Motivators to Achieve the Best Morning Workout
When it comes to a morning workout, some of us simply don’t have the motivation to put on our running shoes at 5 a.m.
Getting out of bed is probably the most difficult part when it comes to sticking with a morning workout, but motivation is key if you want to get an early jump start on your exercise.
Achieving the best morning workout isn't impossible, you just need to be motivated enough to continue your exercise plan on a daily basis.
As a Strength and Conditioning Specialist through the National Strength and Conditioning Association, and as the fitness expert at bistroMD, Dr. Sean Wells knows what you need to get going in the morning.
To help you get up and at 'em for your morning workout, Sean is sharing some tips and advice with you on how to motivate yourself to achieve the best morning workout.
Start With The Small Stuff
“Little things can actually motivate you to get out of bed for your morning workout,” says Sean. “For example: on the first day of your workout, put on your walking shoes and at least take a step outside your door.”
When it comes to maintaining your motivation to work out every morning, putting on your exercise clothes can make all the difference in the world. If you are dressed for success, your attitude will change.
“Putting on your exercise clothes daily can help you maintain your initial motivation,” says Sean. “Once you see yourself dressed for the part, you will most likely be successful at completing your physical activity or exercise.”
Even if you don’t like shopping, just purchasing the appropriate workout gear can be enough of a motivator each week to keep pursuing your goals.
Eat a Healthy Breakfast
Forget the myths you heard about eating a healthy breakfast before your morning workout. You should never skip out on a healthy meal first thing in the morning.
“Our bodies need energy first thing in the morning,” says Sean. “A high-protein breakfast, balanced with carbohydrates and healthy fats, is one of the best options.”
Protein is a crucial nutrient, because our bodies don't have the capability of storing it. When we sleep, our bodies use up the remainder of protein and other nutrients, which is why it is so critical that we eat a healthy breakfast before we do any type of activity that requires energy.
“A breakfast sufficient in protein is best. Protein helps you feel fuller longer, and it gives your body the energy it needs to get through your morning workout,” says Sean. “Eggs are always a good option, as well as whole grains. Add in some fruit, and a glass of all natural orange juice, and you will be energized and ready to get going on your workout."
Create a List of Personal Motivators
It may be cliché, but creating a list of personal motivators for your morning workout can give you the boost you need to maintain your daily routine.
When creating your list, it’s best not to reach for the stars right away. Start with smaller goals, and slowly add to those goals week after week.
“When it comes to a morning workout, many people try to do too much right away,” says Sean. “Instead, make a list of motivators, and then list your goals and outcomes next to each one.”
When making your personal list, it is important to make sure that each goal is reasonable.
“Beginning your first week, don’t promise yourself you are going to lose 10 pounds by exercising every morning for several hours, seven days out of the week,” says Sean. “Instead, find motivators that relate to you, and that relate to the goals you want to accomplish.”
When you start making your list of personal motivators, Sean suggests mapping out each day of the week, and using different inspirations for different days. For example: You can start the beginning of your first week with a motivational quote for each day, and end the week with an achievable goal.
"Quotes can be very powerful motivational tools, and they can give you the boost you need to continue with your goals," says Sean. "Put a daily quote on your calendar for each day of the week, along with a reasonable goal you can list at the end of the week, like, 'My goal is to lose two pounds.' As the weeks go by, you can gradually intensify the goals, and look for more powerful quotes to coincide with the change in your intensity levels."
Other than quotes, you can also use health statistics as your main motivator. If you are a woman, you can put something like this on your calendar: “I am a woman, but I will not be another victim of heart disease, which is why I’m going to exercise for my health.”
Wait Until After the Crack of Dawn
If you find yourself having a tough time waking up at 5 a.m. to get started on your morning workout, it's probably because it is too early in the morning.
“When people start a morning workout, they think they have to get started as early as possible,” says Sean. “This works for some people, but this is why many people don’t succeed at maintaining an effective morning workout. Without daylight, your mind is telling your body that it isn’t time to wake up yet. Waiting until the sun actually rises can make a big difference in your energy levels.”
The sun actually gives you more energy to get up and start exercising in the morning. The sun may not be as strong in the morning, but your skin can soak up vitamin D from the sun’s rays, which can supply your body with needed calcium. Calcium gets converted into energy, which helps give you the stamina needed to power through your morning workout.
Start with Low-Intensity Exercises, Then Progress Naturally
The key to any morning workout is knowing where to start, and what exercises to start with.
“When starting out, it’s best to begin with low-intensity exercises,” says Sean. “These are simple activities like walking or jogging. As you become more adjusted to your morning workout, you can gradually start incorporating more high-intensity exercises into your plan.”
Each week, you should naturally progress in your workouts by adding more high-intensity exercises, but only if your body is ready for this change. Physically, if you don’t feel like you can progress, then it’s more important that you take the necessary time for your body to adjust accordingly to these changes.
Once you have mastered simple activities like walking, you can then start incorporating more intense aerobic exercises like strengthening, stretching, and cardio.
By following this advice from our expert, and by implementing these strategies into your daily routine, you will be on your way to mastering your morning workout before you know it.