Finding the motivation to work out at any time in the day can be tough, but it can be especially terrible to do a morning workout when so many people want to hit that snooze button a few more times. But the simple fact is that it is better to get that workout done now after a good night’s sleep, as opposed to the end of the day when you are worn out from the day’s work.
I have always been a morning person but even I have a few tips and tricks to give myself the energy and motivation to practice on getting out of bed. Here are a few tricks to consider.
Drink something to start the day
Many of us depend on that morning shot of coffee or tea to get through the day, but it is especially important to do so if you plan to start your day quickly. I personally do not use either and prefer to stick to just drinking water throughout the day. Aside from the obvious health benefits of drinking water, I can generally get myself to an alert state from needing to use the bathroom the second I wake up.
You may worry about whether drinking coffee will negatively affect your workout, but Men’s Fitness points out that drinking black coffee can positively affect your workout, whether it is by burning fat cells or improving your mental focus. Above all else, the best thing you can do for your health is hit the gym early. And if that requires drinking a cup of black coffee as soon as possible, so be it.
Run with Man’s Best Friend
Running with a companion offers many benefits. The two of you can hold each other accountable and encourage each other when you are feeling depressed. Furthermore, it becomes a lot harder to decide to skip in the morning when you know you have a friend waiting for you. On the other hand, arranging a good workout time with your friend can be sometimes be a major hassle. A dog avoids that downside and can still be an excellent motivator to keep both of you fit.
Obviously, don’t get a dog just because you want to work out, but because you want a great companion. But if you already have a dog, setting a routine of morning workouts with him or finding a workout partner will give you additional motivation. Fitness Magazine has a few excellent tips on how to find a partner.
Get to Sleep Early
If you are too tired to exercise upon waking up, that is a good sign that you are not getting enough sleep or are not restful in your sleep. Far too many of us do not get the 7 to 9 hours of sleep the National Sleep Foundation recommends, and we disturb our sleep by using electronics or sleeping with the lights on.
If you plan to get up 30 minutes earlier to get ready for a morning workout, go to sleep 30 minutes earlier. Your body may need a little while to get used to falling asleep at this new time, but remember that getting used to a morning workout is a slow, gradual process. Over time, you will wonder how you slept so late.
Prepare the Night Before
Getting out of bed can be hard enough without having to get dressed, do some morning brushing and shaving, packing a work lunch and so on. For those reasons, you should take care to do it the night before, as many doctors advise older patients, so that the only thing you need to do upon waking up is roll out of bed and head out the door.
Sleep in your workout clothes or at least lay them out so you can quickly change and pack your exercise bag in advance. Steps like these may not seem like they will make much of a difference, but these small tasks can become large ones in your mind when rolling around in bed.
Stick to the Routine
I was not born a morning person. I became that way thanks to years of my mother making it a routine to drag me out of my bed at 5 in the morning, seven days a week. I certainly cursed her for it a great deal at the time, but I still get up around that time years later because it became a routine.
Routine is one of the most important things to make that morning workout second nature instead of a daily battle between your desire to get out of bed and not. Make that morning workout part of your routine, and respect it just as much as you respect the time you need to get to work or pick up your child from school. Coffee, friends and sleep can help establish the routine, but working out has to be ingrained in your mind through constant repetition over time.