I've been running in the morning for a few weeks now and I'm honestly surprised I've kept it up this long. For starters, I'm not a morning person, and running this early hasn't changed that one bit lol. I'm the keep pushing snooze, 5 more minutes type of girl that is always rushing out the door at the last minute. But then one night I went to bed early enough and got up two hours earlier than normal. Out of curiosity I decided to try my daily workout in the morning rather than waiting until after work. Then I did it again, and again and now I'm hooked. It's now part of my morning routine, sort of like brushing my teeth and taking a shower. It's weird but what's even more weird is how much it has affected my life... in a really good way.

Rise before the world -  at 5:30 6-ish I'm probably the only one awake in my apartment complex. The world is so quiet and the air is crisp and fresh. I can tell everyone is still asleep by the silent hum around me and it's like this weird "twilight zone" time of day. I'm pretty grumpy on my walk to the gym but I've already made up my mind to go. The thought that there are only a handful of people including myself up at this time really makes you feel like you're experiencing a different part of life that most people tend to sleep through.

Quiet time to reflect - with all this solitude I can take a moment to pause and think clearly about life, my day or anything that might be on my mind. Human interaction doesn't really exist at this time so it's just a girl and her thoughts running for no particular reason to no particular place. I catch my rhythm by the second mile and after that it's just me and my brain having a conversation.

Control of my day - by doing something I choose first thing in the morning I'm taking control of my day. I got up this early not for work but for me. It means that Mondays are no longer "work" days but instead the first run of each week. That really changes your psychology when you think about it. It takes back the power we tend to lose in this paycheck driven life and sets the tone for the rest of the week.

Eat the frog - when you do something as difficult as running 3-6 miles first thing in the morning you are truly "eating the frog". Anything that may happen the rest of the day will most likely be less difficult mentally and physically. This helps me put things into perspective whenever I sense pressure or stress. I just tell myself, hey you did this tough thing already, so this really isn't as hard in comparison. After you reach a certain level of fitness (And no, I don't mean skinny,..) your run becomes 95% mental. You're not tired physically, your brain is just not conditioned for this strenuous activity. By training your mind to do this you develop not only endurance but self control, self awareness, and discipline.

Put myself first - usually when you think of treating yourself you picture facials, shopping sprees, things like that. But for some reason I feel that making time for your health by exercising is the best way to treat yourself. Exercise ensures you are healthy mentally, physically, and emotionally. Did you know that exercise can fight depression and anxiety? There are these things called endorphins that cause "runner's high". Trust me, it's the real deal.

Make myself proud - if you work a 9-5 job you're probably making sure you get your job done properly so you don't get in trouble or fired. If you commute you're constantly making sure you don't break any laws. You try to have a good relationship with your family and friends. You make sure you look clean and well put together for the office. So basically you knowingly or unknowingly try to impress everyone around you. When I do my run in the morning I impress myself first. I'm amazed first of all that I even got out of bed and made it to the gym. But to then run three miles most days just really makes me proud of myself.

So guys, I'm not telling you to run in the morning. no one told me to. I just happened to do it one day and liked the results. I'm still not a morning person. And I'm still super pissed off as I leave my warm comfy bed to walk through the parking lot on cold mornings. But we do a lot of things we don't want to do in life anyway that is usually dictated by someone else. So I decided to do something for me first thing in the morning to make time for myself. So far I have no complaints. I'm more mindful of what I put in my body the rest of the day, I'm less stressed at work and have a lot more energy. Not to mention I'm getting stronger, faster and sleeping better.

In the end I think as long as you exercise (regardless of time of day) you're doing your body a huge favor. Whatever time you choose just remember that consistency is key :)


Why I run in the morning

by on Saturday, July 23, 2016
I've been running in the morning for a few weeks now and I'm honestly surprised I've kept it up this long. For starters, I&#...

When you spend 40+ hours a week in one place you eventually develop daily habits that can make or break your health goals. A lot of us have a few pounds we'd like to lose here and there but we can't seem to wake up early enough to go to the gym. Then by the time we get home, make dinner, etc we are too exhausted to even think about working out.

So how do we get to our weight and fitness goals with all these dilemmas? We need to find ways to work out and be healthy while on the job. Here are some things I do everyday (or try to) in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle around the clock.

Drink green tea - Tea really does a great job of keeping hunger at bay. It magically speeds up your metabolism and burns belly fat (mostly around the stomach area). There are many varieties of green tea with some being a lot stronger in flavor (oolong) or more mild (jasmine). I tend to stick to typical green tea or peppermint on a daily basis. I always drink mine without a sweetener but if you have to sweeten it use a little honey. I'd aim for 3-4 cups a day.

Take the stairs or park farther away - making these two subtle changes can have a huge effect on your weight loss. By taking the stairs and/or parking farther away you are burning calories and building muscles. So next time you are tempted to take the elevator just take the stairs instead. And rather than fighting for the closest parking spot choose one with a bit more distance. Trust me these little things will pay off big time!

Take a walk on your lunch break - a really great way to burn major calories is to go on a walk after or before you've had your lunch. Be sure you wear or bring comfortable shoes to the office for this. Do this everyday and you're bound to see some changes. Plus a midday walk will energize you and fight that afternoon funk we always seem to get.

Pack a healthy breakfast and lunch - plan a healthy breakfast and lunch early enough so you're not rushing out the door and grabbing whatever you can. Always eating out for lunch limits your control over your exact calorie intake. Preparing healthy meals for work ensure you stay within your calorie limit. Remember, abs are made in the kitchen, not the gym!

Keep healthy snacks - we all get the munchies at work and it's so easy to run to the store or the vending machine for a snack. These seemingly small snacks pack on major calories and sugar and can be detrimental to your weight loss goals. To avoid this be sure to pack some fruit, veggies, or nuts to snack on throughout the day.

Drink a lot of water - this is so important you guys. Be sure to drink at least half your weight in water (oz). So if you weight 150 lbs that's 75 oz which is about 4.5 (16 oz) water bottles or 9 (8 oz) glasses of water. When you don't drink enough water your body will store a lot of toxins, salt and water that can make you appear a lot heavier than you actually are (i.e. water weight).

Get up, stretch, and walk around - sitting for long periods of time can slow down your metabolism and tighten your muscles. Be sure to stretch every hour to help your blood circulation and keep your muscles active. Plus if you're drinking all that water and tea you'll be getting up frequently anyway to use the restroom.

Exercise in the bathroom - this might seem a little weird but just bear with me. When you go to the bathroom try doing some squats and lunges. You already know or have at least heard of these amazing workouts. Try doing 15 each and each week slowly build up your repetitions. These are a sure fire way to tone and tighten your legs and butt.

Learn to say no - this is probably the most important tip. I can't tell you how many times a week someone brings in donuts and baked goods. It takes a lot of self-control but each treat does seriously add up. So next time someone mentions free pizza or cake just gracefully decline, eat some fruit and go on a walk girl. You got this! and remember you're not the only one trying to make healthy choices. Try reaching out to fellow health conscious coworkers for support if that helps :)


How to lose weight at work

by on Tuesday, July 12, 2016
When you spend 40+ hours a week in one place you eventually develop daily habits that can make or break your health goals. A lot of us ha...