It’s 5 AM. Your alarm goes off. That loud beeping is ringing in your head. We get it. Getting up for that early wake up call is tough, but you’ve got to do it. For some, the early a.m. workout session is the only time you’ll have for yourself for the entire day, while others simply choose to get it done that early. No matter what category you fall into, getting up early isn’t always exactly easy.
The truth is that it takes a special type of person, disciplined enough to get some tough physical exercise in at the crack of dawn. However, getting up earlier sounds much more appealing than trying to go to the gym after work during the big rush of gym-goers. No, thank you!
If you’re reading this, chances are you’re one of these people or you hope to be one and you’re looking for some guidance. So what are some ways to beat the sun and conquer that morning workout?
Here are our top five ways to conquer your morning workout:
- Get to bed early
- Make yourself accountable
- Prepare the night before
- Start your mornings with something else you’ll look forward to
- Find a source of motivation
#1: Go To Bed Early
The main component that is lacking in most people’s health is, yep, you guessed it, sleep. Most people aren’t getting enough sleep in the first place, so imagine trying to wake up for that 5 AM exercise session compared to 7 or 8 AM. That’s one tough transition.
Luckily you can combat that by getting to bed early enough to ensure you’re getting a solid eight hours of sleep. Make it a point to avoid electronics or blue light at least an hour before you plan on going to bed. We’ve all heard this basic rule before but why is it so important? It mainly has to do with blue light. All artificial light, regardless of whether it’s blue light or not, can interrupt optimal sleep patterns.
When you think about it, our bodies biological clocks are set by the amount of light and dark exposure it gets. Our biological clock, also known as a circadian rhythm, controls the majority of our physiological processes. This rhythm determines our sleeping patterns, yes, but also our other patterns like eating, hormones, brain activity, and even cell regeneration.
When artificial light is in the picture, your body’s natural rhythms can become confused. Exposure to light actually has the ability to reduce your amount of melatonin. All this to say, put your electronics away before bed. This will increase both your ability to fall asleep and the quality of your sleep.
#2: Make Yourself Accountable
Making yourself accountable is easier said than done, right? Anyone can say they’re going to do something but do they hold themselves to it? If it’s a goal you set for yourself to wake up at 5 or 6 AM every day to exercise, that’s great, but can you rely on yourself to not hit that snooze button? For some people, that may be debatable.
So how do you hold yourself to that early morning wake-up call? Well, Studies have shown that you are more likely to hold yourself to accomplishing a goal if you actually share it with others. Better you have someone that you’re sharing the goal with. Yep, find yourself a workout buddy. It might be easier to hit the snooze button on yourself, but if you’ve got a friend relying on you to show up, you’re less likely to bail.
#3: Prepare The Night Before
Preparing the night before includes a few different things. For starters, you should layout your clothes the night before. This gets rid of any frustration you might have in the morning. Scrambling to get ready in the dark while you’re half-asleep is never an ideal way to start your day. It’s especially helpful if you have a significant other sleeping in the same room.
Preparing the night before could also include planning the next morning out maybe even down to the minute. Whether it’s making your coffee, having a glass of water, taking enough time to give yourself a chance to wake up could be planned out. The more prepared you are, the less likely you are to fail.
#4: Give Yourself Something To Look Forward To
Making the transition to an early wake-up call can be challenging at first, which is why giving yourself something else you look forward to early in the morning could be a useful tool and should help motivate you. Maybe you go to bed dreaming of that first sip of coffee in the morning. Or maybe you’ll reward yourself with an abundantly fresh and healthy breakfast after your sweat session. Or maybe the simple thought of getting your workout over with is enough to get you up and going.
If you don’t have anything you’re looking forward to, make it something productive. Besides your workout, what else could you include in your early morning routine? For example, do you have to prepare dinner in the morning so it’s ready by dinnertime? Do you have a work or school assignment that you prefer working on in the morning when your brain is nice and fresh? Save it for the morning and give yourself another reason to get up and around.
#5: Find A Source Of Motivation
Some people may find this easier than others. However, it’s important to have some sort of motivation in the back of your head when you’re struggling to wake up for that early morning workout. Others will tell you that motivation may come and go, but discipline is forever.
A helpful tip to stay motivated is to know your reasons and goals. Do you need this early morning workout to start your day? Is it the only time it fits in your schedule? Is there a weight loss goal or fitness goal you’re hoping to hit? Whatever the reason might be, it’s important to remember that goal when you’re in bed struggling to get up and get moving.
Maintaining a consistent workout routine is extremely important for both your physical and mental health. It helps you maintain a healthy weight, increase your muscle and bone strength, improve your mood and more. Not to mention you’ll get the hardest part of the day over before it even really begins!
Read more from Stephanie Lodge on our Discover Blog.
Steph is a writer, competitive weightlifter and nutritional consultant with a passion for health and wellness. She is the founder of The Athlete’s Kitchen, a website dedicated to providing its audience with articles, recipes and the latest nutritional information on their favorite foods. Find her on instagram or at https://www.TheAthletesKitchen.com