Now of course there are those select few who can run on only a couple hours of sleep and still manage to grind out a morning workout before their job, but even so, you can only do that for so long before your body starts to shut down. You need SLEEP!
But to truly get ready for a morning workout, you should already be thinking about it the day before. In fact, this is a great point to start this article on…
1. Prepare yourself mentally the day before your good morning exercises
If you’ve never tried this before, you’re definitely missing out! All it takes is spending a small amount of time the day before, or even the night before (while your in bed) to consciously remind yourself that YOU WILL wake up early to workout and go through the exercises in your head that you plan to do for that individual session.
Walk through the workout in your mind and carry with it feelings of enthusiasm and vigor. These are very important factors to consider and should not be overlooked.
2. Eat a macronutrient smart meal the night before
Try making your last meal of the day one that is rich in complex carbs and proteins to get some fuel for your good morning exercises. As with most people, some just skip dinner altogether or eat and then go to bed 4-5 hours later.
I’m not saying that you will want to go to bed immediately after you eat, but at the same time, you don’t want to wait too long because if you’re going to wake up super early, odds are you won’t have enough time to digest a big carbohydrate dense breakfast the morning of.
So, if you wait too long to go to bed after you ate you’ll probably be starving in the morning. But don’t worry, we’ll go over what to eat the morning-of a little later on.
3. Get enough sleep! Don’t unintentionally sleep deprive yourself!
Ok, so you’re almost there. It’s almost bedtime when you notice that there is a late-night marathon of your favorite show starting. Your eyes grow larger and your heart starts to beat faster. Then, you hesitantly glance at the clock to see what your fate will be… It’s already 10pm and you have to be up at 5!
You’re already behind on your recommended 8 hours of sleep. So, what do you do? DVR it of course. But let’s pretend that you don’t have that. If this is the case then you must simply, or perhaps not so simply decide which one means more to you. Which action would make you more satisfied overall in the big scheme of things. Hopefully, you see where I’m going with this.
4. Put your alarm across the room. Forcing you to literally get out of bed when it goes off
I think I can speak for everyone when I say that we have all been late or even completely missed an event or work shift at some point and time due to pressing the snooze a couple times and then just ending up sleeping through it.
Even if you’ve never experienced this before, multiple snooze pressing just confirms that you’ll most likely end up lethargically fumbling out of bed unenthusiastic about anything in front of you, especially an intense morning workout.
Mentally preparing the night before and getting a good night’s sleep should have you not necessarily jumping out of bed in joy as soon as the alarm goes off on the other side of the room, but at least you should have that “Ready to take on the day” attitude.
The process of your mental adjustment can be made even easier by installing your own gym where you live. To avoid procrastination and excuses (such as ‘oh no, it’s raining again’) consider investing in crossfit equipment for home or other sports machines and make your gym as close as you can imagine.
5. Out of bed? Now jump in the shower!
This may be no surprise to most of you, but I can’t skip it due to the mere lucidity of it. Taking a shower in the morning is a fantastic way to wake up your body and have you feeling fresh and ready to head out of the house! It doesn’t have to be a cold shower like some people may recommend.
The goal here isn’t to torture yourself awake. We just want to get the body moving and feeling good, which is how you should feel after a nice shower anyways.
6. Now, what to eat? Hmm…
Well, as I mentioned before, if you timed your meal correctly the night before, you shouldn’t be starving. However, of course you may still be a little hungry. So, depending on when you plan on eating and when you plan on working out, you will most likely want to eat a relatively small, lean meal.
Make it predominantly carbs with some protein of course. Greek yogurt is a good choice for a quick pre-workout early morning breakfast. As you can imagine, you don’t want something that’ll be too heavy on your stomach.
7. Pre-workout anyone?
Now, I’m not big on supplements, but if you take them, make sure you don’t forget to! When I used to take them, I can’t tell you how many times I pulled up to the gym, and then it would just hit me that I forgot to take my pre-workout, ugh. It definitely deflates you somewhat mentally at least.
So, make sure that you don’t allow this to happen! Also, there is nothing wrong with just drinking a cup or two of coffee as your pre-workout. Caffeine is caffeine, right? Then you start with your good morning exercises.
8. To ensure things go smoothly, make a checklist before you head out
In the morning, especially if you happen to be short on time and rushing, you tend to forget things much more easily than if you weren’t so time constrained, and well, groggy. So, having a written down checklist can be extremely beneficial to you, especially if you’re a forgetful person. Your checklist can be as simple as this:
- Music (iPod, mp3, etc.)
- Post-workout shake
- Workout notebook
9. Get yourself pumped up on your drive to the gym
Do yourself a favor and don’t make the mistake of driving to the gym in silence because you are still a little sleepy. This is a perfect opportunity for you to liven up your psyche and get you pumped up for the gym!
