Work out in the morning and feel better all day. It’s true. Morning workouts give you a boost by stoking feelings of accomplishment and confidence. You’ll also ramp up clarity, improve your mood and rev up your metabolism. Does morning exercise feel impossible? No sweat! These five tips will get even the most dedicated late sleeper up and at ‘em.
Gather your gear
Some fitness clothes are as comfortable as your favorite pj’s. So why not shower at night and sleep in your exercise attire? You’ll have one less step in the morning so it will be easier to hit the ground running. If sleeping in workout clothes is a stretch for you, try piling everything you’ll wear in the bathroom the night before. That will save you some time, too.
Share the suffering
The most fail-proof tip for honoring your commitment to morning exercise is to get an accountability buddy. You might be able to ignore your commitment, but you are far less likely to ignore a waiting friend. Up the ante with a little friendly competition. Write down and share your goals with your workout partner. The first to hit milestones wins whatever prize you agree on. The first one to flake out pays whatever price you agree on. If you’re like most people and hate to lose, chances are high you’ll make it your business to make your morning workout.
Make it bigger than you
Dedicate your morning workout to a cause or loved one. Maybe your younger brother would love to be able to work out but can’t because of illness or injury. Work out for him. He can’t but you can. Keep your focus on the gift of being able to exercise and send healing light his way as you sweat. You can also join a team in training or use this time to prepare for a walk to fight breast cancer.
Keep bananas on hand
You don’t need a lot of calories before your morning workout, but you will need a little something to give you some energy after so many hours without food. Bananas are the perfect pre-workout food. They are portable, easily digestible and have the nutrients you need to charge your exercise routine. If you have a little more time, make a protein shake or smoothie to go.
Skip the late show
You knew this one was coming. Let’s face it, getting up is easier when you go to bed at a decent hour. Get into bed 7 or 8 hours before you’ll need to get up for your workout. If that sounds hard, wean yourself from late-night slowly. Go to bed 15 minutes earlier every night until you meet your nightly sleep target.
The best thing about a morning workout is you get it out of the way and go on with your day. You know this is a way to feel more productive and in a better mood, so why not just do it?