Why You Shouldn’t Get Up An Hour Early To Exercise

As mums, we become experts in juggling all of the obligations we have, despite the fact that there’s clearly not enough hours in the day to do it all! One task that often falls off the schedule is regular physical activity.
You might have been told that the solution is to get up early and exercise before the family’s day kicks off. But is this actually realistic or even healthy?

Does this advice sound familiar?
‘Just get up 30 minutes early and go for a run.’
 ‘Set your alarm for 4am, smash out a 5am session at the gym, then be home by 6.30am to wake up your family and get them ready for the day.’ 
‘Get up at 3am even though you’re lucky if you’re in bed by 10.30 pm thanks to the chores that build up throughout the day – it’s what successful male CEOs do, after all!’ 
Um, does anyone else feel this is ridiculous advice? Because I certainly do!

As busy mums, we’re already sleep deprived as it is. There’s a good chance you’ve been sleep deprived since you fell pregnant with your first-born. We go through:

  • The discomfort of sleeping with a small human growing inside you

  • The joys of newborns needing midnight feeds

  • That heartbreaking day where they decide they don’t need to nap during the day anymore

So the last thing we need to do is take even more time out of our precious rest hours! 
Mums already have so many factors that affect a good night of sleep. Cutting that sleep short leads to a perfect storm of not enough energy to exercise effectively, eating processed foods for a quick hit of sugar and carbs and higher stress levels which all adds up to – you guessed it – poor sleep.
The importance of sleep
As a personal trainer, I know that physical activity is essential for your wellbeing. But I also know that sleep is just as important – and possibly even more so – for mums.
Getting enough sleep means that you can:

  • Recover from the physical activity you do squeeze in

  • Give your brain the chance it needs to reboot and refresh for the day ahead

  • Support healthy immunity

  • Improve your mood and ability to manage stress

  • Reduce your risk of emotional eating and unhealthy eating patterns

  • Balance out your sex hormones, thyroid hormones, gut health and skin

  • Feel energised enough to do the things you need to do every day!

Don’t get me wrong – exercise can offer some of these benefits as well. But if you’re working out and not resting, your body won’t recover properly. This can increase your risk of injury or illness, and even undo many of the benefits of movement.
Are you struggling to get a good night of sleep? Make sure you give this blog post a read.

How to incorporate exercise without cutting sleep
So now you know that it’s not worth sacrificing precious shut-eye for your workouts. But you also know that exercise is one of the foundations of being healthy and happy. So how on earth are you supposed to incorporate movement without getting up early?
I’m glad you asked! Here are some simple tips:

  • Combine movement with playtime – got little ones who want Mum to play with them? Don’t just sit on the sidelines and let them run around. Transform it into physical play where you are moving as much as them.

  • Multi-task while you wait – ever noticed how much time you spend waiting around, supervising, or passing time? Don’t scroll through Facebook for the 20th time! Use that time to move your body, even if it’s only in small bursts. 

Walk around while you’re chatting on the phone, add in some squats and calf raises while the kids have a bath, or use the bench to do some push-ups while the microwave heats up your lunch.

  • Focus on short and simple sessions – you don’t need to spend an hour at the gym to get an effective workout in every day. Instead, stick to targeted sessions that give you the biggest bang for your buck. 

This might mean doing some HIIT or circuit training, or it could be doing 10 minutes of yoga because that’s easier for you to achieve than 60 minutes of yoga.

If this resonates with you, check out my membership – not only do we dive into making exercise possible while not depriving yourself of other self-care essentials, you will gain a broader and more in-depth understanding of the different health components that will help you to achieve your goals easily

Time to make a change

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