Exercise can be the best way to start your day, but not everyone is a morning person. We all know how hard it is to wake up when you feel like you haven’t had enough shut-eye and all you want to do is hit the snooze button. But research has shown that on average people who exercise in the morning, work out for longer and with more intensity than those in the afternoon or evening.
This is not the only advantage to an early morning workout. Struggle to fit exercise around your busy evening schedule? Don’t have the energy after a long day to hit the gym? Then exercising in the morning is for you. If you’re not the kind of person who can get up and go at the crack of dawn, then we have some great tips that’ll have you jumping out of bed ready for your next workout!
#1 Get to Bed Early
A great morning workout won’t be as beneficial if you haven’t had the adequate amount of sleep, studies have linked a lack of sleep with many health problems such as weight gain and diabetes as well as the usual side effects of low energy and fatigue.
If you’re not getting enough sleep, we have an easy tip to help you get to bed earlier. Decide a time in the morning you want to exercise, then calculate your ideal bedtime by taking off the recommend 7-8 hours of sleep. If for example you need to sleep at 10 pm to rise at 5 am but you usually fall asleep at midnight, then slowly transition to your new bedtime goal by sleeping 15 minutes earlier each night. Making sure you’ve had enough sleep will guarantee you’re well rested and ready for your morning workout!
#2 Plan Out You Exercise Routine to Succeed
Make sure you have a plan. Wake up every morning knowing what exercise you are doing and for how long. Having a set plan with achievable goals will help you keep focused and motivated. Make sure these goals are realistic, you don’t need to do an Ironman workout every morning, even a walk or jog around the local park is exercise. A little exercise every morning is better than none. The key here is to make your workout something you can stick with and enjoy. So if that 6 am high-intensity interval training is too much, change it up by working out later in the morning or using less effort.
#3 Don’t Let Excuses Get in Your Way
Always have a backup plan. What happens when your partner cancels on your morning circuit training session? Try something new, get out there for a high intensity Tabata workout! Ready for your run but don’t fancy being out there on a cold rainy morning? Hit the treadmill or try out a new workout DVD. By cutting out any excuses to go back to bed you’ll never miss your early morning exercise.
#4 Treat Yourself
Plan in a post-workout treat to reward yourself after your morning exercise. You’ll power through your workout that much faster knowing you have a delicious healthy breakfast or a hot cup of coffee waiting for you at the finish line. Set a deal with yourself to buy those new gym trainers if you complete a month’s worth of morning workouts. Or bribe yourself to get out of bed by having your favorite smoothie prepared ready for your pre-workout snack. But remember these incentives are only allowed if you actually do your scheduled workout.
#5 Get Psyched
Create a playlist of your favorite high energy tracks. This is one sure-fire way to get you psyched up and motivate on those days when you just don’t feel like emerging from underneath the covers. Pick out those songs that really get you pumped while you exercise. But why wait until your workout to put on your motivational tunes, try blasting these out as soon as you wake to really get you up, and out exercising! Take note that listening through headphones might be advisable if you don’t want to wake the neighbors.
#6 Involve Your Friends
Plan to workout with friends or join a morning exercise group, even if you’re not motivated to exercise you’ll always be keen to meet up with friends and you’ll be more obligated to go. You can also use the support of your online friends, by posting your workout plans on social media the night before you can wake up to positive feedback from friends and followers alike.
#7 Be Prepared
This one is a must! So you’ve woke up at the crack of dawn, you have your daily workout planned, the last thing you want to do is search around for your gym clothes? Or worse yet, not be able to find your headphones! Making sure you have your workout bag packed, your music player charged or your favorite gym outfit ready to put on will make it that much easier to get up and start exercising!
And if you want to be extra prepared, you could always sleep in your workout clothes!
Like exercising in the morning? What are your favorite tips and tricks to sustain your workout routine? We would love to hear from you about your morning workout schedules.