Rise & Shine, It’s Cardio Time!

I anticipate it every morning and sometimes it can be the most irritating thing ever, the sound of my alarm clock waking me from a deep slumber. I have mornings every now and then when I wish that I could just hit the snooze button and just drift off to sleep, but what gets me up is knowing how great I feel after a morning cardio session.

Morning cardio sessions have become a part of my daily routine and when I’m not able to get it in, it’s like my whole day has been set askew. As hard as it is sometimes to drag myself out of bed at 5:30 am, put on my gear & drive to the gym – there is no better thing than feeling the energy being exuded from every person there. Every morning I retreat to my usual treadmill with my favorite tunes in ear, where I can look out at the skyline of Omaha & watch the city awake. Okay, I know the skyline isn’t much to look at, but nonetheless, what a beautiful sight. Some mornings I can’t quite muster up as much energy as I’d like, but I still crank out that workout knowing how great I’m going to feel when I’m done. Getting in my cardio in the AM really sets the tone for the rest of my day – it allows me to have a clear mind, be on top of my game & use my creative juices, a must when you are a graphic designer!

There are so many benefits to doing cardio in the morning upon rising and I can certainly attest to that. Not only does it keep you energized throughout the day but if burning fat is your goal, then this is a must! By performing cardio first thing in the AM on an empty stomach, your body is able to burn up that last bit of glucose & then pull fat out of storage to be used for energy which is key!

When you eat, your body converts the food into a usable state to be absorbed by the body. Protein builds tissue, fat and carbs are either burned for energy or stored as body fat. Your body uses glycogen and oxygen in the cells to make energy. Glycogen is made from converted glucose, and glucose comes from the carbohydrates that we eat. When you don’t eat before cardio, you are not adding any new nutrients to be converted to glucose thus not hindering the body from tapping into that excess fat storage. So if your goal is to burn fat, don’t eat before your morning cardio session!

Things to keep in mind to make morning cardio a breeze…

  • Prepare – set out your gym clothes and any gear that you need the night before, that way you don’t waste any time rounding everything up that you need for a successful workout.
  • Hydrate – Make it a goal to guzzle 16 oz of water upon waking. Water is essential for fat loss, it kick starts your metabolism and it flushes out all of those unnecessary toxins….and it’s so refreshing! Don’t go to the gym without your water bottle in hand!
  • Music – Create a playlist and listen to tunes that really get you going. You will be surprised at how quickly you can get through your workout if you just zone out & let the music take you away.
  • Goals – Always keep your goals in mind! If you have a goal in mind, you will be less likely to give up. Once you reach that goal, set a new goal for yourself. Verbalize that goal, write it down, visualize it & believe it. Anything is possible, so believe in yourself!

And as my good friend Heidi always says “Own It. Work It.” 🙂

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3 thoughts on “Rise & Shine, It’s Cardio Time!

    • Hey Jonathan,

      First off, thanks for taking the time to read my blog!

      I too am anxious to take my training outdoors – nothing quite like a good run outside in the AM as the sun comes up! There is a lake close by to where I live, with a nice path so I have no excuse to not take advantage of that!

      As for food post-workout, I will typically eat about 3 egg whites w/ 1 whole egg and 1/4 cup of steel cut oatmeal. Since I am prepping for a comp right now, I am carb cycling so it really kind of varies from day to day. What about you?

      • I usually eat before working out, something like whole wheat English muffin with honey and bananas on it and drink a protein shake afterward. I’m a huge fan of breakfast and have been on an egg white with broccoli and cheese kick.

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