A Night Owl Tries Morning Workouts & New Gear in the Go Get It Guide

By , Alicia Capetillo, Editor-in-Chief
Every month The Go Get It Guide is your destination for motivation, musings on random goals and probably pop culture references. It's a space where we'll sort through the PR pitches and news, then share our honest thoughts on what's happening in the health and fitness world, what's on the horizon and just what we think of that video the internet obsessed over last week. Check in each month to Spark, Sweat, Smile, Savor and Shop with us!

Spark: To Snooze or Not to Snooze?

Is there any characteristic more defining than the stereotypes that go along with being a night owl or early bird? Tell me you're a morning person and my mind immediately jumps to Apple CEO Tim Cook waking up at 4:30 a.m., which is to say I'm impressed. I assume you spend your mornings maximizing your time by checking stocks (you definitely maintain an impressive stock portfolio), whipping up a nutritious breakfast, maybe squeezing in a quick stretch, writing in your journal and so on—effectively having an entire day before I would ever dare set an alarm.
I, however, am the opposite of that morning person. I regularly hit the snooze button four times before I begrudgingly get up and stumble through the daily race to make it to work on time. In college, I was known to sleep well past 2 p.m. on days when I had afternoon classes. These days, it's a struggle to make it to the farmers market on Sunday before 11:30 a.m., after which time all the good stuff has disappeared.
But I'm trying to change all that. Sort of. Which is why I'm relating hard to one of the top Instagram posts from last month:


A post shared by SparkPeople (@sparkpeople) on

This is so true for me it makes me cringe. Due to some especially stressful (but mostly exciting!) life things happening all over the place, I recently added a 6 a.m. hot yoga class to my routine, both to fit in exercise on otherwise too-busy days and to try to calm down my overactive, overworked brain before the day gets going. I'm only going one day a week right now (baby steps) and every time that alarm goes off at 5:35 the battle between my brain and body begins. I can attest that the days I get up right at the first alarm and start moving, my brain doesn't have time to talk me out of it. I'm already on my feet, after all, why go back to bed now? It's the days that I snooze or contemplate the pros and cons that exponentially increase the chances of me slipping back into dreamland and skipping out on my moment of Zen.
In just a few months I've noticed the benefits and why those morning exercise people always act like they have it all together. As an anti-morning person, the first few weeks for me were kind of exciting—I felt like I was part of this secret club of people that rise before the sun, like I was more on top of it than all those lazy people who were still sleeping. Getting my sweat in in the morning set me up for productivity right from the start. Having already checked one big thing off my to-do list, I go into work and approach morning chores with a different sense of purpose and pride. Plus, fitting in the workout first thing in the morning meant I didn't have to turn down social invitations or worry about rushing home to eat dinner to accommodate a post-work burn.
Mind you, I haven't perfected this by any stretch of the imagination. I've slept through class a handful of times and end up back in bed after my shower about half the time, grabbing an extra hour of sleep before heading into work. But the point is that I'm trying, and one day morning exercise might just be a thing. To all my fellow night owls out there, whether you have to set your alarm clock across the room, sleep in your exercise clothes or use some other mental hack, I encourage you to trick your brain into hitting a morning workout every now and again to see if burning before breakfast positively impacts your day and your mentality. God speed.

