Working out in the Morning Is Better for You
Exercising is hard enough without having to wake up extra early just to get your workouts done. However, a study conducted at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Institute in Seattle found that morning exercise was of greater benefit for women’s overall health, including their sleep cycles.
Women who exercised in the morning averaged 70 percent better sleep than those who didn’t. Scientists propose this may have to do with the body’s circadian rhythm.
Although there are a number of benefits to becoming a morning workout person, the process of actually getting there can be difficult. Adapting certain habits and behaviors can make it easier to carve out the time to exercise in the morning and lessen the effects of the excuses you’ll undoubtedly think up for yourself.
Prepare the Night Before
One effective way to ensure you’ll get up in the morning is to prepare as much as you can the night before. Set an alarm for an hour or so before you want to leave the house in case you hit the snooze button multiple times.
Make sure your refrigerator is stocked with easy to make, but nutritious breakfast items, like protein shakes, smoothie mixes and yogurt; things you can grab and go are the best for early morning workout sessions. Additionally, pack your gym bag with what you need so your sleepy self is not fumbling around in the morning, trying to find things.
If you’re especially resistant to morning exercise, force yourself to wear your workout clothes to bed. It’s pretty hard to make excuses once you’re already dressed.
Get a Workout Buddy
It’s always easier to do just about anything when you have a friend by your side. Find a workout buddy that has similar fitness goals to you, but who is already a morning workout person.
Allow them to motivate you and get you out the door in the morning. Not only will they help you form a morning routine, but you’ll be more likely to stick with it since you’ll have someone counting on you and keeping you accountable.
One of the biggest excuses people have for not exercising is that they don’t have time for it. As with anything of importance, put it on your calendar to ensure it actually gets done.
Set a reminder in your phone, or schedule your workouts as appointments. Scheduling not only ensures you’ll remember to get up for your workout, but that you’ve made time for it in your daily life.
Choose Your Moves
When most people think of exercise, they think of running, swimming or other types of cardio. While these types of exercise are certainly very effective, there’s no reason to think that’s all there is.
Choosing the type of exercise that’s right for you will mean you’ll enjoy it more and therefore be more motivated to get up and do it. Gyms offer tons of classes in the morning from aerobics to yoga, with something for every interest and skill level.
Aside from what a typical gym offers, there are martial arts classes, dance classes, hula-hooping, aerial silks, team sports, hiking, bicycling and much more. Try out a few different things to see what sticks. Once you find something you love, use that as your fuel in the mornings to get you going and out the door.
Have Something to Look Forward To
Exercising just to exercise is admirable, but most of us need something tangible to keep us going. Whether your end game is weight loss, muscle mass, flexibility, strength, endurance, or just to feel better in your body, it’s important to keep what you’re working towards at the forefront.
Set a goal for yourself and make that your reason for getting up in the morning. Post a picture next to your bed of the body you’re aiming for or a word or picture that represents what you’re working towards.
When you finally reach your goal, celebrate! Treat yourself to something nice; it can be as simple as buying yourself a new outfit or taking yourself out for ice cream. Having something to work on or towards automatically forces you to have discipline to take the steps needed in order to accomplish something.
Even if you can’t get out the door every morning to exercise, at least get on your feet and do a workout video at home. Morning exercise will give you more energy during the day and even control your blood sugar.
While it may seem difficult at first to implement exercise into your morning routine, taking small baby steps everyday will help you stick to it. Be patient with yourself and try not to feel bad if you miss a few workouts at first.
It takes time to get into a routine, but what matters is that you’re trying.
Fitness on NBCNEWS.com (Morning Exercise May Help Sleep)
Women’s Health (How to Become a Morning Workout Person)
Greatist (10 Tips to Become a Morning Exerciser)
Health and Style (How to Become a Morning Workout Person)