I’ve got a dirty confession I need to make to all of you…
I’m a night owl.
Worse than that, I used to hate getting up in the morning. To me, there’s nothing better than going to bed in the wee hours and hitting snooze all morning long.
But that’s not a very good plan for exercising.
Well, research has shown time and time again that morning exercisers stick to their routines much more than others.
Plus, natural light early in the day boosts your mood and can help you lose weight. (Try getting natural light on a run at dawn – it’s invigorating!)
Plus, there’s evidence that working out at night harms your sleep.
Here are some tips on how to get started and stick with exercising!
All those reasons and more are great motivation at becoming a morning workout person. If you need another reason, know that it’s a lot easier to come up with an excuse to skip a workout later in the day (because things always come up) than it is to skip a morning workout (where the only obstacle is your snooze button).
I did it, and you can too. Here’s how:
Take Baby Steps
Don’t start all at once. If you try to bite off too much at the beginning, you’re going to fail.
That’s why it’s best to slowly shift the hours you’re asleep. Go to bed earlier and earlier each night, and wake up earlier in the morning.
Lay Off The Caffeine
This next step is optional, but it really helped me – try to quit drinking coffee, if you do. It was super hard for me to do, but it really helped – I find it much easier to fall asleep at night now, and I don’t need a cup as soon as I get out of bed.
You can lower your coffee intake, then switch to decaf, then turn it off entirely. Yes, you can! I believe in you!
Build Your Routine
My apartment building comes with access to a gym, which made things a lot easier – but if you can find an easy way to work out at home or have a gym within easy reach, even better!
Start off with a longer than usual warmup to shake the sleep off your body, and take it easy at first.
Try to go after a solid 30 minute workout, rather than working out at the level you used to in the afternoon. Pretty soon, you’ll get back to your typical workout marks.
Working out in the morning is good, but avoid these 6 terrible exercises!
Watch Your Diet
Another thing to consider in the morning is what you’re eating. I found out that breakfast was crucial for me or I would peter out of energy about halfway through my workout.
The problem was, trying to eat an entire bowl of oatmeal or its equivalent in fruit found me getting nauseous during the workout.
So what’s the solution? Well, it’s going to be different for every person. Now I eat a few strawberries and drink a glass of water before each workout, and that’s enough to get me through.
After the workout, make sure to eat your protein – luckily enough, breakfast has many excellent (and delicious) protein options.
Try adding kettlebells to your routine!
And after switching over to the mornings, I can honestly say that I don’t miss working out in the afternoon or at night at all. Sure, sometimes I want to sleep in rather than work out, but I feel the difference for the entire rest of the day.
I don’t miss nearly as many workouts anymore, and it’s super easy to fall asleep at night.
Plus, the feeling of satisfaction that comes from getting your workout done first thing lasts all day. It’s a beautiful feeling.
How To Become An Early Morning Exerciser
- Take baby steps
- Lay off the caffeine
- Build your routine
- Watch your diet