Watch: SparkPeople's NEW Live Video Chats

By , SparkPeople Blogger
Last week SparkPeople launched a new feature that we're excited to share with you. On select Fridays, we will be hosting live On-Air Hangouts on Google+ called "Take 5 with SparkPeople." (Learn more about Google+ Hangouts here.) Each Hangout (basically a live, interactive video chat) will share five tips related to popular and timely healthy living topics--and we'll answer your questions live on the air as well. "Take 5" will air at noon EST and will last about five minutes. (We picked the time and length so you could easily take a break and join us without disrupting your day too much.) You don't need a G+ page to watch, but you'll need to check out our G+ Page for info on these Hangouts and to watch live.

If you can't watch live, not to worry: Each video is uploaded to SparkPeople's YouTube channel after the Hangout is over, so you can watch at your convenience. We will also be sharing an abbreviated transcript of each "Take 5," then sharing the videos on our blog. We're excited to connect with our members in this new way, and we look forward to answering your questions!

If you missed the first installment, here's your chance to watch.

As I shared in this blog, I'm a morning person--an annoying, jump-out-of-bed-perky-and-ready-to-go kind of morning person. I wasn't always like this. During and after college, I worked second shift and loved sleeping until noon and staying out late. However, it was terrible for my health, and that's when I gained more than 40 pounds.
When I started working for SparkPeople, I became more of a morning person, but it wasn't until my yoga studio started offering an early class that I truly learned to love the predawn hours and the freedom that morning workouts afforded me.
Now I'm sharing my best tips for becoming a morning person and making mornings easier--just in time for Daylight Saving Time.
Why does it matter? Because mornings matter. Self-control renews daily, and it's strongest in the mornings. Starting your day with a healthy choice, such as a workout, will reaffirm your self-control. The longer you wait in the day to do your workout, the more likely you are to let life get in the way. Here are my five best tips.
  1. Plan ahead. Each night before bed, make sure everything is ready to go for the next day: breakfast, lunch, and water bottle in the fridge; laptop case and purse by the door; gym bag is stocked with extra clothes, shoes, and toiletries. Even if you oversleep by a few minutes, you don't need to scramble to track down everything you need. When you get home at night, unpack, then immediately repack your bag. To avoid embarrassing mishaps like forgotten deodorant (who wants to spend the day sniffing your pits and worrying about BO?) and missing undergarments, carry an extra set of necessities in your bag, and invest in a small, streamlined set of toiletries that stay in your gym bag.
  2. Stick to your plan. I have the same routine every morning: bathroom and shower, fill the kettle and turn it on, feed the cats, grind the coffee, fill the French press, take my vitamins with two cups of water, then get dressed, take my lunch out of the fridge, finish the coffee, put on my shoes… you get the picture. I find that I'm much less likely to lose track of time or forget to do something if I follow roughly the same order every day. That means no distractions. I scan my email when I turn off my alarm each morning but I don't respond to anything that's not an emergency until I get to the office. I don’t open my laptop, and I don't own a TV, so I'm not tempted to lose track of time that way. I learned the hard way one morning when I logged on to my laptop for "just a minute" and ended up wasting 30 minutes.
  3. Don't be vain. Working out in the morning means no time to dawdle in front of the mirror. You can't change your mind about your outfit--it's the only one you have with you! Streamline your beauty routine (my co-worker Treenah has mastered the "five-minute face" since having a baby as a way to save time and still get her morning workouts in), and consider a wash-and-go hairstyle. If you spend less time primping, not only will you save valuable time in the mornings, but you'll also learn to accept yourself for who you are, flaws and all.
  4. Stick with it, even on weekends. I can't stay out past 10 these days, and that's fine by me.  If I try to sleep in, stay up really late, or deviate from my normal schedule on weekends, Mondays are really hard. I "sleep in" until 7:30 on weekends, but I stick with my morning yoga practice and other routines. This was key, especially in the beginning, to adjusting to the new morning schedule.
  5. Cut yourself some slack. Some days, that alarm goes off, and I hit snooze a few times. I miss my window for practice. Other days I'm sick or something comes up. I realize that life happens, and sometimes my schedule and my workouts will be affected. I lean on my mantra: You did your best today. Tomorrow you'll do better.
So that's what we shared in our first G+ Hangout. The topics won't always come from blogs or articles--but this one was timely due to Daylight Saving Time. We actually hope to answer YOUR questions on the air--and eventually we will let people join us in the Hangouts (meaning others will be able to see you, and you'll be able to talk to me). This week we'll share easy ways to motivate yourself to work out--right now!
Mark your calendars. Here's what's coming up next on "Take 5 with SparkPeople":

March 14: 5 Tricks to Boost Your Workout Motivation Instantly

March 21: The 5 Healthiest Foods for Spring

Have a question or want to suggest a topic? Leave your comments below, or on our G+ page.

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I love mornings!! And Mondays!! I know I am odd, but I haven't always been like this. It is more out of necessity. I have 3 kids and it is the only way to get Me time. :)
I love these tips. Report
You mean I get to see and hear the people I type with already? Hmm. Sometimes it's better to just imagine what they sound and look like. I mean, did you know that Abraham Lincoln was NOT a great orator? He had a high pitched nasally voice. And he was kind of ugly. Wouldn't be better to think he was more like a JFK or Ronald Reagan and have done with it? Report
Take 5 with Spark People sounds like a good idea!

I am still struggling with restructuring my day. I have been a night person for many many years since I worked nights in my 20s. I'm now in my 60s and attempting to change.