Sweat: Groovy, Man

Things no one told me about getting engaged: adding the word "wedding" in front of anything (cake, flowers, dress) adds approximately $500 to $1,000 onto the normal price; finding a modern-but-not-too-modern, fancy-but-not-too-fancy venue that can seat 200+ is akin to searching for the holy grail; and wearing a ring while weightlifting is kind of uncomfortable. While most of the surprises have been expected and easy to navigate, the ring thing tripped me up for weeks. If I wore it, I was nervous about scratching the metal or, worse, having my finger nearly ripped off like Jimmy Fallon. If I didn't wear it, I felt like I was hiding this really exciting, life-changing thing. What's a girl to do?
Just as I'm not the first engaged person to gasp at the food catering quote, this is apparently a problem that others have encountered. Lucky for us, the folks at Groove Life have a solution—silicone rings. You've found The One already, but if you're someone who can't imagine pumping iron without repping your perfect partnership, too, Groove Life's silicone ring is The One piece of jewelry you need.
Photo by George Brooks, courtesy of Groove Life
Chances are you've seen the Groove ring or a similar ring in your local gym without even realizing it. Since receiving mine, I've noticed them on more than a few ring fingers, and now that I'm in on the secret, I understand why they've become more popular. Made from medical-grade silicone, the rings are as durable as a concrete storm shelter in a hurricane with a softness and flexibility that makes them easy to put on and take off. Silicone grooves along the inner edge of the ring keeps your finger dry and allows it to breathe to avoid feeling uncomfortable or claustrophobic. Plus, because they're flexible and lightweight, they're far more comfortable than a traditional metal ring when you're doing anything active. It sounds cliché and maybe even too good to be true, but you really do forget you even have it on after a few reps.
I'm as minimalist as they come, so I opted for a solid color, but if you want your ring with a bit of personality, Groove also offers rings with camo and marble designs, American flags or your favorite college team. If you need something uniquely you, try the custom collection on for size, which allows you to jazz up your ring finger with personalized text, monograms, wildlife images, adventure logos, faith features or Greek letters. If you can dream it, Groove can design it. Better than that? Groove Life's "No BS [Bad Service] 94-Year Warranty," which means if your ring rips from too many hardcore obstacle races, stretches out after years of pushing the limits or gets lost in a gnarly surf wipeout, Groove will replace it.
While I use the Groove ring only for workouts (I'm still in the honeymoon phase with my too-pretty-for-words engagement ring) right now, there are many people who have replaced their wedding bands completely with the silicone version. If you're someone who finds metal rings to be uncomfortable, irritating or hindering, adding a silicone ring could be solution to your frustrations. And because they start at less than $30, they work for any budget. You could even change up your ring bling to match your outfits if you wanted to be trendy like that.

Shop: A Versatile Bottle for Your Gym Bag 

Some people like mini food items, others enjoy small toys, some are still hooked on doll furniture. Me? I'm mildly obsessed with travel-sized anything. When I went backpacking through South America, real estate in my backpack was limited, meaning multifunctional and travel-sized products were a must and the fixation hasn't worn off since I've been home. Mini hairdryer, little laundry bag, mini dry shampoo, tiny day pack for hiking, packable whoops-I-bought-too-many-souvenirs duffel bag—basically, if it's a travel necessity and it's smaller than my hand, I probably own it or want it. The ways these product designers are able to make a full-size necessity more compact and lightweight is nothing short of Nobel-worthy.
As of late, the obsession has moved from my Osprey to my gym bag. I pack a gym bag nearly every day for my lunchtime or post-work workout and the less I have to carry in the mornings when I'm just barely keeping my eyes open the better. As a result, I have shoe deodorizers for my stinky sneakers, a mini hair brush, a folding yoga mat, a resistance band set and a jump rope. Now, I've added a new item to my tiny menagerie: the collapsible Bubi Bottle.
Photo courtesy of Bubi Bottle
I must be on some kind of silicone kick, because, like the Groove ring above, the Bubi Bottle is also made from BPA-free silicone. And, like the Groove ring above, this thing is flexible. The bottle comes shipped in a compressed shape, squeezing down to about the size of my hand for more convenient packing. For my fellow travelers, this means you can empty it out, fold it up and cram it in your carry on before hitting TSA, then expand the bottle and refill it for your flight once you pass security. No more $11 bottles of water for me!
Not only can you freeze the bottle or use it for hot liquids, but it's also mold-resistant and, according to their website, Bubi tested their bottle's puncture-proof material on a nine-foot alligator and it somehow survived without being penetrated. It's that kind of dedication to their craft that distinguishes a company from the others, am I right?
What I love even more than the bottle's indestructible qualities, though, is the material itself. The silicone feels great to the touch, allows the bottle to act as an ice pack and is light enough so it won't add extra weight to your already-full gym bag. Its flexibility also makes it super easy to clean, as you can actually flip the bottle inside-out to ensure the entire bottle gets a good scrub without having to buy a special long sponge or rinsing it out with hot, soapy water and just hoping you got all the mess out.
As someone who has an entire cabinet full of metal, plastic and double-walled water bottles, the Bubi bottle stands out from the rest for its travel-friendly design and versatile material. Try one yourself and it might just take the top spot in your water bottle cabinet, too. In the meantime, you'll find me in the travel-sized product section of Target.
What are your favorite problem-solving products?