The 5.30am workout for parents

August 21, 2013

5.30 amWhat 5.30 am looks like…

I read an article the other day about a US entrepreneur who credits the secret of her success to getting up early every day to be in the gym for 5.30am. Since doing so, she’s completed three triathalons and is now on track for solo world domination.

Since becoming a parent, sleep – or not getting enough sleep – is one of the most obsessively important things for me, and there’s no way I’d chose to wake up any earlier than I had to. So good for her, but I had to prop my mouth shut when I’d finished reading the article. People really choose to get up that early to go to the gym?

However, when I thought about it I realised we’re actually not that different. Eliza has taken to waking up at 5.30am for the last few months. And our morning routine is surely as effective as any personal training session.

Skeptical? Well here’s what my 5.30am workout looks like, parenting style:

  • Warm-up jog to the bedroom to retrieve awake toddler from cot to bed
  • Yogic mind exercises to will her back to sleep
  • If that fails, 100m hurdles over the baby gates to retrive the iPad
  • Peppa Pig marathons
  • And later, laps around the house, tidying up after my mini personal trainer
  • Arm lifts – toddler up, toddler down – and repeat
  • Sprints to pre-emptively halt any cupboard rummaging or table climbing

I also read recently that most adults take part in little or no physical activity. So, taking a cue from the entrepreneurial, early-morning-gym-going-lady, I spy a gap in the market. Fancy a workout without paying for extortionate membership fees? I’ll send my toddler round. At 5.30 am.

Yesterday something made me feel fleetingly broody, and I texted my husband at work to tell him. ‘Ha!’ he replied. ‘I’ll remind you of that at first thing tomorrow morning.’ He has a very valid point.


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