Calling all readers who are partial to a bit of exercise but are definitively not morning people. We see it on Instagram but surely it can’t be real, the runners who see the sunrise on a run or those first in the gym just when the doors open. How can we normal people, with a preference for lie ins and cups of tea, keep up? I’ve got news for you, there are a few life hacks which will help you get up early AND exercise before the day has even begun. Now, embrace the smug face.
Why should you workout in the morning? Working out on an empty stomach for under an hour is a great way to kick start your metabolism. Early morning exercise also gets the blood pumping through your brain, it helps improve clarity of thought and helps combat stress, you will feel stronger after exercising both mentally and physically. Remember this at all times when you’re thinking of rolling over and hitting snooze.
1) Leave the trainers by the door
There is no room for error here, even when you stumble out of the bedroom for a morning wee you will see your artfully placed trainers looking inviting. Do yourself a favour and undo the laces to ensure there are absolutely no blockers between you and the pavement.
Always charge all phones, GPS watches, Bluetooth headphones and any other accessories to ensure you’re not lingering on a street corner cursing at yourself.
2) Black coffee
Mo Farah swears by it. While not an Olympic athlete, I also swear by it, it saw me through my half marathon training ahead of all runs. Black coffee before a run or a workout is a great way to mentally and physically wake up, research shows caffeine will improve alertness, state of mind and determination to run faster. Your body becomes better equipped in metabolising fat first before glycogen, meaning you can exercise for longer (remember if you are exercising for longer than an hour in the morning you need to eat breakfast before).
I drink Em & Nick’s coffee who are based in Bath, their coffee is ethically sourced, designed for ambitious individuals. It also tastes incredible. For a limited time you can use the discount code OLIVIA10 to get 10% off at the checkout. Visit Em & Nick’s online store.
3) Pack the gym bag the evening before
If you’ve decided you’re going to the gym, pack your gym bag early on in the evening. This gives you a chance to remember everything, including the essentials like fresh underwear (don’t get caught out). Put your keys at the top of the bag so when your tired future self rolls out of bed, you won’t be held up looking for the keys.
4) Motivational material
Work out what motivates you and leave it in clear view. What drives you to get fit? Is it weight loss? Feeling better? Getting into a dress for a friend’s wedding? Whatever it is, leave it at the foot of the bed. I searched #MorningWorkout the other morning on Instagram when I was struggling, only to see a whole load of people just returning from a morning workout and basking in the smugness with one of those horrific gym-selfie-mirror-pictures.
Remember the medal you got for the 10k run you did? Get it next to your alarm clock as a reminder. Get the Spotify playlist going too, all those songs that get under your skin when training are essential.
5) Go to bed early and set two alarms
If I know I’ve disabled snooze, I feel more inclined to wake up on the first alarm. Equally, if I’m waking up earlier than usual then I put into place two alarms just to ensure I don’t hit Dismiss on the first alarm and then just never wake up for work.
Getting up early for exercise boils down to good time management, it can sound really boring but the feeling of endorphins while you shimmy into work is unbeatable. It also means you’ve clocked your exercise time for the day, leaving your evening free for the pub. Also, if you procrastinate and leave exercise until the evening you have to walk past all the people sat outside the pub on a sunny evening.
So there you have it, next time you’re lying in bed making excuses about the bed being too comfortable or planning when to move the gym session to a later date then just remember these life hacks. Remember the positive feeling you get after a morning workout and prepare as best you can the night before to allow less room for error. Give yourself some extra support with a black coffee to switch on your body into exercise mode. I promise you, you’ll never look back.
What time of day do you workout? Comment below.