There’s a common misconception that to be a morning workout person you have to be a morning person. False. It helps if you like the morning but it’s not a requirement. I started doing early morning workouts in the fall when I took a job requiring me to start work at 6:00 a.m. I’ve always been an early riser but having enough energy to exercise before the sun is up wasn’t really in my schedule.
However, now that I’ve started working out in the morning I’ve found there are so many benefits that outweigh the temptation of hitting the snooze button. First off, if you work out in the morning you can be reassured to get in your sweat for the day.
“If you work out before your day distracts you, your chances of exercising regularly go way up,” said Cedric Bryant, Ph.D., chief science officer of the American Council on Exercise, in an article in Women’s Health Magazine. People who work out in the morning have a higher chance of making a habit of an exercise routine. Also, working out in the morning is sure to keep you sharper during the day because exercise enhances secretion of neurotransmitters.
Another benefit of an early-bird workout is that exercise at the start of your day can boost your metabolism for the rest of the day, allowing you to more effectively burn calories.
There are definitely days that I’d rather hit the snooze button and go back under my covers but working out in the morning makes me feel like I’ve already accomplished something that day. But like any new routine, you can ease into it and acclimate to the new routine with these tips:
- Make it a date- You wouldn’t blow off a date on any other occasion so why leave your fitness plan hanging? Make your morning workout into the dream guy or girl of dreams who you’d never stand up.
- Mangia!- Eat something! You’ve been asleep for the last eight to 10 hours so you don’t have any calories to burn. Whatever you choose to eat make sure it contains some carbs. I usually have a small bowl of cereal or granola bar (and some coffee so I don’t fall asleep on my drive to the gym!).
- Get you gear in gear- Having your gear ready the night before so you’ll be set to head out early. The more time you waste looking for your water bottle and socks, the more time you have to come up with an excuse not to go. I keep my gym bag next to my nightstand to remind me to get out of bed, my gear is waiting.
- Take a class- Sometimes the best way to ease into a morning workout routine is by taking a class that’s filled with other people who are just as tired as you are. The group dynamic will keep you motivated to keep going.
- Give it time- It won’t be easy in the first week or so to get into the grove of working out early. You might experience a crash around late afternoon- according to Active.com “morning exercisers often need to eat more in the morning and less in the evening to optimize their performance all day.”
Once you get into your new routine, I promise you will feel more energized and motivated to take on the rest of your busy day!