You’ve tried to become one of those morning workout people but when that dreaded alarm goes off, your body is all, ‘No. Just no.’ We concede: throwing off your warm, cozy covers on bone-chilling winter mornings so you can hit the treadmill or sweat through Insanity class can be torturous. But it’s totally worth the pain. That’s because research suggests that early morning hours are the best time to get your sweat on – fueling your metabolism, energy level and mood all day long. Successfully getting up early in the morning to work out is all about removing as many obstacles and excuses as possible. Steal these simple tricks to help get yourself out of bed and ease into the a.m. workout habit.
Every night when you get home from work, put your dirty gym clothes in the hamper and set aside a crispy, new exercise outfit. Having to dig through your dresser drawers at 6 a.m. is no fun. It’s much easier to have an outfit ready to go, so you don’t have to fully wake up before you get dressed. Another option? Wear your workout clothes to bed.
Now just charge your iPod and leave your shoes by the door. Speeding up your morning routine will result in either a few extra minutes under the covers or a few extra minutes on the raquet ball court. Either way it’s a win!
It’s not your alarm, it’s you. And distance makes the heart grow fonder, right? Move your alarm clock across the room. That way you can’t sleepily snooze button your way through your morning sweat session. By forcing yourself to jump out of bed to silence the dreaded buzzer, you’re forcing yourself to wake up quicker. And once you’re already up… might as well go work out, right?
Another trick, setting your alarm to the most obnoxious buzzer, or song, you can find. Leaping out of bed to turn off Gangam Style or to silence the dreaded air horn alarm will seem less like a chore and more like you’re doing yourself a favor.
Eating a full meal in the morning before your workout can make you feel sick. Instead, try something light before your workout (so you’re not starving), and then another light snack after. A meal you can digest quickly that contains protein and complex carbs will fire up your brain and give you the energy you need to break a sweat.
Try yogurt & fruit, peanut butter & apple slices or half a pita & a banana. Eating foods your enjoy can also boost your mood so you won’t whine your way through your workout.
It sounds like a no-brainer, sure, but you’d be surprised at how easy it is to rise and shine when you’re truly rested. Once you start getting in to the routine of waking up early, you will automatically start going to bed earlier. In the beginning, however, you will need a little coaxing. Smooth the way to dreamland by shutting off all your devices (backlit screens keep you from falling asleep) and lowering the room temperature about an hour before hitting the sheets.
After a few early morning workouts, the novelty might wear off and it’ll become easier to “forget” to go to the gym. Something that will keep you motivated? Making friends at the gym who will help you stick to your routine. Set regular gym dates with a friend, or get to know another gym-goers who you know will be looking for you in the mornings – work like a charm.
Take the buddy system one step further: Ask your trainer, instructor or workout buddy to tweet at you. “See your beautiful, sweaty face at 6am!” Use this trick and you’ll be held to your workout by the whole Internet. And you know you can’t let down the Internet.
Here’s something that’ll make early-morning gym-going much easier: Make a plan the night before. Either sign up for your group fitness class or have your entire exercise routine mapped out. If you’ve worked with a trainer, bring your prescribed workout routine with you or use the Virtual Trainer on the RFC’s mobile app for inspiration.
Grab a mint the second your alarm goes off. The sugar int he mint will excite your brain and the mint itself will liven up your tongue’s taste buds and nerve endings. You’ll get rid of morning breath and wake up your mind and body for a sweat session.