Make Morning Workouts Easier with These 7 Tips
Many exercise physiologists and trainers mention that the best time to exercise is the time you can stick to.
That means if you like to get your workouts in after your job, put it on your schedule and make it happen.
For many people, the additional workload, social, and family commitments make it hard to have enough energy to exercise at the end of the day.
Experts note that a morning routine seems to be the easiest to maintain. Many studies note additional benefits to pre-breakfast exercise such as a greater fat loss.
If you've tried a morning workout and it just doesn't seem to work for you, make it easier on yourself and try these seven tips out before chalking off morning exercise.
7 Tips for Morning Workouts
1.) Get Your Outfit Ready the Night Before
Removing resistance to getting your sweat on helps it happen.
No matter your goals, get what you are wearing together beforehand. Gather your headphones, water bottle, shoes, jacket, and whatever else you need. You could even pack your work clothes and laptop if you are going to work immediately after.
Do you have a daily supplement regimen? Get them ready before bed and have them ready on your kitchen counter for the morning.
The more you prepare at night, the less time and energy it takes to get exercising.
2.) Prioritize Sleep
Once you get everything prepped for tomorrow, you may be tempted to stay up later since you saved time in the morning.
Instead of doing that, opt for more sleep. We need between 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night, so focusing on getting plenty of sleep will allow us to wake up refreshed and ready to hit the ground running.
Skip the night snacks if you want to sleep better. Stop eating within two hours before bedtime to minimize your possibility of any sleep disruption.
While you are putting down your fork, put down your phone too.
3.) Keep Your Goals Handy
Writing down your specific goals and keeping them handy throughout the day help you make better decisions.
Simply writing that you "want to start running in the morning" isn't enough — you need a specific goal.
Once you have your goal, your habits will be easier to set and your discipline will be quickly generated.
Knowing what your morning will bring and what choices you will make for the day that help you achieve your goals will all come more naturally.
4.) Always Have a Backup Plan
If you think preparing for your day the night before is a lot of work, think again.
Preparation is key to success, so having a "just in case" bag of items comes in handy.
You never know when you need an extra bottle of water, a backup paid or shoes, a pair of socks, or even some protein-rich snacks.
Keeping a plan B ready helps you achieve your goals even against adversity...
5.) Take Time to Relax
Do you have a hard time relaxing? What about sitting quietly and imagining your goals?
Visualizing you crushing a workout can help you feel a sense of accomplishment — pushing you to go make it happen.
“Many of my clients have improved their sports performance considerably through guided visualization,” says performance coach Barbara Cox, PhD. “If you can get into a relaxed brainwave state, called an alpha state, and create a vision of what you want to accomplish, you can ‘feel’ what it’s like to have it occur.”
6.) Try a Different Alarm
Instead of waking up after hitting the snooze button a few times, using a different alarm could get your workout starting as soon as you wake up.
“Set your alarm to play music you love,” suggests Dr. Darria Long Gillespie, an ER physician and director of clinical strategy at digital health company Sharecare.
"Wake up to tunes that are energizing and continue that with a great playlist to listen to while you work out. Research has shown that playing upbeat music not only increases your performance during the workout, but makes it seem more enjoyable.”
7.) Watch Your Self-Talk
When you think of the words "habit" or "discipline," you may feel like exercising is a chore you have to push through.
Take the time to change your perspective and watch what you are saying to yourself.
“When you say, ‘I’m a procrastinator,’ you strengthen that neural pathway, and make it easier at relating to yourself in that way,” says Taylor Jacobson, founder and CEO of Focusmate.
“Instead, tell yourself a different story, and embrace the benefits of routine. That mindset will serve you well, not just with exercising in the morning, but throughout the rest of your day.”