For many, waking up at the crack of dawn to go for a run, do weights or pump out 50 burpees is a struggle, not to mention unrewarding when you can barely lift your legs let alone a kettle bell.
Besides the long list of benefits that come with morning exercise (see below) working out at this time of day is particularly important if you’re training for an event. Why? Because they’re generally all held in the morning! So if you want to be performing at your peak, pay attention.
An enhanced metabolism, improved physical and mental energy and better sleep are just a few great benefits that come with exercising in the morning. You’re also more likely to stick with your routine and reach your goals sooner.
Sounds great right? Making the switch has never been easier with these tips..
SORT OUT YOUR SLEEP
There is no point working out in the morning if you haven’t had enough sleep. The experts recommend 7-8 hours sleep each night. So, calculate what time you need to wake up (to be at work on time etc), and then work out your new ideal bedtime from there. It’s important to note that you won’t be able to change your body clock overnight. So if you’re a night owl, you won’t just fall asleep at 9:30pm. Start by going to bed 15 minutes earlier each night until you eventually reach your ideal bedtime.
Eating before exercise is a hot topic of debate, but everyone is different. There’s no reason to force yourself to eat before you workout, but if you find you’re feeling lethargic or drained half way through your session, perhaps try a light breakfast before you begin. A small apple, half a banana or even a little yoghurt might just give you the fuel you need. You should also try to drink 1 cup of water as soon as you wake up, and then sip more water while you exercise. Eating post-workout is also very important. Try a protein rich smoothie with bananas, almond butter and a protein supplement.
SHARE YOUR WORKOUTS
You’re far more likely to follow through with that 6am alarm if you’ve already gloated online about it the night before. If that’s not enough to motivate you, signing up to a fitness app like Strava is a great idea. Nothing is quite as satisfying or validating as recording your morning workout. Plus, it’s a great tool to keep track of your progress and improvement – another great motivator!
MUSIC IS KEY
Whether it’s ABBA, Daft Punk or Rage Against The Machine, there’s nothing like great music to motivate you through your workout. You don’t have to wait until you’re ready to exercise to hit play, either. Start playing songs as soon as you wake up – that will really get you out of bed. Make sure you mix up your playlist from time to time, otherwise the songs that used to get you pushing harder will have you reaching for the skip button instead.
You can’t expect to transition to a morning exerciser straight away – these things take time! We are all creatures of habit, so be persistent each morning and on those particularly tough days, think about how good you’ll feel when you finish. Then, think about how you’ll feel if you don’t do it. After a while, that ‘good’ feeling will be enough to get you out from under the covers.