Morning workouts don’t have to be so rough
We’ve all been there, the alarm goes off, it’s still dark out and the thought of dipping your toe onto the cold floor makes you curse the very idea of having to get up and throw your workout gear on and head to the gym.
For the majority of us we aren’t that person that naturally bounces out of bed first thing in the morning to put in a sweat session before work, most of us tend to lean towards early morning sessions as a necessity, a way of prioritising our workout sessions because work has a tendency to get in the way and we end up skipping out on exercise altogether. We get busy, we get tired and so we force ourselves to learn to love our morning workouts.
So how do we make the first step of waking up, unfolding ourselves from our favourite blanky and heading to the gym with more spring in our step?
For me personally I find it difficult to turn my brain off when I hit the pillow. I toss and turn for a good while before I even fall asleep and there lies one of the problems. If we aren’t getting enough sleep throughout the night we can hardly expect to wake up at 5am with the enthusiasm to attack a sweat session head on. By inducing sleepiness you can ensure that when it’s time for bed your body manages to turn off entirely. Simple tips such as limiting your caffeine during the day, having your last caffeinated drink by four pm, warm baths, a cup of tea, a calming sleep-inducing yoga sequence (not my thing but whatever works), ditching TV and computer use before bed especially when you climb into bed, not eating sugary foods and sticking to a regular exercise routine can help you fall asleep more easily and help you have a more restful, solid night of sleep.
Get personal! Trying to talk yourself into crawling out from under your 4 layers of super soft and cosy warm doona requires a lot more than you saying;
"Come on, you know you'll feel great afterward,"
This definitely isn’t the most effective motivation tool especially when the “other you” tends to be in the driver’s seat at that time of the morning. Find creative, tangible ways to inspire morning workouts that speak to you. Variety is the spice of exercise, continue to mix up your weekly routine with different classes or running tracks, make a new music playlist the day before but don’t listen to it until you wake up to exercise, or go running in completely different direction, do a boxing class, find an early morning workout buddy or get the dog up and go for a brisk walk/ jog together. At the end of the day the goal is to continue to find new ways to keep your workout fire burning. If you have something you're looking forward to once you wake up, you'll find it impossible not to get out of bed. Maybe not impossible but you will be more inclined to roll out of bed.
“Plan to fail," yep I said it. Life happens, and you've got to be prepared with a backup plan. Maybe you decided your best morning workout strategy was running outdoors—so what happens when you wake up on a rainy day?
Personally I find the hardest part about getting up in the morning is the thought of having to walk all the way to the bathroom, then spend that whole 2 minutes brushing my teeth, then having to stumble around to find my runners and the right mix of workout clothes before rummaging through my bag to try and find my car keys. It’s exhausting just thinking about it! Kick morning workout excuses in the arse by making your pre- and post-workout routine as simple as possible. Put your workout clothes, socks, shoes, even your hair elastic (I like the pink ones) next to your bed so you don't have to waste time fumbling around for your gear.
Mornings don’t have to be so stressful, stick to your goals and get in the best shape you can at a time when there is no distractions.