Waking up with the sunrise, driving on empty streets, listening to birdsong…just some of the benefits of starting the day with a morning workout. Sounds tempting? Well not if you´re not a morning person! Getting up at 6am can be quite tough, but I’ve learned over the past months that it´s well worth it.
People who exercise in the morning find they have more energy for the rest of the day, because of the boost in circulation and the rush of ‘happy’ hormones.
Early morning exercise also has a positive effect on concentration abilities, which can come in handy when making complex decisions later in the day. Last but not least, morning workouts regulate your appetite throughout the day and make you sleep better rather than working out in the evening.
So how have I managed to become that early bird? I have five little tips that make it easier for me to set my alarm for before sunrise:
1. Pack your gear the night before
Take some time the evening before to prepare everything for your morning workout: pack your gym bag, leave out your running gear, have your outfit ready for the office. This only takes you a couple of minutes, but you can leave the house right after getting up without starting to doubt or question why you´re even doing it. Ready to go!
2. Partner up
Find a buddy to work out with in the morning. If a friend is waiting for you at the gym or around the corner you can’t roll over and treat yourself to another hour’s sleep.
3. Prepare a nutritious breakfast
Make yourself a take-away breakfast for after your workout. Oatmeal energy bars, fresh fruit smoothies and muesli with yogurt are quickly prepared the night before and easily enjoyed at your desk.
4. No excuses anymore
It’s very easy to cancel your sport plans in the evening. So many things come up…working late, meeting friends, housework or you’re just too tired. By exercising before work there are no excuses for not doing it and you’ll still have time after work to meet friends and family.
5. Create a new playlist
If your partner lets you down have a new playlist ready to keep you company. The music will keep your motivation levels high as new tracks help you pass the miles.
What gets you out of bed for an early morning workout? Share your tips in the comments below.
*This story was originally published on May 11, 2016 and has been updated on August 23, 2018.