine and you DON’T have to think.
You just dress and slip out the door.
Today, not only are my shorts, sneakers and t-shirt ready to go the night before, my gym bag also is packed. (Take it from me, if you save packing till morning, you’ll almost certainly forget your belt, socks or pants – or all 3.)
I have only to pull on my gym clothes, grab my bag and keys, and head out the door to the Y. No thinking required.
So when I hear someone in the locker room discussing their struggle to get up, I can only shake my head. I know what their problem is: They were thinking.
|Meet Battle of the Bulge blogger, Alan Sivell. Alan is a communications professor at St. Ambrose University and a former reporter for WQAD-TV who has exercised – and dieted – his entire life. Read Alan’s other blog posts.|