From diet plans to lifestyle coaches, many people recommend exercising early in the morning. It can provide a timely energy boost to set you up for the day better than virtually anything else, and it gets the body moving and blood flowing, both of which can have an impressive impact on your overall health and wellbeing.
If you’re a believer in morning exercise, and you like to take the time to go to the gym first thing, we’re here to help with any motivation issues or difficulties you encounter. After all, going once isn’t exactly a routine, and it’s essential to stick with your plans so that your morning workout doesn’t lose importance. So, if you want to make it happen for the long term, try using these 10 tips to keep you on track and drive you towards results.
1. Create a Schedule and Stick to It
Scheduling ambiguities are perhaps the biggest enemy of even the most excellent gym attendance plans. It’s not enough to say that you’ll go every morning, as that doesn’t provide a proper sense of importance. Anything you decide to ‘fit in’ won’t last long, as life gets in the way, things come up, and before long, you find that you’re not going to the gym anywhere near as often as you probably should.
While everyone needs a bit of flexibility as you never know what might come up, it’s critical to have a proper schedule in place. Instead of being happy to have decided that you’ll go to the gym five mornings each week, be precise about the days and set times too. You should have a decent idea of what you plan to do and how long you tend to spend at the gym, so block off chunks of time and don’t be afraid to say ‘no’ if and when something interferes.
2. Prepare Your Gym Bag the Night Before
You should endeavour to get into the habit of not letting anything stand between you and the gym, and that can involve harnessing motivation as it happens. If you struggle to motivate yourself to go to the gym in the morning, you might struggle just as much with getting your bag ready. If that leads to procrastination, you’ll be far behind where you need to be. Remove that obstacle by ensuring that your bag is packed and ready to go the day before. That way, all that stands between you and a healthier lifestyle is picking it up.
3. Plan Your Session in Advance
If you know what you want to achieve at the gym and have set time aside, it’s essential not to waste it. You should factor in personal experience too. If there’s someone at your gym that uses the same piece of equipment at a set time every day, don’t schedule a clash. Decide not just on goals but also what you need to do to achieve them – that eliminates any wasted time when you get there.
4. Pay for Classes
It’s no secret that more gym memberships lapse than just about any other subscription service. People get into the habit of considering it as an outlay that’s going to happen whether they attend or not, while also undervaluing things that become ‘free’. An excellent way to get over this is to arrange and pay for classes. Not only are dates and times set on your behalf, but you’ll feel the urge to attend so as not to have wasted money.
5. Set a Goal and Reward Yourself if You Reach It
Whether you like it or not, every human responds to rewards, and everybody appreciates acknowledgement for a job well done. If your efforts at the gym involve losing weight, treat yourself to something you wouldn’t normally eat on your current diet if you complete a full weekly schedule. Do something else appropriate regardless of your goals. From there, your brain will subconsciously seek out the reward and encourage you to get there.
6. Combine Fitness with Early Rising
Many people don’t attend the gym in the morning, even if they plan to, because they feel like they don’t have time. In some cases, that’s true, but a lot of the time it comes down to the fact that they’d rather spend longer in bed. We’re big believers in getting a full night’s sleep, but if you get more than that or can go to bed earlier, consider doing so to free up time in the morning.
7. Clear Your Schedule
Ideally, you’ll have a routine that you can slot the gym into seamlessly. However, it doesn’t always work out that way. Sometimes, you’ll have to make sacrifices to make the gym work, and only you can decide what takes higher priority.
8. Eat and Drink Well Before and After
As well as sleep, we always talk about the importance of hydration. Try to give yourself time either side of what you’ve allotted for the gym to ensure you have the energy and water on board you’ll need. You’re more dehydrated after waking up than at any other time in the day, so take time to replenish the water to give you the best chance of success while working out.
9. Find an Early-Rising Partner
Most people won’t beat themselves up over letting themselves down. However, when someone else is involved, it can be a different story. See if anyone you enjoy spending time with also rises early to attend the gym and commit to going with them for both your benefit.
10. Track Your Progress
Like any plan and schedule, you’ll learn more as you go and it can be worth keeping track of how you get on so that you can make adjustments going forward. If you’re still on the same schedule you put in place six months ago; it might still work. However, this could also be the time to make some changes and refine your time management even further.