Those of us without an iron will, athletic spirit, or a clear goal concerning our health and body image can have great difficulty in sticking to the healthy habit that is working out. Even worse, if we’re employed full-time, with families and friends who occupy quite a bit of our little free time left, the accursed option of getting up early to do jumping jack is sighed upon heavily as we chow down our breakfasts. Very few people like to wake up with (or even before) the first morning light, but don’t give up just yet. It is actually possible for anyone to form this habit, and along with it, incorporate some exercise without utterly hating their alarm clock.
Winners have goals
Remember the part about not having goals? Well, one of the best ways to push yourself is to actually make some goals for yourself. And we’re not talking about the idea of wanting to, say, tone your body by eating healthier. To ensure you’ll stick to your goal, you’ll need something tangible, like post-its or a wall calendar where you’ll cross out every day that you’ve jogged or exercised in the morning. When you are able to visualize the steps taken to reach your goal, every morning routine will become easier by the day.
No joke – wear your workout clothes to bed. If you are able, fall asleep in your workout shirt and shorts or sweatpants. This will eliminate the potential hassle you could be feeling when you think about getting ready to go to the gym or work out. Prepare everything the night before, so that all you have to do is get up and do your bathroom routine. Make the transition as painless and devoid of hassle as possible. This is one of the major things that you’ll thank yourself for in the long run.
Morning coffee benefits
Recent researches in psychology have begun to highlight the importance of having your morning coffee before a workout. Your first cup does more than wake you up and kickstart the day. It actually helps preserve muscles and eases whatever pain would settle in from exercising. It also improves your circulation and heart rate. On a more psychological level, it will make you more inclined to the gym session that awaits you. Just make sure not to take too much coffee and not too close to your workout time.
Push yourself – but also reward, set milestones
Make the workouts non-negotiable. We offer advice to make morning workouts less tiresome, but the fact of the matter is that sometimes, tough self-love goes farther than coddling. If we are always in our comfort zone, we would never evolve, and perhaps the key to improvement is in pushing our limits whenever and wherever we can. Not all is so bleak, though. Promising yourself a reward after every successful morning routine, or after crossing milestones is a breath of relief after practicing some aforementioned tough self-love.
Being speedy and practical about your morning routines is actually one of the key tips. The moment your alarm sounds, sit up, do your best to brush that morning doziness off your eyes and get up. The longer you stay in bed debating five more minutes with the alarm clock will kill any motivation or mental effort. Not to mention that, when midday comes rolling in, you will feel better knowing you pushed yourself to get up and work out, instead of ruining your morning by dragging yourself around the bed, half-asleep and awake.
Motivational mood board
Getting into a morning workout routine can also be fun and creative. Create a healthy lifestyle mood board and hang it in a visible place. Doing this will subconsciously ingrain the idea that this change is good for you. You can place motivational quotes, newspaper cutouts, personal workout photos, or whatever else motivates you. Having those supportive images will, as mentioned before, visualize your goal, making it more than just a vague idea, which does wonders for the long-term habit adaptation.
Find what you like
We kept the topic broad enough because morning workouts can range from a few simple exercises to recreational yoga, to an hour at the gym at 6 AM. The biggest thing you can do to keep this habit going is to find the activity you like. One activity often singled out is cycling. It hardly feels like an exercise at all, yet it does wonders for the mind and body if you have a park nearby. There are plenty of bicycles online and you can easily pick out the best bike for you.
Set a tempo
After setting goals and deciding on the morning activity, you can plan out the schedule. The best part is in actually listening to your body. Take it slow in the beginning, there’s no need to start hard and fast right away. Try working out two mornings a week, or every other morning. This will increase your chances of sticking to the schedule, and making morning routines seem like less of a hassle. The more you torture yourself, the bigger the odds you’ll quit.
Find a buddy
Perhaps the most motivating tip we have is finding a workout buddy. Nothing beats the morning drowsiness more than knowing you get to spend some quality socializing and working out. Depending on what kind of morning person you are, you can jog in silence or have a nice chatty breakfast after a hard workout at the gym. Having a partner “in crime” greatly enhances the enjoyment of the morning routine, not to mention the invaluableness of mutual support to reach your goal.
On a final note
When it comes to morning routines that help hate your workouts a little less, there are more ways than we can count. It all boils down to finding the ones that suit you and your personality best. When you start observing this workout as a part of your life, and tailor the habits and rituals to your preferences, it will all become much easier. Treat mornings as the best part of the day to get the most important things done, and leave evenings for rest. You’ll thank yourself in merely a week’s time.