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Strategies To Help You Commit To Early Morning Exercise
The majority of people struggle to commit to a regular workout schedule. When you throw early-morning workouts into the mix, you really run into problems. Unless you happen to be one of those people who is extremely bright-eyed first thing in the morning, chances are you’re going to just want to smash the alarm clock and keep sleeping when it goes off.
One thing to always keep in the back of your mind is that after two weeks of forcing yourself to get up to do those early morning workouts, it will become significantly easier and you’ll naturally find yourself waking up. It’s those first few weeks, though, that you have to really push yourself.
There are a few things you can do to make morning exercise slightly easier, so consider trying each of these out. Sometimes all it takes is a little push in the right direction to get you moving.
Set Two Alarm Clocks
The first method of getting yourself into the routine of an early morning workout is through careful alarm clock manipulation. What you want to do is set two different alarm clocks, one to go off by your head and then another one that’s sitting on your dresser or somewhere out of reach to go off ten or twenty minutes later. This way, by the time the second one goes off and you actually have to get out of bed to answer it, you’ll be up and awake anyway.
You might also find that it really helps to program your alarm to play music that gets you pumped up for the gym. Or, perhaps you might be someone who needs some soothing music to gently wake them out of sleep rather than the harsh beeping sound that most alarms make. Figure out what works best for you.
Time The Coffee Maker
Coffee is one thing that most adults find will get them out of bed in the morning, so you may want to use this to your advantage. The one important thing to keep in mind before jumping into a heavy coffee consumption is that for some individuals coffee does tend to have a laxative effect, which could seriously disrupt your coming workout session. Give it a try first and see how you feel. In some cases switching to decaf coffee will ease the situation, and in other cases coffee just will not work well before the workout.
If you find you don’t have any problems consuming coffee before the exercise, you may want to think about mixing your protein powder in with it as well, forming a pre-workout java jolt shake to get you running. If you use dextrose to sweeten the coffee, then you will have a complete pre-workout meal right there in that cup.
If you are someone who can’t deal with a higher amount of fluid before your workout but do find the caffeine does kick-start your body and gets you out of bed, taking one caffeine pill might be the solution for you. Many athletes use this as a method to prepare for a big race, game, or event, and as long as you keep the dose moderate and you don’t have a sensitivity to caffeine, it shouldn’t pose any health risks.
Start with a dose of 200mg of caffeine (which is commonly the dose in one pill) and see how you feel. If you are worried you might be sensitive, take half the pill to start with. You may also want to cut back on caffeine-containing beverages during the day. The caffeine for the day will serve you best taken before exercise as it’s one of the main legal, performance enhancing supplements you can take.
Pre-Prepare Your Pre-Workout Meal
If coffee isn’t your thing, then another good way to help motivate yourself for that early morning workout is to prepare your pre-workout meal the night before. Come up with some type of meal that you really enjoy so you really look forward to it before getting up in the morning.
Remember that you want to have a source of both carbohydrates and protein in your pre-workout meal. Often, those who are exercising early in the morning will only be able to stomach a shake before they workout, so if this is the case then invest in a very tasty protein powder to create your shake. Couple that with your favorite fresh or frozen fruit along with some raw oats thrown in for a slow digesting source of carbohydrate and you should be good to get through the workout. Try and avoid adding too much fruit juice to this shake though as for many people this will cause issues of cramping or diarrhea.
Find A Gym On The Way To Work
If you’re going to be doing your morning workouts outside of the home, you will want to be sure you locate a gym that is on the way to your work or within close proximity to your house so you can easily get there and get back to shower.
Early morning workouts lend themselves to setting up your own home gym, so give that some consideration. It’s nice to be able to step into your basement (or workout room/garage) without having to worry about traffic or what you look like first thing in the morning. The shower is also only a step away -- which easily allows you to get ready for work. A home gym is also going to benefit those who have young children and need to be around in the morning to help them get ready for school.
Write Down Your Workout Goals The Night Before
When you have a clear picture in your mind on what you’ll be focusing, this can intensify your determination to pursue that workout. It’s when you take a random approach to your workouts that you may not see what an impact skipping those sessions will have on the grand scheme of things. By designing each one of your workouts with a purpose, you’ll feel more committed to each of them.
Find An Early Morning Gym Partner
The last method to motivate yourself to forgo the snooze button is finding a workout partner who is also interested in early morning workouts. Knowing that person is counting on you showing up can be a big motivating factor, especially if it’s a close friend or someone you feel accountable to.
It may also help to take this one step further, setting a common goal and making a race out of it – whoever accomplishes the goal first gets some type of reward. This puts more pressure on you since if you are constantly missing the workouts while your partner is training, you’ll be at a serious disadvantage for coming out ahead. If it is something you know would help you along, be sure you do make a challenge out of it.
Your determination will pay off in the long run as oftentimes it’s the early morning exercisers who are most consistent with their workouts.
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