Confession: Dragging myself out of bed in the early hours of the morning is perhaps the last thing I want to be doing, especially in the middle of winter. The cold hard truth is, I’m not even a particularly great morning person. Despite that, last year I went from never getting my butt out of bed early to reborn and reinvented as an early bird. How? I embraced 6am, and adopting various hacks to make it work for me and my lifestyle.
Exercising early in the morning may sound daunting, but the benefits have been scientifically proven time and time again. According to various studies, AM workouts help to kick start fat burning, may help to lower blood pressure, can lead to more muscle, and leave you feeling energetic all day long. People who wake up early are also more successful.
That said, being realistic about your schedule and abilities is the first step to becoming successful. No, you don’t have to join Mark Wahlberg’s 4 a.m. workout club, but making the effort to get healthy before you start your workday can have an amazing impact on your body and mind. If you’re ready to give it a go, these six tips should help get you get started.
1. Prep at night
This sounds simple, but preparing everything you’ll need the night before can really increase your success rate. Lay out your workout clothes (or throw them in your gym bag), fill up your water bottle (don’t forget to pop it in the fridge), and pack everything you’ll need for the day, like your meals, a change of clothes or your office gear, before going to bed. Think of it this way: The more you can get done in advance, the longer you’ll be able to sleep in. Plus, rolling out of bed early is challenging enough – you don’t need to be adding extra steps to your morning to-do list. If you fail to prepare, you are preparing to fail. Be prepared.
2. Set an alarm
The second key to waking up earlier is forcing yourself to get up early. Don’t overthink it. Set your alarm for the time you want to wake up each day and push yourself away from the snooze button. Set your alarm clock away from your bedside table, somewhere in the corner of your room. That way you will have no choice but get out of bed to turn it off. Once you are up, don’t go back to bed.
3. Take a cold shower
Thirdly take a cold shower. A warm shower is usually the priority on the agenda for people trying to wake up early. However, warm water can make you feel sleepier. One hack that can help you wake up quickly is to blast yourself with cold water for 30 seconds, then switch to extremely hot for another 30 before going back to cold. The super brave giveaway with the hot and just simply plunge into the cold. Would you be brave enough? Either way, try this cold water technique to kick start your day on the front foot.
4. Listen to music
Science has proven that music can directly impact on the body. Believe it or not, the right playlist can make all the difference. Feel free to put in your ear buds and blast your favourite tunes as soon as you get up. As Dr. Costas Karageorghis explains in his book, Applying Music in Exercise and Sport, a well-chosen soundtrack can help get you in the zone, and stay there. That’s because music has very real psychological and physiological effects on us humans. Simply put: Tracks with the correct tempo can help enhance motivation, enjoyment, and overall performance.
Dr. Daniel Levitin, a neuroscientist and author of This Is Your Brain On Music, broke down the fitness-music connection for Huffington Post, revealing there are two possible benefits. “Either music acts as a distractor (and distractors are known to modulate pain levels)… or music acts as a mood enhancer (because the release of endogenous mu-opioids and other mood-enhancing chemicals raises the pain threshold).” Either way, it’s a win-win.
Whatever your preferred genre may be, try to pick faster-paced beats and, if possible, match your tunes to the intensity of your routine, starting with something slower and building up the pace.
5. Create a goal specific training plan
Eliminate the guesswork and maximize your training efficiency by preparing your routine well ahead of time. Fact: Your training program should be specific for the goals that you are aiming to achieve.
Just like preparing your clothes the night before, getting your routine lined up in your mind will help you slay those morning workouts. Need to double check how to do an exercise properly? Ask your coach, google or hit YouTube the day before and avoid the frustration in the moment. Do your research and try it out before it’s go time. That way you will feel more confident, get in, get it done, and get to your day like an absolute boss.
Remember your routine should always have a functional warm up to engage your central nervous system and prime your muscles for action. This is especially true on those cold winter mornings when the frost is hitting hard.
6. Use caffeine
No matter what health experts say, some people simply can’t get started without a hefty dose of caffeine and here are the reasons why. Caffeine helps you feel less tired and more alert, may improve your mood, brain function and it boosts your exercise performance. Set yourself up for success in advance,by preparing your coffee essentials that night before you train or have your Scorpion Disturbed container ready to rock and roll. Check out Scorpion Disturbed at https://scorpionsupplements.co.nz/supplements/scorpion-disturbed-pre-workout/ .