If you’re an aspiring morning person, join the club. People have said time and time again that morning people tend to be more successful in life, but walking the talk is much more difficult than it seems.
That’s how I generally feel about waking up early in the morning, especially since I am wired to be nocturnally inclined (or, in lamer words, I like staying up late).
However, I’ve come to learn that morning workouts tend to develop more discipline within you. It’s almost like building a habit of not wanting to do something you really need to do and then still doing it. It’s a no-excuse type of routine that affects every other decision that you make throughout the day. For me, I prefer to do cardio workouts with my morning routine.
You might want to expect a few groggy workouts before you get into the groove of working out in the morning, though.
Tips To Adjust To Morning Workouts
To help you adjust to morning workouts, here are some tips for you! Number 6 is a lot more common than you might think.
1. Lay out your clothes the night before
Expect that your mornings won’t be all sunshine and that you’ll have a little grogginess into the mix of emotions you’ll have as you wake up. This is why you have to prepare the night before.
Think about planning and adjusting to morning workouts as making it the path of least resistance; make it so that it is much easier to do than not to do. Some people swear by sleeping in the clothes you plan to work out in.
Laying out your clothes will not only make it so much easier to get yourself to workout, but it will also force you to get into the clothes (and eventually into your warm-up) before you even have time to reason yourself out of it.
2. Expect your morning excuses
We’ve all done it — the night before your supposed morning workout, you have all the motivation in the world. Finally, you are getting a hold of your life, and it starts with this one simple routine.
The next day comes, though, and you find yourself pressing the snooze button one too many times. You sleepily attempt to get into your clothes, and the lightbulb in your brain lights up as it finds an excuse: “I need to be well-rested today. I have that presentation; I might be too groggy and they might fire me and I’ll be homeless.”
It’s that kind of slippery slope that gets you back into your bed.
Newsflash: that. Happens. To. Everyone.
Expect that you’re going to want to talk yourself out of it, and then resist that temptation. Your mindset makes or breaks every attempt that you make to work out in the morning.
Once you know that you are most probably going to hear excuses from your own mind, then it’s much easier to hear them, set them aside, and think, “I knew you were going to say that.” Then, you get going with your workout.
3. Wake up with intention
Another way to motivate yourself into working out is to wake up with your specific goals in mind. For example, you want to say to yourself, “today, I commit to being healthier.” Use an affirmation that will help you realize how much you want to workout despite the inconvenience.
Of course, this comes with realizing what your long-term goals are. Try writing them down even before your morning workout. I still constantly try to refresh myself about what my goals are, not only in fitness but also for my day or week.
Having goals and intentions will continue to steer you in the direction of your dream life. It might start with a morning workout, but it can build from there.
4. Place your alarm in a spot you can’t easily reach
I’m sure you want more practical tips and less of the mindset you need, so here’s one: place your alarm in a spot where you can’t easily reach from your bed. Too often, we automatically press the snooze button without even realizing it. This is because we have created a habit out of it.
To snap yourself out of the habit, start by placing your phone away from the bed so that you have to stand up to snooze it if you want. This goes with the principle of the “path of least resistance” — you’re already up, so it’s much easier to just stay up than to settle back down into your bed.
5. Drag a friend
Lovingly dragging a friend with you into your morning workouts will work nine times out of ten. Having an accountability partner will make it so much easier for you to force yourself since you have another person counting on you.
6. Beginner’s mind
Believe it or not, changing the time that you workout is a small shock to your body, especially if you’ve had a set time already for your workouts in the day. This is why you have to be strategic with the timing of your adjustment period.
If you’re on a program, it might not be the best idea to attempt to adjust to morning workouts in the middle of your program. You might want to do it in the adaptation phase of your program, or the phase where you are “warming up” to the main event.
This is because adjusting to morning workouts will naturally slow down the momentum of your workouts. You might be feeling a bit groggy at first. You might not be able to give your best in your first few workouts.
It’s important to start small in this adjustment period. Maybe promise yourself that all you have to do is take a walk or stretch. This will give you the impression that that’s all you need to do, and since it’s so easy, you have no more excuses not to do it.
Eventually, you’ll find that a simple walk will naturally give you the urge to do more. You might promise yourself a simple walk and end up with a run!
If you’re feeling unmotivated, always go back to the beginner’s mind. After all, you have a whole lifetime to build this routine.
What Are The Benefits Of Morning Workouts?
If the tips aren’t enough motivation to help you adjust to your morning workouts, then you might want to know the benefits of morning workouts.
Firstly, since you’re working out earlier, you won’t have time to make excuses to prevent you from working out that might come up later in the day. You will also have time for everything else in your life if you get the workout over with early in the morning — work, social life, and everything in between.
Another great reason to work out in the morning is the energy that you will feel throughout the day. You might not feel this at the beginning, but eventually, you’ll find that working out gives you more energy! This is the experience of so many people, and it can be your experience too.
You might also find that, throughout the day, you tend to make healthier choices especially when it comes to food. Exercising can inspire you like that!
Morning workouts also usually have much more comfortable weather to workout in; it’s much cooler, so you won’t have that raging headache that usually happens when you work out in hot weather.
Another great benefit of working out in the morning is how great you feel throughout the day. Your mood is lifted up. This is because, as you exercise, you get more of those “feel-good” hormones called endorphins.
What About Meals Before Your Morning Workouts?
Although I typically workout in a fasting state, some people may not be accustomed to that yet. Having an empty stomach and attempting to exercise might just give you less energy and power to get through that workout.
I know the fads and trends tend to give carbs a bad name, but you might want to eat light carbs before your morning workouts to give you the energy you need. Whole-grain bread and oatmeal are great examples of carbs to eat before your workouts.
Protein is definitely something you also want to eat before. Add some peanut butter to your bread or some eggs!
Eating before your morning workout is quite tricky, as you need to eat at least 1 to 3 hours before to prevent feeling too full while working out. You might also want to meal prep the night before just to lessen your efforts in the morning.
Although morning workouts are quite hard to get used to, the feeling of accomplishment that you get afterward is something that you can carry with you throughout the day. It will help boost your mood and your self-esteem as you realize that you are capable of working out before anything or anyone else. It’s almost like a superpower!
If you’re in the adjustment period, be gentle with yourself. Know that this is a change and that there will come a time that this is your natural morning routine. Still, be firm and develop a great mindset around exercise, and you will be on your way to a successful morning workout!
I’ve recently done reviews on workout shoes for women and men, check them out if you’ve slowly been building up your gym arsenal. I also did a review on workout gloves you can look into if you’re trying to protect your hands from calluses. In general, we love to post on ways we can all become better human beings through fitness and health, so click here to read more posts in general from The Ultimate Primate.
Marko Rakic is a trail runner and fitness enthusiast from Sydney, Australia. He is the lead writer for The Ultimate Primate and believes the best way to live a happy life is to take a holistic approach to fitness and health.