Life inevitably interferes between you and exercise, right? It is normal that something unexpected happens, that the clock goes faster or that your mind betrays you at the last minute and thus, day after day, you cancel your appointment with exercise. And the truth is that it’s a shame because exercising in the morning is the best strategy.
The problem is that exercising in the morning is too challenging. Nobody in their right mind would leave the comfortable bed to go for a run or to go to the gym, but let me tell you that getting exercise at dawn is not as difficult as it seems and, above all, it does not have to be like Chinese torture.
In this article you will find some strategies (approved for rebellious sleepers) that will help you prioritize and exercise first thing in the morning and really enjoy it.
The other day I was watching a speech given by Admiral William H McRaven on how to change the world and, although it is a very complex mission, the speaker said something that caught my attention.
I also made that face when I heard it … but wait, it has all the logic in the world.
He says that making your bed represents a small achievement in the morning, it represents that if you can do things well very early, which also means that your attitude will be in line to do the rest of the day in the same way.
And I think he’s right, if we start the day off on the right foot and with a sense of personal pride, the rest of the day is more likely to be productive and satisfying.
Making bed early is an example, but starting the day on the right foot can also be exercising first thing in the morning. In fact, exercise is the best way to start your day’s activities.
I know, it’s painful.
Waking up earlier is horrible and if this is followed by an exercise session it seems unbearable, but, I see it like this:
The wake up and sweat combo is like ripping a plaster off your skin, it hurts, yes, but only momentarily and the best relief is that later you will feel incredible.
It makes you constant and you manage to create the habit
Have you ever been invited to a party at 6 am? Did you ever have a family engagement before the sun came up?… Of course not!
It is normal to fail with exercise in normal life, because in truth there are unexpected things, pending and commitments that occupy a space for the rest of the day, also, after a long day of work you are likely to feel exhausted and in zero spirits to exercise.
On the other hand, exercising in the morning represents crossing it off your list quickly, automatically eliminating it from your head and preventing you from failing because you no longer have the number one reason (or excuse) for not exercising: “lack of time”.
In my opinion, waking up half an hour earlier is much easier than trying to find an hour in the middle of the day to start exercising and get in the habit .
Helps you start your day with energy
Movement can be a great source of energy. Some research has measured the effectiveness of exercise to “wake up” and the results show that it is more effective than a cup of coffee.
Plus exercising in the morning puts you in a good mood. In a major scientific study it was shown that those who exercised regularly reported fewer “unhealthy” days in which it could appear: sadness, anxiety, fatigue, or some other symptom that affected their daily routine.
You enjoy more of your morning routine
I would say this is the greatest benefit.
While most are just waking up to the shower, you will already be finishing exercising with a smile and more optimism to start your routine, which makes your mornings a more pleasant time (instead of being bad and carrying the accumulated stress from the previous day back to work).
This release of morning stress with exercise helps you feel good about yourself, creates a sense of triumph that you carry with you all day, and it shows!
Your evenings become fun
Think about this: by the time the end of your day comes, instead of dragging yourself to the gym you can take advantage of that extra time you gave yourself in the morning to invest in whatever you want.
Trust me, I don’t change that feeling of freedom at night when work ends.
Helps you sleep better
In one study, participants were divided into 3 groups: one group exercised at 7 am, the other at 1 pm, and the last at 7 pm. The researchers measured their sleep quality, and the results show that the group that slept best was … you guessed it! the group that trained at 7 in the morning.
It is a closed cycle, exercising in the morning helps you sleep better and sleeping better helps you to wake up early to exercise.
Here I summarize them so you don’t forget:
If you need more reasons to convince yourself of the exercise, see this infographic.
But if you already know that getting up early and sweating is definitely worth it, here are 3 simple steps to start exercising when the sun rises.
Step 1: Prepare everything the night before
After sleeping the kids, watching your favorite series, dining with the family, or taking out the trash, it’s time to get your things ready for exercise.
