No one loves waking up early to hit the gym first thing; especially when it is cold and dark. However, once you get past the excruciating part of leaving your bed, and get yourself to the gym, there really is no better feeling. Many people leave exercise until after work. However, between meetings going over, unexpected tasks needing to be done or simply being tired: the chances of skipping the gym becomes a lot more likely.
Getting up and getting it done first thing in the morning not only leaves you feeling accomplished but then you can strut around all day with confidence, knowing that you have already smashed a workout. So now you are convinced about getting that AM work out in, just how do you put it in action?
Tip 1: Picture yourself waking up early, getting that workout in and actually enjoying it. This might sound silly, but I know if just before I go to sleep I envision something for the next day, I am much more likely to accomplish it.
So just before bed, think about your alarm going off and you are going to feel energized, you are going to jump out of bed, workout and actually, enjoy it. You need to see yourself as someone who enjoys morning workouts to make it come to life.
Tip 2: Make it as effortless as possible. Have your clothes ready to go, water in your bag, and if you need a quick snack have something prepared to grab and go. If it only takes you 5 to 10 minutes to get yourself ready and out of the door you will be far less likely to procrastinate and avoid getting it done.
Tip 3: Do what’s necessary to wake yourself up. Whether that’s setting an alarm every minute for 15 minutes or having your alarm on the other side of the room. Moreover, the first thing you do is turn the lights on.
I personally have a client who puts her alarm on at the bottom of her stairs so that she has to get up and go downstairs to turn it off. This is great because by this point there is no going back.
Tip 4: Write down your goals and a little motivational quote the night before that morning workout. Sometimes (even if you are an enthusiastic morning person), when you go to bed you may not feel so motivated for the following day.
Write down what you want to accomplish but also write down why you want to workout in the morning. Have that note then next to your alarm or gym gear: it might just give you the boost you need.
Tip 5: If you are like me and like food in your belly before you train but don’t want to waste time getting something together have a quick snack like a protein or cereal bar or fruit or a healthy egg muffin and then reward yourself with a delicious warm breakfast when you get back. It is always motivating to finish your workout when you know you have a delicious meal to look forward to.
Tip 6: Don’t press snooze, it makes every action of getting out of bed harder. On the days you have more time whether it be a day off work or the weekend, give yourself the lie in or the possibility to snooze as much as possible as a reward for getting up as soon as the alarm goes off on all the other days.
Tip 7: Ease yourself into the routine. When you first got into exercises you started off training one day, then two, then three before working up to four or five or even six days.
The same goes for working out in mornings. Start with one morning a week and then build from there to two morning workouts and two evening workouts or every other day. We all know waking up early every morning isn’t always easy but make it gradual and it you will be far more likely to stick to it long term.
Tip 8: If you can, get yourself a workout buddy. If you need to meet someone you will be far less likely to bail. Moreover, having a workout buddy will incentives you more every day.
Tip 9: Do what’s best for you! In the end of the day getting it done in the morning is great because it is done, but there is no optimal or best time of day to workout. Maybe you have kids so you can’t get up and head straight to the gym and the only time you have is over lunch. Some people just can function too early in the morning but they can workout late at night.
We all have different lives, jobs, task and priorities and health and fitness is meant to add to your life not take from it. So in the end of the day, whilst morning workouts are great because they are done early on, work out when it works for you and when it fits into your schedule!