Nobody loves the sound of their alarm in the morning, no matter what time it is — or what fancy ringtone you’ve selected to do the trick. But that doesn’t mean you should just turn it off and go back to sleep. There’s no way those extra 30 minutes in bed will benefit you, your mind or your body as much as a quick workout would. Nope — your best bet is to get up and get moving. Here’s why (and how) you should learn to become more of a morning person.
1. Being active before breakfast improves your eating and exercising habits throughout the day. One study out of Brigham Young University revealed that when women walked briskly for 45 minutes in the morning, they were not only less susceptible to craving certain foods, but were also more active throughout the day, compared to days when they didn’t work out.
2. You’re less likely to skip the gym later. You have the best intentions, you even have a fitness class penciled into your schedule at 5 p.m., but there’s just one more email to respond to, one more call to make, one more errand to run before dinner … Five o’clock comes and goes without the sweat session you’d planned on.
It’s so easy for plans to change throughout the day. Cross exercise off the list early on, and then you won’t end your day regretting you never got around to it. And if you know a trip to the gym is not in your cards for the day, do your best to be find alternative ways to be active instead.
3. Set yourself up for success. Don’t wait until the early morning hours to figure out your fitness plan. Decide on your distance, class or gym workout before you go to bed, and then set your morning workout clothes (and shoes) out so you don’t have to think about anything once you wake up. Simply rise and shine.
4. Take full advantage of your favorite local coffee roaster, like Water Avenue (Willamette, Oregon), Coava Coffee Roasters (Portland, Oregon) or Zoka Coffee (Seattle, Washington). Sure, you may not want to drink a full cup of Joe right before your workout, but one study from the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry found that just smelling coffee could help wake you up. So if you have a timer on your coffee machine, set it to start brewing a couple minutes after your alarm goes off, giving you all the more reason to peel away those covers.
5. Make that cup of coffee your post-workout reward. Maybe it’s a healthy breakfast, a tasty jolt of caffeine, or a delicious, nutritious smoothie. Whatever it is, don’t let yourself enjoy it until after you’ve burned a few calories.
6. Begin your day in the best mood ever. The rush of endorphins you experience after a morning workout is sure to boost your energy and your can-do attitude, which is exactly what you need before hitting the office or waking the kiddos.
7. Enlist a fit friend to be your morning workout buddy. You’ll be much less likely to sleep in and skip your workout if you know your pal woke up on time and is waiting at spin class for you. Besides, there are many other benefits to seeing a friendly face at the gym, too.
8. Exercise now, and you’ll sleep better later. It seems counterintuitive that cutting your sleep short to squeeze in a morning workout could actually improve your Zzz’s, but research shows it does just that. A study out of Appalachian State University found that participants who performed a moderate, 30-minute workout at 7 a.m. slept much more soundly than those who exercised at either 1 p.m. or 7 p.m.
9. Stay safe, no matter what time it is. The days are getting shorter, which means the earlier you get out of bed to work out, the darker it is outside. If you’re planning an outdoor routine, play it safe with these tips for working out when it’s dark.
10. Be prepared to FEEL LIKE A CHAMP ALL DAY LONG. Knowing that you’ve already done something for yourself and your health is guaranteed to increase your productivity and overall sense of accomplishment throughout the day. Congratulations on a job well done!