Let’s face it, if we could take a magic pill that could give us all the same physical benefits of exercise, 99% of us would probably take it. Until that day, though, we have to continue to fit lifting and cardio into our lives to reach and maintain our goals – often having to get up early for a workout.
How to Get Up Early For a Workout
It’s a daunting task to wake up an hour or two earlier than you’re used to when it’s the only time you can fit in cardio or lifting, but sometimes it has to be done. In this article, we’ll be discussing a few ways to prepare for an early-morning workout, as well as how to feel awake and energized instead of tired and sluggish.
Anybody who already has a solid routine of waking up at 4 or 5 a.m. will simply tell you to, “just get up and walk around”, but of course it isn’t that easy for most of us. These individuals are doing a lot of little things alongside this to help them get up early and not feel drained or half awake. Starting with the night before then the morning of, these tips include:
1. Pack for the gym the night before
The hardest thing to do when you’re still half asleep in the morning is to decide which leggings and tank top you want to wear. Fix this by getting your gym bag ready or lay your clothes out before you go to bed, so you don’t have to think about how to match or which shoes you need.
2. Make your food the night before
Just like your clothes, food will be the last thing you want to worry about at 5 a.m. before a run or gym session. Making your smoothie or protein shake the night before and simply keeping it in the fridge until you need it is a simple fix. It won’t save you a huge amount of time, but will help you focus on your mental game by limiting your multitasking before you’re fully awake.
Make meal planning easy with these 12 delicious protein oatmeal recipes to start your day right.
3. Get a good night’s sleep
This one might be simple but getting to bed 7-9 hours before you need to wake up is crucial to get up early for a workout. It might not seem like that much of a difference at first, but go three days in a row where you get six hours of sleep, then go three days in a row when you get eight and you’ll feel it. Throughout the day especially, but first thing in the morning it will make getting out of that comfy bed much easier.
4. Set multiple alarms
Most of us already do this, but it will also be helpful for getting you up in the morning. Setting one alarm 15-30 minutes before you need to get up can actually trick you into feeling more rested. At 4:30 when you first hear that alarm, you’ll want to go back to sleep… and most likely you will! Then you’ll wake up at 5 feeling like its 5:30 (especially if you didn’t check the time when the first alarm went off). The only thing to keep in mind here is not to shrug off the second alarm for more sleep.
5. Put your alarm on the other side of the room
It might sound too easy, but physically having to get up to turn off your loud alarm will make it way easier to get up early for a workout instead of setting the snooze.
6. Turn on a light
It might seem like torture in the moment, but flipping a switch will allow your brain to think that it’s daytime (even if it’s not) and wake you up faster than staying in the dark. If you really can’t drag yourself up to even flick a switch, a light up alarm clock might be a good option to get you up and out for your workout.
7. Finally, caffeine
Even though it might take up to 30 minutes to fully kick in, caffeine is a great way to get you energized for a morning workout. Hopefully you know your tolerance level but if not, start with a small dose of 80-100 mg (one cup of coffee or two tea bags), and work your way up to 200-400 mg, depending on your size and tolerance. There are many ways to get in your caffeine but if you need quick energy and don’t want to down three cups of coffee, caffeine tablets are a quick and cost-effective way to get your daily dose.
Take Home Message
While there are many other tips and tricks that people use to get up early for a workout, the most important ones for you are habits you can stick to. It’s simply whatever it takes to get you out of bed to prepare for your workout – with maximum enthusiasm and energy. For all those who have too much on their plate for a two-hour routine after work, to get up early for a workout is a great way to get it all done with before your day even begins.