Exercise in the AM
Alice Oglethorpe with The Men’s Journal had a great article tackling the ever dreadful morning workouts. So many steer clear out of fear. Now; there really are…“No More Excuses”. Here’s how to become a morning Exerciser…
Does the idea of waking up even earlier than you already do and dragging yourself to the gym sound like the stuff of which nightmares are made? You might want to rethink that ‘tude — especially if your New Year’s resolution is to crank up your fitness levels. “When you work out in the morning, you’re guaranteed to get it in,” says Cory Gregory, a Reebok 1 Master Trainer and co-owner of Old School Gym in Columbus, Ohio. “Later in the day, life comes at you — you have work stuff, family stuff, and you lose motivation.” On top of that, a pre-sunrise sweat session can help you get better sleep, have fewer food cravings, wage a better battle against weight gain, and gain a sense of accomplishment right out of the gate. Ready to become a morning gym-goer? Here’s everything you need to know.
You don’t need to jump right in with 90-minute early morning workouts. Start with just 30 minutes. “It’s easy to wake up half an hour earlier and go out and do something basic like running, push-ups, and sit-ups and then get ready for work,” says Gregory. “You can always make your workouts longer down the road, but start with something you can be consistent with.”
Prep the Night Before
If you’re going to need something in the morning, get it ready to go before going to bed. That includes gym clothes, toiletries, and work clothes. “You can even sleep in your gym clothes if you want to,” says Jason Foster, a trainer with Equinox in Chicago. “And pack up your breakfast and lunch if you take those with you to work.”
Get Enough Sleep
“How you feel when you wake up in the morning is largely based on how you slept,” says Foster. “Set a time for yourself to go to bed and start to shut down an hour before then. That means dim the lights, turn off the electronics, and lower the temperature to 68 degrees or so. All of this will help you feel calmer and sleepier, so that you get quality shut-eye. And when the alarm goes off in the morning, you won’t be dragging.”
Don’t Hit Snooze
Set your phone as far away from your bed as you can — but close enough that you can still hear the alarm. As soon as you get up, hit the light switch. “You need to stimulate your body, so turn on lights or even music — anything that tells yourself it’s time to go!” says Foster.
Don’t Get Distracted
It’s easy to glance at your phone to turn your alarm off, see some work emails, start responding, and before you know it, you’re scrolling through Facebook instead of pumping iron. “I tell my clients to put their phone on airplane mode because it helps them avoid temptation,” says Foster.
Only Eat If You Want To
Not everyone likes to exercise with food in their stomach, so don’t force yourself to eat before your workout. “Some people get low blood sugar and need food, but others do better without eating,” says Foster. “If you do eat, something like nuts or a smoothie are good options — you want something with some fat in it.”
Pick the Right Tunes
On your way to the gym, hit play on something that’ll pump you up and get your brain working. “I listen to podcasts like Barbell Shrugged or School of Greatness,” says Gregory. “I like to train my brain as well as my body, and that’s what those podcasts do. If music is more uplifting for you, listen to that.”
Stick With It
It won’t be long before you are obsessed with your morning workout routine. “If you can get all those systems in place that make it easier to work out in the morning, you’ll get the routine down and you’re going to want to do it all the time,” says Foster. “That’s the beauty of working out first thing.”