Some people like to turn the music up as soon as they get out of bed. This is also a great option. Nevertheless, go ahead and turn up your favorite gym music to get your morning workout ready so you can perform at your highest level!
We recommend checking our ultimate guide to how to start the adventure with yoga, which for many is the best workout type with the slow morning flow. Here is an example of a short but powerful good morning exercise set.
10. What more is there to say? Get in there and DO YOU!
All that’s left now is for you to get in your zone and perform the best that you can! You’ve done virtually all that you can do to mentally and physically prepare yourself for a successful morning gym session.
So, on a final note, remember why you are there in the first place. Remember why you even exercised such discipline to get you to where you are now.
Envisioning the desired end product that you aspire to attain is fitness motivation 101. Keep in mind of your purpose and have an amazing workout. You’ve made it this far!
11. No gym, No Problem – Effective Ways to Workout Without a Membership
While getting your daily dose of workout at a gym sounds exciting, there are several other effective ways to remain fit and active. What you may forget is that staying healthy is a matter of commitment and using what you have at your disposal, including your good morning exercises. Follow these tips and workouts to have a regular fitness routine without a gym membership.
From paying for a membership fee, following a good bodybuilding diet to buying workout apparel and gear, being in a public space, and spending your after-work hours at the gym— getting a gym membership is not enticing for everyone. If you would like to spare yourself from these aspects, here are the best alternatives to working out in a community gym.
Build a Home Gym
If you want the atmosphere of a gym without needing to share your equipment with others, you can always take some space in your garage, living room, or bedroom to make a personalized workout space. With a yoga mat, a stability ball, and light dumbbells, you’re all set to hit the gym even without leaving the comfort of your home!
If it’s impractical to buy gym equipment, you can be creative in what you use. For example, use two five-liter bottles of water as dumbbells. As long as a household item weighs more than one pound and is easy to hold, you can use it as an alternative.
You can also use furniture as exercise equipment. You can execute step-ups or box squats on chairs. Then, incorporate other routines such as push-ups, lateral lunges, jumping jacks, and glute bridges.
Engage in Outdoor Activities
Trying outdoor activities is an exhilarating way to do a workout. Even without a membership, you can join groups for a mountain hike. The trail will most likely urge you to walk, run, or even swim.
Similarly, you can participate in rock climbing sessions, archery, team-building exercises, or open canoeing. Even though some of these activities might ask payment for a session, they don’t require you to update memberships like in gyms. The best part—you can burn up to 355 calories with a 30-minute session.
At times, the simplest of movements often result in the greatest gains right to your fitness aspirations. But with the planking exercise, such reaping is more than fulfilling!
Planks are a phenomenal workout and an undemanding one at that. They strengthen your core, engage multiple muscle groups simultaneously, improve your posture, flexibility, and balance, and ultimately improve your mood in the long run.
And if you’re able to muster the right dose of discipline and will that are required by this exercise, consider this workout as a godsend of sorts.
Planks may certainly look simple, almost too easy, if you ask and see around. And while that entails deception if you must, the discipline that comes with it is both straightforward and uncomplicated. It’s the holding of the position that will exert a lot from you. And if you’re here to conquer such challenge, you’re going to give your abs, back, and core a favor that you should soon be reaping with praises.
A toned belly, you say? Consider planking as your new ally!
Here’s how to perform a basic planking exercise:
· Hold your elbows under your shoulders directly. Next, place your wrists adjacent to your elbows.
· Ensure that your body is pushed up into your upper back as you hold your chin near your neck. Imagine laying an egg using the area between your throat and your chin.
· During this position, your abdominals should be braced in a way that the area is expecting a punch. While you’re breathing normally, make certain that your tailbone and thigh muscles are squeezed simultaneously.
· Hold this position for at least 20 seconds. Subsequently, you can increase this 30 and so on. Note that when the correct form is practice, it’s not that crucial that you hold the position for that long. Rest for about a minute then repeat this step for three to five more times.
· If you feel like adding a little more challenge into this exercise, you may start doing it using your toes and elbows instead. You can also level this up by performing a higher planking exercise.
Join Free Community Fitness Groups
If you want to avoid fees, some communities offer free fitness group sessions, especially during weekends. All you need is to sign up and show up to every meeting.
For example, you can join a walking club where you can find walking partners. This is a great way to burn calories, especially if you love having company. Besides, having workout buddies help motivate you to stay committed and achieve your workout goals.
Take Self-Defense or Martial Arts Classes
Signing up for martial arts classes may involve some money in buying the proper attire and equipment. However, this is an excellent chance to work out while learning different methods of physically defending yourself.