I recommend that you have a list, so you will even feel that satisfaction of finishing a list of things to do. This is my list to go to the gym:
– House keys inside the shoes (so they don’t forget me)
– Small bottle already with water
– Bus card
– Leggings and top
Personally, I can exercise on an empty stomach, but if you get dizzy or feel a loss of energy, you have to eat something small for at least 30 minutes before exercising.
This snack should be part of your list so that in the morning you do not waste time thinking about what to eat. A small apple, half a banana, or even a little yogurt is ideal.
Here it is important that you know in advance what exercise you will be doing in the morning, for example, an approximate route if you will be starting to run or know where to find your routine on mobile or on YouTube.
EYE: if you are starting to exercise, you do not have to complicate your life, the only thing you have to have prepared is a small routine of a few minutes that you can do at home or in your room (later we will talk about this point).
If you have no idea what exercise to do, download this free 7-minute routine here.
At this time of your night you should also prepare the things you will need after exercising.
If when you return from sports you have everything in order to go to work, it is much more likely that exercise represents a positive activity and not a morning stress that you prefer to avoid.
What does this mean?…
Prepare the post-exercise things, that is: the clothes you are going to wear, your portfolio, or bag with your things to go out and even your breakfast, which by the way does not have to be complicated, here you can discover that you must have your breakfast healthy.
Do not get scared! You will see that investing these minutes at night is the best anti-morning stress formula I know.
Our goal is to reduce steps and potential obstacles that may come your way. Preparing your things earlier means fewer opportunities to get back on your bed and a greater chance of success.
If you have everything you need ready, it will take exactly 10 minutes to wake up and walk out the door to exercise in the morning. Also, your things are a strong visual reminder not to fail.
In my experience, the bus to the gym passes at 6:24 am and my alarm is set at 6:05 am and those 20 minutes are enough to brush my teeth, get dressed, take things and leave the house.
Step 2: Schedule 4 alarms
You read correctly: 4 alarms.
But, to program them correctly it is necessary that you take a few minutes to be clear about the following:
- What time do you have to leave home to be on time for your activities?
- About how long does it take you to get ready (bathing, combing, dressing, etc.)?
- How much time will you be spending on exercise (be realistic and start very little)?
- I have to leave home to get to work on time at 9 am
- It takes me about 30 to 40 minutes to get ready
- And I want to spend 20 minutes exercising
Okay, now based on those hours you can define the following:
- What time should you start exercising to get ready without stress?
- What time do you need to wake up so you can do the defined exercise time?
- What time should you go to sleep to meet your 8 hours of rest and wake up on time?
- My morning exercise time is at: 8:00 am
- My time to wake up is at: 7:45 am
- My maximum time to go to sleep is: 11:30
Once you are clear about your time (which is very important because it makes you more realistic) it is time to program your 4 alarms.
It should be an hour before going to sleep. During this time you have to do that which will prepare you to relax and sleep. No, netflix is not part of this process, better have a cup of hot tea (without theine), read a book, take a shower with warm water and, in general, choose those activities that relax you and especially those that do not frighten you. dream.
It is the one that tells you that it is time to go to bed to sleep . There are no excuses, go to bed! Remember that sleeping is as important as exercising.
It is in the morning that you should wake up, get out of bed and go to the bathroom, drink water or open the curtains. Any activity that helps you wake up and get ready to exercise: grab a small snack (if you need to) and hydrate.
If you have trouble getting up early, I recommend that you read this article.
Represents the departure time to exercise in the morning that you have already defined.
It is highly recommended that you exercise always at the same time (regardless of whether you prefer to do it in the morning or afternoon).
Why? Easy, for the following 3 reasons:
1- Your brain gets used to it because it is an activity that is already waiting, and therefore creating the habit becomes faster (and less painful)
2.- Your body also adapts, in fact, research suggests that exercising at the same time helps improve your physical performance. If you start your push-ups every day at 8 am, you will eventually perform better at that time than at any other time of the day5
3.- If 8 am is always the training time, then you have one less thing to think about, and you can let your usual routine guide you to be constant in automatic.
