Not all of us can bound out of bed while it’s still dark out and get to the gym for when it opens. Morning workouts have numerous benefits including improved mood, a quick metabolic boost, time for other priorities and increased energy and focus for the rest of your day. Knowing the pluses still doesn’t make it easier to jump out of bed and straight into runners at dawn. Here are 5 ways you can ease into morning workouts.
Get To Bed
You aren’t going to be much of a morning person if you are tired. Getting enough sleep – experts recommend seven or eight hours a night to feel rested – is just as important to your health as your nutrition, workout or post-workout routine. Your body may not cooperate with going to bed at 10 p.m. if you usually hit the hay around 1 a.m. Gradually start going to bed 10 to 15 minutes earlier each night until you reach your optional bedtime and reset your internal clock.
Pack Your Bag
Before you go to bed, pack your gym bag for the morning. Lay out the clothes you are going to wear for your workout, as well as a change of clothes and the toiletries that you’ll need to get ready and get to work. This includes your meals – have your lunch bag full and waiting in the fridge. All you have to do it get up and head out the door.
Plan Your Workout
Do this the night before, too. Is it leg day? Are you taking a class? Write down your plan and schedule your time. You won’t want to miss a meeting with yourself and the gym.
Say No To Snooze
Set your alarm for the time you want to, and will, wake up. This way you’ll get to enjoy your entire sleep instead of slipping in and out of dreamland every nine minutes while your alarm reminds you that you should be awake.
If you don’t train regularly in the morning, you may find at first that your performance suffers. Until you get used to being a morning exerciser you may need to drop your weights or slow down your pace. It’s better to be consistent even with a lighter resistance than going too hard and giving up when your body just can’t perform within a few days.