Whether you’re an athlete in training or simply want to start your day with a bang, a morning workout is key. But, it’s a tough habit to cultivate—especially when hitting the snooze button is so tempting. Thankfully, with consistent practice you can learn to love the workout edge that comes from an early sweat session. In this episode of The Art of Manliness podcast, our friend Anthony Arvanitakis, a bodyweight training coach and author of 7 AM Workout Edge: Wake Up, Work Out, Own the Day, walks us through the steps to becoming a morning workout person.
The first step to overcoming your sleep hangover is being honest with yourself about how much time you can create in the morning, says Aaptiv member Fagan. “Start by identifying the absolute earliest immovable commitment that you have to attend to in the morning,” she says, and then plan your workout around that. For example, if you know you only have 20 minutes to spare, opt for a quick workout that can be completed at home.
Another way to make a morning workout work is to plan ahead the night before. Lay out your gym clothes and pack your workout bag, if needed, so all you have to do is roll out of bed and head out the door. This will also prevent you from wasting time scrolling through social media or reading stressful headlines, which are easy excuses to bail on your workout.
Preparation doesn’t stop with your clothes and workout bag, either. Ensure you have everything else you need, like water and a quick post-workout snack, ready the night before to help you stick with your routine. And if you need to drive or walk somewhere to get to your workout, consider that the night before and map out the most efficient route to avoid rushing.
Arvanitakis suggests changing up your sleep schedule gradually so that you don’t experience major system shock. Instead of making a radical shift from the snooze zone to the exercise studio, start by waking up fifteen minutes earlier for the days that you’ll be exercising in the morning. Then, increase your wake-up time a little bit more each week until you’re up and at ’em before the sun rises.
Once you’re consistently waking up early to workout, you’ll begin to find that your energy levels are higher throughout the day. This is because your body releases more cortisol, which is the hormone responsible for regulating stress levels, in the morning compared to the evening. (10)
If you’re unsure how to implement a morning workout into your routine, try using an app like Mission Lean or Aaptiv to access a library of high-quality workouts that are designed by fitness coaches you trust. This will allow you to focus on your form and technique while eliminating the hassle of navigating the logistics of getting to a gym or studio, which can sometimes be an obstacle to sticking with a new routine.
Milena Estêvão is a YouTuber passionate about sharing her experiences (challenges, successes and motivations) in the fitness activities she is involved in.
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