Discipline is one of the core values of martial arts, and training strengthens you physically, emotionally, and mentally. Karate and judo can burn between 300 and 444 calories every 30 minutes. Hence, not only do you learn how to protect yourself, but you also help your body lose weight.
Play a Sport
One of the simplest ways to exercise even without a gym membership is to play a sport. That doesn’t mean you have to try out at a local team; what you need is to engage in recreational sports that are less stressful and more fun.
Depending on where you live, you may try skateboarding at a park, and burn around 150 to 222 calories every half hour. If there’s a court nearby, you can practice basketball or volleyball. Perhaps your city has a recreation center where you can swim or play bowling.
Pick a sport that will serve as an excellent whole-body exercise. Doing so will help build endurance, muscular strength, and cardiovascular fitness while burning fat at the same time. For instance, swimming can burn between 180 to 266 calories in 30 minutes.
Use Free Workout Videos and Apps
Get all the information you need with just a click! There are several fitness and workout routine videos on the internet that you can watch for free. You can save or download some of them, so that you can follow the moves wherever you are.
Aside from that, you can search for mobile fitness apps that suit your workout preferences. Do you need an app that will help you keep track of your exercise hours? Maybe you need an app that can give you different routines every day?
There are apps that can monitor food intake and suggest nutritious meals to prepare. On the other hand, some apps allow you to input weight goals and recommend routines or nutrition intake for you to achieve them.
Sign Up for Dance Fitness Classes
Exercising on your own means there’s no mentor to guide or support you. If you prefer the idea of having an instructor, why not try something new and opt for dance classes instead? Dancing is a challenging yet energizing way to improve body coordination, stamina, and agility.
Taking a dance class is an effective whole-body workout where you can do stretching, toning, cardio, and muscle strengthening. If you want to boost body confidence, try something daring like pole dancing. This is a great type of whole-body workout that inspires body positivity for men and women alike.
Ballroom and disco dances can burn between 165 to 244 calories in 60 minutes. Meanwhile, slow dancing like foxtrot or waltz can burn between 90 to 133 calories every 30 minutes. Now, take your best friend with you and bring your dancing shoes!
Reuse Your Childhood Toys
Remember when you and your friends used to bet who can play the hula hoop longer? Take a trip down memory lane and bring out your childhood toys like the trampoline, hula hoop, and jump rope.
Using at least one of them can serve as a cardio workout that strengthens muscles, arms, knees, and back. When you make a complete workout routine using the three, you also improve your breathing and stamina.
Consider a Standing Desk
There are times when you won’t feel like taking a morning walk or going to a dance class on the weekend. It’s understandable and normal to have downtimes. If you like something simpler, some offices have standing desks where you can switch between standing and sitting.
If you are working at home, you can also put one in your home office. Using a standing desk strengthens your legs and fixes your posture. What’s more, it keeps you alert, urging you to stay focused on your tasks.
Change Your Commute
Adding workout to your commute takes some planning and extra effort, but doing so has benefits. Start by biking to the office at least twice a week. Likewise, you can walk on your way home instead of taking a 20-minute bus or train ride.
Some companies provide shower amenities, and this is a good opportunity for you to try running instead of taking a taxi to work. When you need to bring a car, park your vehicle in a spot where you’ll still need to walk at least 10 minutes before entering the building.
If you still have the time, opt for the stairs instead of using the elevator. This may come as a surprise, but climbing stairs requires eight to nine times more energy than jogging. As a result, you can burn about seven times more calories than taking a lift.
Go Old-School With Your Household Chores
Doing your chores can sometimes be dragging, but well, it’s not something you can avoid for a long time. Make your chores more fun by playing music while sweeping the floor or washing the dishes. You can even execute some dance moves while holding a mop or broom.
Another idea is to pair something you love with an activity you find kind of boring. For instance, you can finish listening to a podcast or an audiobook in one hour. Take out your cleaning materials and listen to your favorite audiobook or podcast while doing the chore.
Create a Schedule Using Your Interests
Disinterest is what sometimes drives people to stop committing to their workouts. One of the crucial things you need to consider is what keeps you active even when you are not in a gym.
Are you taking an interest in recreational sports, and your family has a portable badminton set? Grab those rackets and start practicing your serves and smashes after work. Maybe you are tasked to walk the family dog every day; grab this chance to walk or run alongside your pet.
Perhaps you love the free yoga class in your community every weekend, make sure to squeeze it into your rest day schedule. Better yet, your work has some gym facilities that you can utilize during your lunch breaks.
With creativity, perseverance, and time, you can always bring a gym-like experience wherever you are. Remember that you can remain fit even by using basic equipment and doing mundane things every day. Not only do you save money by not availing a membership fee, but you can also spend more time back at home or outside with your friends.