Making the time to work out in the morning is a great way to get the blood pumping and leave you feeling alert and energized once your day starts. As beneficial as a morning workout can be, however, it’s understandable that committing to getting up each morning to complete a routine of hard work doesn’t seem very appealing, especially when you could just hit that snooze button and get a bit of extra sleep. If you’re looking to make this commitment, then some inspiration to become a morning workout person will surely be of benefit to you. Allow us to provide that inspiration, and we may even be able to sway you if you’re still on the fence.
Start Small and Work Up
Like with any workout routine, you have to set obtainable goals and milestones for yourself to prevent overwhelming yourself. This is extra important when you’re trying to motivate yourself to get up and moving while your body is groggy, and the call of your bed is an ever-present temptation. When you’re just getting started, first focus on adjusting your sleep schedule so that getting up and feeling ready to exercise becomes more natural. This change should be made incrementally to give your body adequate time to adjust. So, for example, work on shifting your sleep schedule by 15-30 minutes at a time until you’re waking up at the desired time for your workout.
For the routine itself, you should start with easier exercises just like when you’re easing yourself into any routine—even if it’s one that you’ve already been performing at other times in the day. You’ll gradually work yourself up towards more challenging exercises, but giving your body some time to warm up to the idea of morning workouts and get a chance to wake up will make the process much more manageable and easier for you to feel motivated when it’s time to wake up and get out of bed.
Making your morning routine accessible as possible will be key for eliminating excuses in the morning. The easier it is for you to get up and start working up, the fewer reasons you’ll be able to give yourself to skip out on your exercise. Towards this end, it’s a good idea to invest in home gym equipment to eliminate any kind of commute that eats up precious time. Something easy to pick up and get going without much effort would be ideal, like a Precor elliptical trainer or a treadmill. These machines in particular are some of the most popular for how user-friendly they are and because they take no time to prepare and customize towards your preferences. An elliptical is fantastic because it offers a fuller body workout. If you don’t have the room for machinery, accessories like dumbbells or a rubber resistance band are not only easy to store away, but also incredibly versatile tools for a variety of exercises, meaning your routines will never become stale.
Allocate Your Time
As we briefly touched upon, you want to take small steps towards adjusting your sleep schedule towards a desired time to give yourself enough time for your workout. How much time should you allocate to your morning, though? Ultimately, it depends on your circumstances, but you should ensure you give yourself adequate time to both work out and go through your morning routine so that you’re ready to tackle the day. For your workout, if you’re doing something like cardio, you should give yourself a minimum of 30 comfortable minutes to reap the benefits of cardio and get your blood pumping.
It’s important we harp on giving ourselves plenty of time in the morning to get everything done. If your morning workout routine ends right before you need to get going, you increase the likelihood of rushing your exercise and making mistakes that will either impede your progress or result in injury from being too reckless. Additionally, you’ll only stress yourself out trying to get everything done in time and quickly come to detest your morning workout.
Fuel Your Body
Your usual morning coffee is a useful supplement for your morning workout. A bit of caffeine isn’t out of place to give yourself a quick pick-me-up as you begin your workout. If you’re not one for coffee, then some alternatives include coconut water or milk. They’re rich in electrolytes that can also give you a nice boost towards starting your workout. Afterward, if you’re looking to really build your muscles, eggs make for a delicious breakfast and are rich in protein—a vital nutrient your muscles use to grow.
Enjoy the Moment
Getting yourself in the right psychological state will help avoid feeling like your morning routine is nothing more than a chore. The quiet and peace of the morning, before the day really gets started, is a great time to really focus on the moment and in yourself. Your responsibilities are not a pressing matter at that very moment, so it’s a good opportunity to take a step back and reorganize your thoughts. A morning routine can be a meditative experience you won’t experience at any other part of the day. So, rather than thinking what a chore exercise can be or worrying about all the things you have to do that day, make an effort to focus on yourself and on your emotional and mental state.
Carrot and Stick
A common issue with motivation is that, without an immediate payoff on the horizon, it is easy to feel like your efforts are in vain or that you’re just spinning your wheels. To keep yourself going, make sure you set rewards for yourself from time to time to give yourself something to work towards and positive reinforcement that encourages good behavior. Intrinsic motivation will only get you so far towards your goal, so help yourself by promising yourself a reward at the end of the month if you meet all the standards and goals you set for yourself. If you find yourself struggling to earn that reward at the end of the month, it’s a good indication that you need to reconsider parts of your routine.
Find a Workout Buddy
Lastly, inspiration to become a morning workout person doesn’t have to come from yourself. Involving a friend or family member as your workout buddy can be incredibly helpful by allowing you to act as a supportive crutch for each other. By working together, you keep each other accountable and encouraged to press on even when you feel like you’ve reached your limit. Thanks to COVID, working out with someone in-person isn’t very viable, but you can still create some friendly competition to encourage each other to work hard and see who has the best results at the end of the month.