Spoiler here: I don’t like working out. I don’t like to sweat. I don’t crave the soreness of muscles and whatever endorphins they release. This is not written by someone who’s about to tell you why you should join a gym, because honestly, I don’t go to the gym. So, if that’s who you are, more power to you (!), but this one isn’t for you.
I’m a mom who likes to sit on the floor playing Legos with her son, without her legs going to sleep. The one who knows she can run to him if he falls, or go for a walk with him to explore for hours. I like to not feel terrible when I wake up in the morning, and I especially like having a minute to be alone with my own thoughts. I also like to have the energy to spend time with my husband after our son’s gone to bed. If you’re that person too, then this routine could be for you, or at least give you some ideas you could fit into your own routine.
Carve It Out
To start, I have to force myself to be able to have a moment of “me” time. When I say force, I mean really – I wake up half an hour before my son. This is especially hard for me, as my son is a morning person, and wakes up around 6:30am. In fact, it’s SO hard that I set my alarm for 5:30am, so I can have a half hour to convince myself to get out of bed. But it’s also been 100% worth it.
I head downstairs, pull out my yoga mat, and set up my phone on the coffee stand in our kitchen. Then I light a candle (in the winter this is especially nice, so I don’t have to turn on the lights). I pop on YouTube, and have a moment to myself.
Find What You Like
I need positivity to start my day, and there are two free instructors I love on YouTube. The first is Yoga with Adriene , who’s 30 day challenges are perfect for keeping me motivated. She instructs like a friend, keeps you thinking and makes you laugh. Bonus: I found that I can save the challenges in my YouTube library and easily access them daily. The second is Joe Wicks, specifically his 15 minute Hiit routines – because even I can do 15 minutes! If we’re being honest, I also like his accent and positive cheerfulness – perfect start to my morning. I’m sure there are so many out there, these are just the two I’ve found I can stick with.
When my son wakes up around 6:30, I roll up the mat, and head to the bathroom – where I do all my arm work for a couple minutes before I hop in the shower. I keep 5lb weights under the bathroom sink, and honestly having them there is the only way I’ll do it. I count 25 reps for each arm exercise, and do 5 sets of different moves. Am I going to be a bodybuilder? Nope. Can I carry all the groceries in the house at once? Yup.
And that’s it. I then hop in the shower and get on with my day. While exercising at night might sound good to some, I like to do it all right before my shower, because as previously stated, I don’t like to sweat, so I want to get clean the second I’m done!
I’m not doing this routine to lose “the extra 10 pounds,” or run a 10k, but instead to be kinder to my body and mind, and to feel healthier. As the great RBG said – “Real change, enduring change, happens one step at a time,” and having our children see us take steps to keep our bodies healthy, and be kinder to ourselves, opens the door for them to do the same. They’re watching everything we say and do, so let’s choose to be our best selves.
Even if that does mean waking up this early.