People who wake up at the crack of dawn to get in their morning workout are not magical superhumans who are always motivated. Rather, they have likely established a lifestyle and routine that caters to early morning workouts.
Indeed, learning how to get up early for that sweat session simply takes practice and habituation. Do not sleep on learning how to get up in the morning and exercise to start off the day on energized feet!
7 Morning Workout Tips
Conquering that early morning workout routine starts the night before, which is an overall energy-boosting tip to supercharge the morning. Come wake up time, avoiding the snooze button and getting into the right mindset can propel any and all fitness and health efforts.
1. Practice Good Sleep Hygiene
Waking up rejuvenated and motivated to work out first thing begins with getting enough (7 to 9 hours) high-quality sleep. Sleep is imperative for physical and mental rest, recovery and growth. Thus, not getting enough affects everything from hunger hormones to exercise capacity to motivation and stress levels.
Get a good night's sleep by following a consistent sleep schedule and bedtime routine. Generally, this involves:
• Avoiding stressful tasks or situations a few hours before shuteye
• Limiting screen time and blue light, as well as bright lights altogether
• Drinking a calming tea or tincture
• Taking appropriate sleep supplements as needed
• Skincare and any other end of the evening enjoyable activities that prepare the body and mind for sleep.
2. Prepare for Exercise the Evening Before
It can be hard to make important decisions early in the morning when hormones are raging and long to-do lists plague the horizon. Thus, preparing for exercise the evening beforehand can reduce decision fatigue and the likelihood of skipping an early morning workout.
Prep gym bags with workout gear, an outfit to change into afterward, shower and beauty toiletries, a lock, proper shoes, and other necessities. Lay out the clothes to be worn for the workout, shoes and socks included, or sleep in the workout clothes if the prospect of changing out of pajamas is still too daunting so early in the morning.
And do not forget about packing or planning for post-workout nutrition to replenish muscles and energy stores!
3. Avoid Hitting the Snooze Button
Snoozing that alarm for even five more minutes might seem like a luxurious privilege, but one that encourages poor habits in the long run. Rather, getting right out of bed upon that first ring promotes a better awakening experience.
In fact, falling back asleep for just five or 10 minutes more can make one feel more tired! This is because the body is reawakening when not in a deep part of the sleep cycle.
Plus, battling that internal alarm clock is not a pleasant way to begin the day in a positive mindset. But practicing getting up on the first alarm buzz can feel empowering. That alone can increase innate motivation to get right up and exercise.
4. Wake Up with Natural Light
Rising along with the sun is one of the best ways to promote a healthy circadian rhythm, which then affects nearly all other aspects of physical and mental wellbeing. For centuries, humans naturally awoke to the sun as their own alarm body clock and it is quite an effective way to wake up appropriately early.
Even when closed, eyes have natural light receptors, so this can help one rise earlier and feel more well-rested. While it is important to sleep in very dark environments, one may have to keep curtains or a window open in order to detect the rising sun. If a less than optimally dark room impedes sleep, try using a SAD lamp after waking to mimic natural sunlight.
5. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
Many underestimate the power and nutrition provided by good ole' water. Cells are depleted and dehydrated after many hours of zero nutritional intake
Drinking H2O energizes and replenishes them, in which energized cells equal an energized mind and anticipatory muscles. Plus, dehydration certainly increases feelings of tiredness and lethargy, so the mere thought of exercising can seem daunting.
Reminders to guzzle that morning water include:
• Keeping a glass of water on the bedside table
• Setting out a glass in front of the coffee machine
• Having a water bottle prepped or posting a reminder note on the fridge (or coffee pot)
Overall, water is always the recommended top source of hydration not only in the morning but throughout the entire day.
6. Get in the Right Mindset
Setting intentions to feel positive towards exercising in the morning can make all the difference. It is not only mind preparation, but can also signify the muscles to loosen and warm-up for the activity ahead.
Saying affirmations and/or meditating are some of the most popular mindset methods. However, this could also involve less conventional techniques like rebounding, a short stretch or yoga session, religious or spiritual practices, creating the workout to be completed, or journaling.
Practice makes perfect, or so the saying goes. While perfection is not always the ultimate goal, it undoubtedly leads to habituation.
At some point, with plenty of practice, waking up early to work out will become a habit. The body will be so accustomed to the practice of waking early and exercising that it will not feel so daunting or unnatural. In fact, it might become more unnatural not to get up early to work out.
In the beginning, practicing might look like getting out of bed, putting on tennis shoes, and walking around the block. And that is perfectly ok!
Overall, start small if needed and progress to an appropriate amount and intensity over time. Humans are quite adaptive when they want to be, so stick with the practice to see guaranteed results.
No one is any less of a person if they do not hop out of bed ready to work out in the morning. However, making this a practice can feel empowering and anecdotal and some scientific research shows doing so can lead to a more energized, productive day.
Alas, the seven tried and true tips above can help anyone learn to wake up in the morning and exercise. And with practice, anything is possible!