· By Amelia Lane
Healthy Habits: Morning Exercise
At the beginning of this year, I made a conscious effort to incorporate morning exercise into my daily routine. I know the timing of it doesn't work for everyone but I've tried morning, lunchtime classes and after work gym sessions and I know mornings are the most beneficial for me (read: the most likely to happen!).
When I've exercised in the morning I feel full of energy for the rest of the day and am also much more likely to eat healthily until at least dinnertime. But it's mainly that boost of endorphins and energy setting me up for a positive and productive day that gets me addicted.
My absolutely favourite form of exercising to start the day is a swim in an ocean pool (usually Bronte, pictured, or if I'm free to travel further afield Freshwater), but more commonly it's laps at Andrew Boy Charlton Pool in the Botanic Gardens or a quick run around Centennial Park.
While swimming has always come naturally, I'm definitely not a runner! What helped convert me was the Couch to 5km podcast series (I used the NHS one but there are a few out there). The weekly accountability and really noticing my progress was so motivating. I'm 100% a 'gold star' person - i.e. needing feedback from someone else to keep me going - and I also liked how the pace was manageable so I wasn't just immediately turned off once it got hard (like every time I'd set out to go on a run by myself!). It also helps me to go home and record it in my Amelia Lane Life Designer so I feel the satisfaction of ticking it off as 'done'!
To really get you behind the idea of setting up healthy habits, I strongly recommend Gretchen Rubin's book 'Better Than Before'. One of the main principles is that habits strop you having to make decisions over and over again because they just become routine. So it's no longer an option whether or not you're going to do something, you just do it unthinkingly. I'm still trying to ingrain the habit of morning exercise as I know it always makes me feel happier and I hope this motivates you to give it a try also!