Wouldn’t it be great if you could spring out of bed with a smile, straight into your workout gear (defying the laws of gravity somehow), gliding past three gulps of a cup of coffee and effortlessly out the door and into your workout?
But if you’re not a ‘morning person’ then you’ve probably found that it’s easier to drag you and the bed you’re in out front door, than it is to get up early to work out. Especially if you love to sleep, then you better have a gallon of single-origin Colombian brew waiting…
The question is: are morning people born or made? The guys in the lab, say they have identified genetic differences in people who can function with less sleep.
So there probably is some truth to being born a morning person… but regardless of the genetic hand you’ve been dealt, the evidence shows us that you absolutely can become a morning workout person and there are a few things you can do to make it easier. We’ll get to those in a second, but first…
What are the benefits of working out in the morning?
You’ve got to wonder: why should you work out in the morning anyway? There better be some pretty good reasons before you’re going to get me up out of bed that early. The good news is, there are!
Promotes healthy eating.
Once you’ve worked out, you’re going to be much more likely to stick to your healthy eating habits. After an intense workout, you definitely don’t want to undo all that hard work by eating unhealthy, and this will be in the back of your mind as you make your food choices.
Enhances fat loss.
Some recent research provides some evidence that you can burn more fat by exercising early – participants burnt up to 20% more body fat by exercising in the morning on an empty stomach.
Helps you sleep better.
This study by the Appalachian State University seems to indicate that exercising in the morning can give you a better night’s sleep. Participants who hit the treadmill at 7 a.m. spent 75% more time in restorative deep sleep.
Boosts your mood for the day.
Exercise makes us feel good and energized. When you exercise in the morning, you benefit from this mood and energy boost for the whole day. Not only that, people will notice you good mood and vitality, which could lead to a whole host of further opportunities.
The gym is quiet.
If you use a gym, going early lets you beat the after-work rush. Perfect if you hate waiting for the squat rack to become available.
Morning people are happier (possibly).
A recent study found that early birds were happier than night owls. But is this because they’re morning people, or is it simply that happier people wake up earlier?
Gets the workout out of the way.
To state the obvious: the sooner you workout, the sooner it’s done. Which means that you can get on with doing all the other fun, interesting and spontaneous things you have going on in your life.
You’re more likely to stick to it.
Once working out becomes part of your morning routine, you’ll be much more likely to stay consistent with it – the reason: your day doesn’t have a chance to distract you. Or to put it in another way: you exercise early before your brain figures out what you’re doing.
6 Easy Steps to Becoming a Morning Workout Person
The benefits sound pretty good, but how do you go about actually becoming a morning workout person?
Get enough sleep.
Most importantly, you need to get enough sleep. We’ve talked about how you can get enough high-quality sleep. The most important thing is to establish a solid sleeping routine, which stays the same, day after day (including the weekends). Ideally, you want to get enough sleep so that you don’t have to hit the snooze button on your alarm – if you have to hit snooze, you need more sleep.
Plan your strategy.
Are you going to be hitting the gym, going for a run, or simply doing a home workout? When you want convenience, nothing beats home workouts, but going to gym gives you a lot of workout options.
Prepare, prepare, prepare.
Get everything you need for your workout ready to go the night before. Lay out your workout gear so it’s the first thing you see when you wake up, so that you can simply grab it and go. Also prep your after-workout gear, to make it quick and easy to get ready for the rest of your day.
Have a backup plan.
Sometimes, for whatever reason, your plans don’t go as planned. Hey, that’s life, it happens to us all. To turn around these setbacks, simply have a backup plan ready: if you can’t make the gym, stay in your pj’s and do a home workout or pop in a workout DVD. Something is always better than nothing, so if you can only workout for 10 minutes rather than your usual 45 minutes, just get it done – consistency is key!
Exercise has a lot of benefits, but hey, sometimes you’ve got to give yourself that extra little incentive. You can offer yourself small and bigger rewards for sticking to your morning workouts consistently. For example: having that skinny latte only if you do a morning workout first, or splurging on those amazing shoes you’ve had your eye on, after two months of morning workouts – use whatever rewards are most motivating for you.
Use the little things.
Your perfect playlist, favorite workout gear, coffee on the brew, delicious breakfast waiting for you – don’t underestimate the power of the little things, instead use them to give you that extra boost of motivation to get your morning workout done!
Stick to these 6 simple steps and soon you’ll have transformed yourself from a night owl, to an early bird workout lover. Good luck!
Why do you want to become a morning workout person? Let us know in the comments below!