The Early Bird Catches the Worm
Working out in the wee hours rids the likelihood of distractions to occur and most importantly, completing a morning workout tends to heighten energy and pave more healthful decisions throughout the day's entirety. A study conducted at Appalachian State University found participants who worked out in early parts of the day slept longer and experienced deeper sleep cycles compared to others who worked out at later parts of the day. And while you may be pulled into the comfort of your bed rather than the push from the comforting sheets, these tips will help motivate you into being a morning exerciser.
But What Worm Should You Catch?
Even if motivated to dismiss the snooze button and embrace a morning workout, your motivation can be heightened if you best understand personal preferences and available conditions to catch that worm. The following "if" circumstances and aligning recommendations may move and motivate you to better health.
...are beginning your workout quest.
Especially if first starting out, tackle low-intensity exercises, such as LISS, and progress naturally. You have plenty of time to get into a routine, so do not rush feel forced into a routine that is too strenuous, causes burnout, or may provoke physical injury.
...experience a time crunch.
It is important to remember an effective workout does not mean hours upon hours at the gym. In fact, a gym is not necessarily even needed! Especially if in a time crunch, you can perform some simple body-weight exercises such as pushups, split squats, overhead reaches and lunges in the comfort of your own. For an effective workout, aim for 10 reps for each exercise and run through the circuit at least twice to get blood flowing, wake up the muscles, mind and nervous system. This 30-minute boot camp workout is also a quick exercise to burn calories and kick start your metabolism.
...thrive at the gym.
If you are a so-called "gym rat" at heart and love those morning workouts, a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise along with at least two full-body strengthening workouts is encouraged each week. Aim for 40 minutes of cardio three days a week and 30 minutes for one day a week or five days of 30 minutes, elevating the heart rate through jogging, cycling, swimming, etc. To achieve two full-body workouts, it is best to split up your strength training sessions to target your upper body one day and your lower body the next rather than working the same muscle groups back-to-back. Complete two or three sets of eight to 12 repetitions of each exercise, and be sure to warmup prior.
...love being in the water.
According to Olympic swimmer, Ricky Berens, it is important to mix up your swimming routines if you want to stay in shape. Swimming workouts are also great motivating morning workouts too. Swimming for distance is important because it will help build muscular and aerobic endurance. Start your warm-up with a kickboard for 200 meters then complete a 500-meter freestyle and rest for two minutes, a 400-meter freestyle followed by a minute and a 30-second rest. And if you are feeling up to it, repeat this cycle again starting with 200 meters and working your way back up to 500 meters. Find more on swimming for weight loss and diving into a new you here.
Although exercising can be personal "me" time, throwing yourself in the energy of others can be the motivation you need and seek to tackle workouts. So if you enjoy the company, sign up for group classes, including cycling, yoga, and Pilates. Joining a small workout community can also cultivate lasting friendships in and out of the gym.
...still struggle to get out of bed.
If desiring a lower key, relaxed routine in the morning, take the dog for a morning walk or practice a stress-relieving, muscle-toning yoga routine. In fact, you can do these 6 energizing yoga moves without even leaving your bed!
Consistently Catching the Worm
Consistency is key when aiming to reach optimal health. To consistently wake up and tackle each day, the following assurances and inspirations can keep you motivated on a daily basis:
• Remember and remind yourself why you started in the first place.
• Think of or call your biggest cheerleaders, including a spouse, close friend, parent, or colleague.
• Tackle small tasks you can complete now, including tackling a workout, consuming a well-balanced meal, and acting like the person you thrive to become.
• Consider the future and how you will feel after. (Or the feelings attached if you did not complete it...)
• Prevent burnout by offering mental and physical breaks and switching up routines.
• Put into place and implement other lifestyle habits and practices, including meal preparation, achieving adequate sleep, and managing stress.