Waking up in the mornings can be rough, and most of us are lucky if we even have the energy to reach for the snooze button. But hold off sleeping in, because it turns out that early birds who get up for a good morning workout at home may get more than just the worm.
Workout in the morning can kick start your metabolism and help you burn more calories during the day. That goes to say it’s better for weight loss. Besides, early morning exercise can also give you more energy and mental clarity to tackle the day.
A good morning exercise can also help you maintain a regular habit and you’ll sleep better knowing you’ve nailed your day, every day. Eventually, you’ll come to enjoy waking up earlier and getting out ahead of all the stress with some productive me-time.
But knowing the benefits probably doesn’t help if you simply can’t get up in the morning, which is why we’re here to give you 8 tips on how you can wake up early, and what a difference it will make to your life.
1. Plan Your Breakfast
If you want to transform your habits, it starts with preparation. If you know what’s happening for breakfast before you even go to bed, then you’re already ahead for the following day. The good news for you is it will enable you to maximize your time in bed in the morning.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and you need time to prepare, eat and digest it before you launch into your exercise. So do all your meal prep the night before – cut up your fruit so all you have do is put yogurt on it. Mix the pancake batter if that’s what you’re into. Have the cereal in the bowl ready for milk.
If you’re lucky enough to live in a metro area that will do early morning food delivery, then ordering it from a health shop is a great way to make sure you can get all the nutrients you need. The most important thing you can do however is to decide. You won’t have time in the morning to uncertainty.
2. Get In Bed Early
The simple truth is, we stay up too late. Going to sleep at 3 AM in the middle of the night is not going to help you wake up to workout in the morning. So get to bed as soon as you can.
The main reason we avoid going to sleep is that our minds are still buzzing from work, and we tend to try and fix this with distractions – which only tire out the brain with still more buzzing.
Instead, get your zen on and do a meditation. There are plenty available on YouTube, so try and pick one for relaxation and sleep. A meditation works because it provides your brain with just enough stimulation to concentrate on without getting distracted by nagging thoughts from the previous day, without being too much that you’re wound up when you want to be sleeping.
3. Keep Yourself Hydrated
Make sure you drink plenty of water and go to the bathroom before you sleep. If you’re dehydrated, you’ll naturally feel much more drowsy, groggy and confused the next morning. One of the most important things you can do to succeed in waking up well is make sure your body isn’t craving water as it wakes.
4. Set Two Alarms And Put Them Across The Room
To keep you from hitting snooze, you need overcome your own behavior. Here’s a thing: don’t use your smartphone as your alarm clock. Leave it charging in another room so you don’t get distracted by it. Cheap alarm clocks are in plentiful supply.
Set your alarms and put them on opposite sides of the room. Place one by the curtains and one by a light switch (more on this later). This means that in order to quiet them down, you have to cross your room twice. By this point, you’re already up and the hard work is over.
5. Let There Be Light
As soon as you hear your alarm, put the lights on. Humans are still biologically wired to get tired in darkness and to wake up with the light. If it’s summer, throw those curtains open. If it’s winter, throw those lights on as fast as you can. The surge of light might make you wince for a second or so, but the dramatic change in context will allow you to shake off the drowsiness much more quickly.
Or else, practice this neat trick of sleeping in complete darkness and keep you curtain shades wide open. Because when the light hits in, you will automatically be awake and ready to do your early morning exercise for weight loss.
6. Eliminate Excuses
Make sure your gear is prepped the night before, you have toiletries in your bag and a second plastic bag for your sweaty clothes to go into once you’ve finished. If you find yourself having instincts toward laziness, interrupt and challenge them.
If your prevailing narrative is “I’m too tired to workout in the morning today, yesterday was really stressful” then you can tell yourself “I’ll feel better after working out, and staying sharp will help me cope better with today” – so much of discipline comes from the stories we tell ourselves.
7.Promise A Friend
Another thing you can do to make yourself commit to your new schedule is to make plans with the people you love and respect. Pledging your commitment publicly will motivate you to keep up your commitment even when you’d rather not. What’s more, it’ll be helpful for them too.
Friendship groups are a great way to regulate behavior, so if you can find someone who is also willing to commit to early morning lifestyle change, you’ll find a challenge shared is a challenge halved.
8. Make It A Habit
This is the most important thing in this list. Commit to a daily morning exercise at home at the same time. Because if you have exceptions, they will become the norm. Think of it like a doctor’s appointment or job interview. The workout is part of your work, part of your life and health. It requires the same commitment. Protect the time, do it even if you don’t want to, and do it every day.
The workout can be different, one day you might only stretch, but staying in the habit will make it easier to keep. At days you really can’t work it out, also remember to do it even if you just spend 8 minutes in the morning exercises, because the point is you have to keep the streak and not break it.