It’s all too easy to talk yourself out of a workout, be that morning or afternoon. Despite most of us hating the thought of an early morning workout, it offers numerous benefits to your health and daily schedule.
Triggering your endorphins (our built-in free and legal happiness drug) early in the morning will have a MASSIVE effect on your day. You will have a spring in your step, be able to focus more, get a better night's sleep and enhance your metabolism.
Changing your workout routine can be hard. The word alone ‘change’ causes an uneasy feeling in many people’s stomachs as we fear what risks come with this, so we just stick to our peaceful comfortable bubble. But it’s time to pop that ‘bubble’! Some people are wired differently to others and can simply just ‘get up’ in the early morning, but for others this is a challenging task.
Here’s a few tips to prepare you for the daunting task of an early morning workout.
1. Pack the night before
I’m talking knickers, socks and even a hairband at the ready. The last thing you want to be doing when you’re half asleep is trying to co-ordinate your gear and leave with two different pairs of shoes. So, get them in your gym bag or at least hang them over your chair at the ready.
2. Get the tunes on
Change your alarm to one of your favourite songs and remind your tired self exactly why you are doing this.
I’d also advice changing it frequently because let me tell you “I’m Bringing Sexy Back” by Justin Timberlake every morning can be very repetitive.
3. Ditch the phone at night
We’re all guilty of this, but if you don’t kick the habit this will end up effecting your future sleep.
Using your phone close to bed time stimulates your brain and even worse, the blue light from LED screen interferes with the production of melatonin, the sleep hormone. Which means that social media scroll late at night increases stress in your body and confuses your body clock.
Solution: Pick up a good hardback book instead. Your favourite celeb's twitter feed will be there tomorrow.
4. Get the hours in (7-9 hours a night)
The recommended amount is 7-9 hours sleep a night. However, it is different for each person. Find your optimum time of rest and live by it. If you don’t get enough sleep on one night your body will want them few hours back, so get an earlier night the next day.
Not enough sleep can cause symptoms such as:
- Feeling depressed
- Memory Loss
- Weakening of your immune system
- Lack of co-ordination
So if you’re wanting to beat your personal best on your run, plan your day out and make sure you get the sleep your body requires.
5. Move your alarm out of reach
Having your alarm in arms reach makes it way too easy to turn it off and roll over. Put it on the other side of the room, making you physically have to get up and take your first step of the day in the right direction.
6. Turn the light on straight away
For a few seconds of torture this will wake the brain up.
If you can create the right lighting condition so the light receptors can gauge the brightness telling your brain “oh look it’s day time” it will make you feel more refreshed and ready for that workout.
7. Make it a group effort
Nothing better than some good old encouragement or guilt trip from a friend in the morning. It gives you time to catch up, have a laugh and encourage each other along the way.
Disclaimer: ‘Chin-wagging’ is not an exercise.
8. Meal Prep
Just like my first point, there’s nothing worse than being unprepared and running around half asleep, putting a concoction of questionable food together. Get the effort over and done with and prep for the week and I guarantee you’ll feel so much better!
Tip: Make something tasty to be excited to wake up for, like energy bites.
9. Water before Caffeine
Fire up your metabolism, flush out the toxins and give your brain fuel. Just think about not drinking a single thing for the next 6-9 hours. That’s exactly what your body has just been through!
Your brain tissue is actually 75% water, so this glass of water reduces risk of fatigue or mood fluctuations.
I’m not saying no to caffeine, but always start with water.
So what's the next step?
Do the above for the next week and you’ll feel the difference. If you’re still wondering if it’s worth it, just remember that exercise has been known to help with everything. Always getting ill? Exercise. Feeling anxious or low? Exercise.
Let us know how exercise has benefited you and what your routine looks like!