Unless you are the one person in the world who hops out of bed every morning like a pop-tart, dragging yourself out of bed each morning is never an easy task, especially when you have an impending workout to look forward to.
That pop-tart isn't you? Well join the club.
About six months ago, I started setting my alarm for 5:05am almost every single morning to hit the gym first thing before starting my day. Let me say first that the transition to waking up that early and knowing I was going straight to the gym was not an easy endeavor.
But after a few weeks, I began to love my early morning workouts! It gave me one perfectly peaceful hour before diving into a busy day of school, work, studying, and the stresses of life. I even began to look forward to getting up at 5:05am the night before.
How did I do it? Here's 5 of my tips to conquering your morning workout.
1. Get to bed at a decent time the night before.
This one might seem obvious, but it requires more planning than you might think. I had to rearrange my entire schedule to allow myself to get 7-8 hours of sleep every night. Unless you want to sleepwalk your way to the gym and hook yourself up to an IV of caffeine all day, make sure you get enough sleep to power through your workout. This doesn't mean that you need to go to bed at 8pm, but count back 7-8 from when you want to wake up and let that be your bedtime - no excuses.
2. Lay out your workout clothes, keys, iPod, wallet, and water bottle the night before.
When your alarm goes off at 5:05am, you're going to be thinking of any excuse to stay in bed just a little bit longer. Knowing that everything you need to hit the gym is already set to go is going to give you one less excuse to skip your workout. An added bonus? If you do skip your workout, seeing all of your gym clothes and accessories sitting out is going to put you on a guilt trip... in the best possible way of course.
3. Hydrate before, during, and after your workout.
Make sure you fill up on your H20 before, during, and after you hit the gym. The last thing you want is to get dehydrated early in the morning, ruining both your workout and the rest of your day. Any negatives you can associate with your morning workout will only work against you when you have to get up the next morning and do it all over again. Bottom line - drink up!
4. Fill up your iPod with some new tunes.
I love listening to music while I workout, so I always try to fill up my iPod with new artists or old favorites that will energize me to get my butt moving! Whenever I buy a new album, I wait to listen to it until I'm working out; it gives me an incentive and something to look forward to in the morning. A few of my favorite artists that pump me up are LMFAO, Lady Gaga, Enrique Iglesias, and U2 (yes, I love that band). Find some music that will get YOU excited to hit the gym every morning!
5. Find a workout that excites you.
If you love running, hitting the treadmill might be the perfect exercise for you in the mornings. Personally, I'm not a runner, but I love the elliptical. Experiment with a lot of different activities and find one that you can look forward to every morning! It might be running or the elliptical, or it could be a Hot Yoga or spin class. Think outside the box as well; if you know a friend who is trying to get into morning workouts and you're a social butterfly, ask the friend to go on an early morning hike or jog with you. The best way to look forward to your workout is to find something that you truly enjoy doing.
Did I ever turn into the one-in-a-million pop-tart? Not quite, but I did find a way to conquer my morning workouts and learn to love my peaceful morning hour. You can too!