Early Bird Does Get The Worm, Especially With Exercise!! OR Morning Workout Tips That Are Actually Helpful
We know not everyone is a morning person. (And even fewer of us are eager to wake up and hit the gym.) But getting up and moving can actually be an amazing way to start your day. Keep this in mind, studies have shown that people that get up early and start moving actually tend to be more optimistic, stress less and are more proactive about the upcoming day or the week’s events.
While the best time to exercise depends on your schedule and your body, the odds are in favor of morning workouts. Think about it: You won’t have to trudge to the gym after a long day of work, you may sleep better, and you’re more likely to actually get it done if you do it before other (sometimes more fun) options come up. After all, who wants to say no to happy hour?
Sure, you may have heard the usual tips and tricks, but what tricks do people who consistently work out in the early a.m. use? We asked those who know best—a mix of people who train for a living, to find out what gets them up and at ‘em at the crack of dawn.
1. Cool down to warm up.
Try riding a Bike to the gym or even to work—even in the winter. Those single-digit temperatures and bitter breeze smack you so hard in the face, you won't even need a cup of coffee
2. Set two alarms.
“The first one lets you know you have 15 more minutes to sleep, which makes feel better about the start to your day. Then try meditating for 10 minutes, drink an almond milk cappuccino, play music (pretty loud—sorry, neighbors!), and throw on a super-bright exercise outfit. Caffeine. Clear Head. Neon. You can be out the door on your exercise mission and ready to take on the day
3. Pack accordingly and get in bed early.
Try every evening to check to see what the morning weather will be and prepare your gear bag accordingly (not every day is a jump rope day). On weekdays try to be in bed no later than 10:30 p.m., so your 6:30 a.m. alarm doesn’t feel quite so brutal. Once your routine is established you can be ready and out the door within 10 minutes. You may have to adjust both your bedtime and your morning alarm settings depending on how early you need to get up so you can get your exercise in and be ready to punch that clock!!!
4. Flip a switch.
Blinding light as soon as the alarm goes off acts as a good motivator to get you up. You realize once that light hits you, the adrenalin starts to pump and you then don’t want to go back to sleep. Then try turning on some tunes—on days you may need extra help try setting your I-Tunes to the heavy metal shuffle then grab your first cup of coffee or high-protein shake of your choice, rather than the covers
5. Have a delicious breakfast ready and waiting.
If you set your alarm for a 5 a.m. wake up call, try preparing your protein packed smoothie the night before and have it ready and waiting in the fridge for you. Remember to pack that smoothie with fiber and protein so you can get the energy your body needs, while keeping you feeling full and satisfied!!
6. Keep the alarm away from your bed.
Ok, for some people, they need to really just get out of bed to start their day, so try putting your alarm clock on your dresser away from your bed instead of the night stand. This way, you will need to get out from under the covers in order to turn off that un-forgiving alarm… It also helps if the alarm is both louder and annoying, the louder the better to get you up and moving!!
7. Make it a habit.
Life is about habits, both big and small. So to get to the bigger goal of working out in the morning, try to stick to small habits along the way, like placing your alarm clock in your kitchen, so you need to get out of that bed in order to shut it off. As you brush your teeth, ask yourself: What will I gain from staying awake instead of going back to bed? The answer is "A Lot!" because a couple extra hours of uninterrupted time is enormous, whether it's spent at a desk or in the gym. After 2-3 weeks of embracing moving around early in the morning, you will find you will no longer need tricks to get you up and moving.
8. Prep your clothes—and a playlist.
If you’re like most people you like to look good. The more you like your outfit, the more excited you will be to put it on! Also, always have an excellent playlist. Studies have shown that music dictates the way and the intensity in which most people move. So try keeping those up-beat tunes handy to set the pace for your early morning routines!
9. Wear red and grab a mint.
We all need a little help in getting us up and moving, whether it’s an early morning exercise start of the day or beginning that much thought about motivating run. Try changing up the colors of your workout clothes. Like making a statement, then try the color “Red”. This color’s known to increase excitement, energy levels, and circulation, and for help in getting a person moving. Try popping in a peppermint candy like an Altoids to get you really woken up. Peppermint can create alertness, which is something you need running through Central Park in the early a.m.
10. Coffee = life.
My go to morning drink is coffee, strong and hot. I drink as much coffee as I can. A good strong coffee can be just the ticket to help you negotiate your way around your neighborhood on your early morning excursions.
