I won’t lie, it’s one of the hardest habits for most people to start. That alarm can be a rude awakening when it starts blaring three feet from your head, making you shutter at the thought of having to trade in your warm blankets and that feeling of peaceful bliss for a pair of athletic shoes and the gym. Getting up and active early in the morning isn’t always easy, but it’s one of the best habits you can create in your life. Not only are you prioritizing getting healthy and increasing your energy levels for the day, but you’re developing a higher level of self-control and mental mastery by performing a difficult task every morning.
Now, if you haven’t yet started the habit or routine of crushing some physical activity before you head to work or the sun coming up, keep an open mind as you look to conquer it. First and foremost, know that it will take time to get used to it. It’s more than likely not something you’re going to be able to implement and feel completely comfortable with at the onset. Second, have the confidence and self-belief that you’ll be able to not only do it, but continue to do it on a regular basis. Bottom line – if it’s important to you and something you really need to do, then it comes down to you owning the responsibility of taking action toward it.
Here are my top 5 tips for setting yourself up for a successful morning workout routine:
- Establish The Why
At the heart of any true transformation or habit change is the deep down why for really doing it. Yes, you probably want to work out to lose some weight and fit back into those clothes you’ve tucked away, but put some deep thought into the REAL reasons for it. For me, working out has always been important because of the energy boost it provides throughout the day, as well as the increased confidence I get from accomplishing physical goals and seeing my body improve and change for the better. Those two items also radiate into and have a positive effect on every other aspect of my life. It’s also extremely important to my wife and I to set a great example for our daughter and show her that health and self-care is important.
- PM Prep
If you want to be successful in the morning, then it starts in the evening the night before. Prep everything needed so that you’re doing the absolute minimum in the morning. Get workout clothes set out, your water bottle ready in the fridge and a morning snack set out that you can quickly grab. There’s nothing that will kill your morning motivation more than waking up and realizing you need to do all those things yet before you can even get to your workout. Also, prioritize getting to bed earlier by taking care of those next day items you find yourself doing before bed earlier in the night. I like to get everything ready for the next day immediately after our evening meal so that it’s done and I can enjoy the night.
- Music As Motivation
Instead of waking up to an annoying buzz or beep, set your alarm to go off to a great rock tune or some motivational music. This will immediately cue and train your brain to go into workout mode. I know it’s a lot easier for me to wake up and be ready to go when some Breaking Benjamin, Tool or a little Thunderstruck lights me up at 5:45 am. If you start to get that case of the Mondays again, change out your tune for another one to reignite and trigger your brain into the routine again. One more item; permanently ditch that toxic snooze button. Don’t give yourself that option of retreat.
- Have A Plan
One of the biggest reasons it’s so hard to drag yourself out of bed and get to the gym may be because you don’t have a plan for once you get there. It’s hard to get motivated for something when you have no idea what it will entail and you feel lost without guidance. Have a strong and solid plan based on your long-term goals, but put all your focus on your daily and short-term goals within the workout and for the day that will get you to the long-term results you seek over time.
- Keep The Consistency
Your body functions more efficiently and optimally when you go to sleep and awake at the same times. Scrap the 3 days a week workout plan and consistently get up early throughout the week. Even if you’re not working out on one or two of those days, get out of bed and accomplish some things. You’ll quickly notice higher and more consistent energy levels once you regulate your morning wake time. Plus, getting up an hour earlier every day is the equivalent of over two more weeks of living every year!
Looking to fuel up with a phenomenal full-blown breakfast at a joint with hearty portions and a classic, old school feel?
The Shack On Broadway – 3215 N Broadway
Good luck finding better buttermilk pancakes in town than on the north side.
Randy’s University Diner – 2130 S University Dr
Sitting in an atmosphere that’s a blast from the past, Randy’s customer service and menu options are second to none.
Deaner’s Diner – 405 W Main Ave
Look no further for that classic breakfast taste with some of the lowest prices in the F-M area.
*The digital format of this article can also be found online at Fargo Monthly.