Once you have your alarms set, continue to the next step.
Step 3: Exercise
Without a doubt the most important step.
I do not want to disappoint you, but if you are a beginner and you think that it is easy to wake up early and also do an advanced exercise routine, you will probably give up after a few days, simply because it is a very big goal to take the first step and above all to form the habit.
Better start little by little, a 5-minute routine in your living room or in your room will be a good way to wake up with energy and at the same time reduce the preparation of the previous night (there are exercises that you can do even without shoes ).
I highly recommend that you read this article here you will find the step by step to get started.
So at this point be honest with yourself and start with something simpler than you feel capable of doing , I dare say that even 1/3 of what you feel capable of.
For example: if you feel able to run 10 minutes, then start walking 3 minutes and that’s it.
Don’t worry, you can increase the time and intensity of the exercise afterwards. And if you definitely have a few minutes to exercise in the morning, a minute routine can be as effective as exercising longer.
The results of other research show that 7 minutes of exercise a day also yield physical results.
In fact, a lot of research indicates that the greatest benefit begins in people who start exercising from scratch, even if the amount and intensity of exercise is very small.
And so you can start early tomorrow, I have a free 7-minute routine suitable for beginners for you .
A key point is to contemplate a few minutes of warm-up before your exercise, we do not want you to get hurt and abandon the mission “be more fit” for something that can be prevented.
Preferably start your exercise session with a dynamic warm-up like this one here and leave the stretch for after exercise and, by the way, talking about it …
What to do after morning exercise?
I suggest you do 3 things:
1.- Reward yourself :
Ok, it’s not about rewarding yourself with something unhealthy, but how about a warm shower, a gentle stretch to pamper and thank your muscles, or a “I did it” written on your agenda or calendar (by the way to keep track progress).
This small reward is important because it helps to repeat your exercise routine the next day, and the day after this….
2.- Eat something healthy
Incorporating exercise into your routine or changing the schedule will make you feel hungry, so having a healthy snack ready and at hand will prevent you from making hasty and unhealthy food decisions.
It is also important that you eat something healthy in order to create the muscle you want to see in your body.
The objective when exercising should be to change your body composition, that is, reduce the percentage of fat and increase that of muscle and, dying of hunger or, conversely, eating uncontrollably or unhealthily will not help you achieve this.
Adding carbohydrate and protein to your recovery is the best combination, for example:
- A banana and a fist of almonds
- A boiled egg and a wholemeal bread
- A mango or strawberry smoothie with Greek yogurt (without sugar)
The only rule is that you hydrate yourself with water and nothing else.
Sports drinks can be useful if you do more than 1 hour of intense exercise, but, if it is not your case, a sports drink does not make sense. In addition to being more expensive than water, it contains large amounts of sugars that will be plenty in your diet
If you want to vary the water, add a little lemon or try the coconut water at the end of your exercise.
The most important thing is that you exercise
Of course, each person’s life is completely different and there will be those who for personal reasons cannot exercise in the morning (even if they want to). If this is your case, don’t worry, in reality, exercising and moving during the day is what your body needs no matter what time of day you do it.
Truth be told, there is no “best” time of day to exercise. In fact, finding the perfect time to exercise has to do with both personal preference and the physiology of your body.
If it’s better for you to exercise in the afternoon, do it! remember that the best time to train is when you can.
Last and Quick Tip
Another way to avoid “I don’t have time to exercise” is to exercise in short bursts throughout the day. You don’t need a whole new outfit or create this whole system. So you will find the time to exercise.
Doing a series of push-ups and squats, several times a day represents a very effective workout, so much so that you can live 3 more years with only 15 minutes of exercise spread throughout the day.12 .
One way to exercise without realizing it is to do 3 minutes of rationed exercise in 5 moments of your routine, or maybe 5 minutes of walking distributed over 2 or more breaks in your morning.
The moral of the story: When exercise has a place on your schedule, then you have a habit that you can be proud of.
And you, do you have any advice to exercise in the morning and hate it a little less? Write me in the comments, I would love to read you!