Do you find yourself hitting the snooze button and rolling over in bed instead of getting up and working out? Why is it that if it were something really exciting you would get up in a heartbeat, but to workout is a struggle? Is working out in the morning optimal for you, or are you better off to find another time of day to do it?
Let’s look at why you might choose to exercise first thing in the morning and how you can make that happen.
Are You A Morning Person?
I am not a morning person, but the type of work that I do (Personal Training) demands that I get up early because I have clients who want to work out at 6 a.m. I actually love getting up early now that I have been doing it for many years. One could say that I am now a real morning person.
There are a lot of benefits to getting up and working out before you start the rest of your day, whether it is going to the office, or getting the kids off to school, or both. Here are a few:
- Feel more energized for your day
- Start the day with a good calorie burn
- Rev up your metabolism
- Feel like you have accomplished something already
- Get your workout out of the way (especially if you then have to go to work or take care of kids)
- It might be the only time that you have to work out
Do You Get Enough Sleep?
My sleep schedule has shifted to accommodate my work as a personal trainer. I try and get at least 7 hours of sleep a night. That means getting to bed at a decent hour and occasionally taking naps to re-energize myself when I haven’t gotten enough sleep. It is no fun to wake up feeling drained.
We know that sleep impacts numerous aspects of health. Lots has been written regarding sleep and its impact on weight loss, auto-immune diseases, mental health, and on and on. If you are struggling to get up early to work out and are not getting enough sleep to begin with, you really are doing yourself a disservice.
So, if you decide that the best or only time for you to exercise is early morning, you need to ensure that you get enough sleep.
Once you make the shift to exercising first thing in the morning, it really becomes a habit and is much easier to do than it was at first. I would prefer to get up early now on weekends and get my body moving because that is what I am used to. I love to go for an early morning run when I get the chance.
Tips to Make That Morning Workout Happen
Change does not happen without some planning. Building a new habit takes a concerted effort and planning. For many of you, getting up early to exercise means change and new habits. Here are some tips for making that morning workout happen:
- Set out your clothes the night before
- Just having your clothes out is a huge motivator for when you wake up.
- Check the weather forecast for the morning if you are going to go out for a run so that you have the right clothes ready.
- It might be helpful to have everything ready so that you don’t wake up anyone else in the house.
- Pack your gym bag
- Pack up everything that you need for your workout (water bottle, towel, music, etc.) and have it ready to go by the front door.
- Do your research
- Research the local pool schedule.
- Find an early morning exercise class.
- Get a workout buddy.
- Hire a trainer.
- Stay at a hotel with a gym if you are traveling.
- Write it in your calendar
- Scheduling your workouts is a way of making the commitment on paper. You owe it to yourself to make the commitment.
- Hire a personal trainer
- There is something to be said for paying for workout sessions ahead of time, having a 24-hour cancellation policy, and sticking to a schedule.
- Get enough sleep
- Get to bed at a decent time. Avoid burning the candle at both ends. You will ultimately burnout, get sick or both.
- You just might have to say “No” to some evening social events.
Establish a bedtime routine to help you relax and settle your mind and your body.
- Give yourself transition time
- Give yourself what you need in order to be able to exercise.
- This might be a small snack, a cup of coffee, or even 10 minutes to read the paper. If your body is slow to get moving in the morning, try some easy limbering moves like yoga sun salutations or even marching in place and arm circles and taking some deep breaths.
Who Knows, You Just Might Love It
You never know, you might absolutely fall in love with getting up early and working out. There are many benefits to getting your blood flowing and oxygen to your brain right out of the gate.
We would love to hear from you about when you prefer to workout. Are you a morning exerciser, or do you wait until afternoon or evening?
By Sue Bream yoursimplehealthylife.com