Morning workouts prevent late day distractions from moving your exercise plans to the back burner. Here are five tips to help you rise and shine for your morning workout.
Create a home that wakes you. Keep a lamp within arm’s reach of your pillow so you can turn it on the second your alarm sounds. Place your alarm clock across the room, and you’ll have no other choice but to get out of bed. Program your coffeemaker the night before so that the stimulating aroma entices you to get out of bed. Set timers on lamps throughout your house. When they come on, it will make the rest of the house more inviting, and help wake you.
Socialize. Engaging in social exercise will make your early wake-up call worth it. Schedule a run or a racquetball match with your workout partner. Introduce yourself to some new faces in the 6:00 a.m. exercise class. The bigger your social group at the gym, the more obligated you will feel to attend. Obligation may be the motivation you need to get up and out the door.
Make sleep and healthy eating a priority. The worst thing for an early morning workout is a night without sleep. Aim for seven to nine hours of sleep per night as recommended by the National Sleep Foundation. Support a good night’s rest by avoiding caffeine in the afternoon, and acidic foods that cause indigestion. The more you do throughout your day to promote good sleep the better your chances for waking rested and ready to workout.
Set weekly goals and reward yourself. Center your goals and rewards around your morning workouts. Do you want to exercise four mornings this week? Make a plan. When you accomplish your goals, reward yourself with new exercise gear, or buy music for your workouts.
Bargain with yourself. Give yourself a break when you stick to your plan, but require more of yourself when you don’t. If you choose to sleep in and workout in the evening, stay on the treadmill 10 minutes longer, or add 5 extra repetitions to your leg exercises. The more appealing your morning session becomes, the more likely you will be to get up for it.
Spread the word. Surround yourself with likeminded exercisers in your social media circles, and then tell everyone about tomorrow morning’s exercise plans. Tweet it, share it with your friends on Facebook, and add it to your Google+ page. Reach out and ask a few people you know to follow up with you. Knowing how many people are aware of your plans with the intention to ask you about it later makes it harder to hit the snooze button.