Motivating yourself to get in a workout can be quite a chore even during the best of times, but trying to do it first thing in the morning before work, school, and the rest of the day’s activities can seem downright impossible. With the early morning fatigue and the stresses of the day ahead piling up, the last thing you’ll want to do is roll out of the comfort of your bed just to go on a run.
However, an emphasis is always put on a very early morning workout for a reason. Exercising first thing in the morning can jumpstart your metabolism and help burn more calories throughout the day. Exercise is also one of the best ways to reduce stress and anxiety, while giving yourself a natural dose of endorphins to carry throughout the rest of your day.
Need a little more encouragement? No need to worry, as this list of four early morning workout tips will give you the motivation you need to make it happen!
- Plan Your Breakfast
When discussing how to best optimize your morning workout, one of the most common questions that comes up is whether you should eat before or after the workout, and the answer is, quite simply, both. It may surprise you, but the consumption of essential nutrients and vitamins both before and after a workout are best. Don’t worry about burning more fat by being hungry. In the end, it all boils down to calories consumed versus calories burned.
You need to eat before to have the energy for your morning workout, but keep it small. Half of a fruit smoothie or a bit of yogurt and granola will serve you best to get the most out of your workout. After you’ve finished your workout, you should have a more substantial meal, ideally a breakfast high in protein and fiber, such as eggs, nuts, yogurt, fruits and veggies. Your body metabolizes protein most effectively right after a workout, which will build muscle mass and make future workouts all the more effective!
- Cold Rinse
While you’ll almost certainly want to take a shower as soon as you’re done with your workout, a quick rinse in cold water beforehand can be remarkably beneficial. In effect, this practice can erase the need for coffee or an energy drink, which can lead to a debilitating crash as soon as your workout is done and just as you’re about to start your workday. The cold water rinse can actually improve your lymphatic system, improve cardiovascular circulation, and reduce inflammation.
If the idea of rinsing your entire body in cold water is absolutely out of the question, it can also help to simply drink a tall glass of cold water very quickly. Cold water takes a bit longer to metabolize, given that the body needs to warm it up before it can process it. It’s bracing and will get you focused early without the adverse side effects of caffeine.
- Be Strict With Your Alarms
If you can, you should just disable the snooze button altogether. All too often, people will set multiple alarms, as if five extra minutes of sleep could possibly make any sort of difference. Set a single alarm at a strict time and place the alarm clock out of reach from your bed. This will force you to get out of bed to turn it off –– and getting up is the hardest part.
4. Don’t Let a Few Failures Defeat You
Everyone is going to mess up from time to time. Unfortunately, many people become discouraged when they fail once or twice, and then give up on a morning workout altogether. If you miss a day or two, there’s no reason to dwell on it; everyone has an off-day. However, as you improve, you might begin to find that your day feels empty and sluggish without your morning workout! And that’s the best way to establish a routine and improve your overall health in the long run.
Author Bio: Jordan Bannon is a freelance writer who has worked with leading sports and fitness brands like Revgear. As an advocate for clean, healthy and balanced lifestyles, he writes about developments in health and wellness, with a particular interest in the martial arts industry.