11. Splash yourself.
If you’re like me, I could lie in bed for hours, so the biggest struggle for me is just putting my feet on the ground. Then I immediately walk to the bathroom and wash my face with cold water—afterward, I feel awake and ready to go. If you have a hard time staying out of bed and want to climb back in under the covers, try the cold water splash treatment….Great way to make that transition from sleepy to bright eyed and bushy tailed.
12. Eliminate excuses.
Get everything ready the night before you get up so you’re not wasting any time in packing your exercise gear, change of clothes and personal items. The last thing you want to do is make your early morning start an exercise in tedious morning prep work!
13. Schedule brunch.
Most of us are completely motivated by rewards, preferably food. So plan brunch/early lunch with your friends on the weekends in the late morning. Nothing makes you want to run harder or faster (and even sometimes longer) than knowing some French toast is waiting for you.
14. Think about how you'll feel afterward.
Know it’s knowing how great you will feel once it’s over. Once you’re done, you will realize you have the entire day and night to do whatever you want, or need to do!
15. Treat Yourself!
There is nothing like having a delicious (and healthy) pre-gym snack so part of your motivation can be to wake up and make yourself an energy loaded tasty morsel made with almond butter and oats, having a strong cup of coffee on the way to your gym is just the ticket to getting you moving. By the time you get there, you will find you have tons of energy and are ready for action.
16. Turn to your furry friends.
If you’ve got pets, try getting into the habit of taking them with you on your morning run. You will find that the company they provide will actually help you to commit to a run/walk each day and remember, having them with you not only helps you to improve your health but your helping to help them maintain a healthy lifestyle as well
17. Look into the future.
Try to visualize the workout the night before as you’re falling asleep. Visualizing yourself enjoying it and seeing yourself smiling works every time. You see your already setting expectations that your mind accepts as being real and thus your body accepts the fact that getting up and getting moving early in the day is a happy and rewarding task that is worth getting up for!
18. Respect your routine.
Give your workout the same respect as your child’s doctor appointment or your work schedule. Scheduling your workouts can help keep you going. If it’s scheduled, you will have an easier time maintaining your schedule instead of just trying to work in a time to get your exercise in. This way there is no reason to let anything get in your way of having a morning exercise happen.
19. Warm up the room.
Try laying out your clothes the night before, and if you have a programmable thermostat, schedule the heat to turn on early so getting out of bed isn’t so hard, or cold
20. Have a group you can't let down.
If you have a hard time just getting yourself to maintain your new found morning schedule, then find a group of like-minded individuals looking to start their day with an invigorating workout. While you may not always want to go through with your workout, seeing your friends may be just the motivator you’re looking for to get you up and out of the house. Also, you don’t want to be the one they’ll end up talking about because you were a no-show!
21. Chores count.
Sometimes, just sometimes your early morning stint of exercise may need to be postponed because of the weather. If you live in the snow belt, your morning workout may be switched to a few hours of shoveling snow and if you’re up in New England, Main and Vermont, your early morning routines may be focused around getting the firewood or filling the coal bucket. No way around that. No matter what your doing, exercise is exercise and in the spring, you can swap your boots for running shoes again .
22. Sleep in your Workout Clothes
If your looking to get as much shut-eye as you can in the morning and still hit the ground running at an early time, try sleeping in your morning workout clothes. They're comfortable, fit you well, and this way when you roll out of bed your already dressed to tackle your morning routine. Naturally, it will help if your clothes are clean and fresh before you put them on for your good nights sleep!
23. Use a wake up light. Try this little trick of using a wake up light, so when the alarm goes off, it’s bright in your room and you’re not tempted to lay back down and snooze. Also have everything packed and ready to go the night before so all you have to do is roll out of bed and go
24. Do it no matter what.
Remember, its consistency. Even if you’re not feeling the workout that day, if you just get yourself up and go through the motions, it helps, and there is always the motivator of keeping a picture of a new outfit or a smaller size pair of pants that you are working to try and get into.
Since your adopting a lifestyle focused around your morning. You can also add a second level of backup to help you in getting up in the morning. Try using a Fitbit Charge HR Activity Tracker. This little device will not only track your activity during the day while it monitors your heart rate, (without the need of a strap) but you can also set an alarm to help you start your day. Its been proven that setting a goal can help you maintain your fitness programs. What better motivation can you get then an activity monitor that sends you notice of how well your doing. Check out how the Fitbit Charge can be your biggest cheerleader!!
I hope these tips and tricks will “Do the Trick” in helping you to start your days motivated and ready to give it your all!!!