The Early Bird Gets the Workout

The Early Bird Gets the WorkoutPicture yourself rising when the sun does, lacing up your running shoes just as the world begins to stir. By the time you’re out the door, you still have two hours left before work—plenty of time to get to the gym, warm up, work out, cool down and get ready for the day ahead. By the time you sit down at your desk, you not only have your day’s exercise completed: you’re awake, energized and mentally prepared.

Even if this scenario seems unfamiliar, it’s one we often dream of. Exercise is a must after Lap Band surgery, but leaving your workout until the end of the day can often push it off the schedule. Once we get home from work, the responsibilities quickly start to pile up: there’s dinner to cook, a house to keep tidy, social gatherings to attend—and somewhere in there you need to find a few minutes to actually sit down and relax.

If you aren’t a morning person, getting up at the crack of dawn can seem like an insurmountable task, but it’s not! When you think about all the big changes you’ve made after Lap Band surgery—in your diet, your activity level, your lifestyle habits—you’ll quickly realize that getting up a little earlier is something you’re more than capable of accomplishing.

Still, you may not be able to pop out of bed ready to go tomorrow morning. As with any change, it will be best to transition to morning exercise with some incremental steps. Here’s how to get started.

Get to bed earlier.

This may be easier said than done, but a good night’s sleep is something we all need—especially after Lap Band surgery. A lack of sleep can make us feel hungry when we’re not, sabotage our energy levels, impede our metabolism and make it more difficult to lose fat and build muscle. Plus, it’s going to be much harder to drag yourself out of bed if you aren’t fully rested.

Start by thinking about what time you’ll need to wake up to get a good workout in. Ideally, you should aim for seven to eight hours of sleep every night, so try to fall asleep somewhere around 10 p.m. if you plan on rising at 6 a.m. Of course, you might not be able to make this shift immediately—try going to bed 15 minutes earlier each night until you reach the bedtime of your dreams.

Stay realistic.

As much as you’d like to make it to the gym before 7 a.m. each morning, let’s face it: it isn’t always the most feasible option. One way to improve your chances of getting a morning workout in is to simply make it easier for yourself to exercise. Instead of worrying about the time it will take to go to the gym before work, try a workout DVD or another exercise method you can do at home. You can even take a short walk or jog around the neighborhood or a nearby park.

You also need to stay realistic about how much you’ll be able to get done each morning. If you plan on exercising and preparing a balanced breakfast and taking the kids to school, you may need to streamline your schedule or move some responsibilities around. Try to have everything laid out for your morning routine beforehand—this will make it easier to fit in exercise.

Invigorate yourself.

Not all of us are bright rays of sunshine in the morning, but there are many things you can do to pop yourself out of that groggy haze. Start listening to some energetic, motivational music as soon as you get up, some favorite tunes that really get your blood pumping. It’s also going to be hard to get excited every morning about a workout you hate, so think about trying something you’ll truly enjoy. Remember: there’s no shortage of exercises out there to do. If jogging isn’t your thing, try dance, yoga, water aerobics, Pilates, weight lifting, Zumba—the list goes on and on.

As your weight loss program after Lap Band surgery will show you, no change is beyond your grasp—even becoming an early riser. Use these tips to start getting yourself motivated for a morning sweat session.

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