6 Ways to Stay Motivated for Early Morning Workouts
Early morning workouts are a great time to exercise before the stressors of the day start to take effect. But after doing it a while, you might lose some of your motivation to get up and get going on your workout.
When that happens, use these 6 tips to get your engine going again:
Put Your Alarm Away From Your Bed
If your alarm is within arm’s reach, it is easier to turn it off and sleep in. However if it is elsewhere in your bedroom and you have to get up to shut it off, you are more likely to stay up. Another motivation trick is to load your favorite workout song on your alarm clock (if it is capable to do so) and set it to play it as a wakeup song.
Exercise With A Buddy
Accountability is a big motivator. Nobody wants to be the one to not show up for a scheduled workout. If the truth be known, your workout partner may not have wanted to get up and exercise either, but because s/he did not want to disappoint you (and vice versa) both of you did the workout and are happier for it.
Hey, you haven’t been working out for a long time. So when you first get started your muscles are going to be sore. Your body is going to resist. This is because human beings love habit.
You have been in the habit of little to no physical activity. So your mind is going to wonder why you are suddenly exercising, working out and sweating. This is where an accountability partner pays huge dividends.
Find someone that is at your present fitness level, or slightly more fit than you are. Tell them what your goals are and ask if they would like to partner up. You can provide each other motivation, and make sure that each of you sticks to your exercise program.
You have someone you can bounce ideas off of, and commiserate with on a daily or weekly basis. This can be a friend, family member, a colleague, or a trainer at your local health club, YMCA or gymnasium.
Having something to work toward is always motivating; it is the carrot on the end of the string. Getting the reward is worth the journey getting there which in this case is getting up to exercise.
Use Social Media
Having goals and being accountable to a workout partner is one thing, but think on a more global basis and publish your goals to the world. Posting your fitness efforts and goals on social media sites (and the backlash if you slack off) is motivation enough to get up in the morning and do your workout.
Prepare the Night Before
If you have a hard time getting started in the morning, you can end up wasting a lot of time trying to get organized and ready for your workout. But by laying out your workout clothes and equipment the night before, you can save precious time and devote it to your workout.
Reward Yourself With Breakfast
Part of your goal setting should be giving yourself a reward upon reaching different milestones of your program. One short-term milestone can be breakfast upon completion of your workout. You might want to eat something before exercising such as a banana or a handful of almonds, but the real prize comes at the end of your workout with a bowl of oatmeal with fruit or nuts or scrambled eggs with spinach.
A long-term goal can be a new outfit (in a smaller size) or a new set of workout clothes. Don’t sabotage your efforts by rewarding yourself with unhealthy food.
Can Exercise Make You More Productive?
Recent research suggests that yes, exercising not only can make you more productive, but also more energetic, smarter and happier. But how does it work?
As we age, our body generates fewer and fewer brain cells through a process called neurogenesis. Old cells die off, but are not replaced on a one-for-one basis. The research, only done on mice so far, has shown regular exercise slows down their neurogenesis process. So if the theory holds true when research is performed on people, older adults who exercise may have a significant mental advantage in the workplace over colleagues of the same age group that do not exercise.
But exercise also provides a more immediate benefit in the workplace. Within each cell are mitochondria. Simplistically speaking, it is a coenzyme called ATP that cells use to turn food coming through the cell walls into energy – a cell’s molecular furnace if you will. Exercising stimulates the development of new mitochondria in all cells and hence more ATP.
If your molecular furnace is burning hotter, your metabolism is faster thereby you burn more calories. More calories burned (without consuming additional calories beyond what you normally eat in a day) means better weight management. So not only do you end up with more energy physically, but also mentally.
And to reap these two benefits only requires exercising at a low to moderate intensity. As a matter-of-fact the results from an experiment performed over a six-week period by the University of Georgia, showed that low intensity exercising resulted in less fatigue than moderate intensity, but with the same results.
So far we have covered the reason why we are smarter and more energetic if we exercise, but how does exercising make up happier? When we exercise, our brain releases several chemicals called neurotransmitters. One of the chemicals is called endorphins. Its physiological purpose seems to be to lessen the discomfort of exercising, however, in the process it makes us feel good. In exercise circles, it is known as a “runner’s high”. Although you don’t have to run to experience it; any type of exercising will produce the euphoric feeling. And it can last up to several hours post-exercise.
So yes, exercising can make you more productive at work by slowing down the neurogenesis process and building more mitochondria, thus keeping you mentally sharper and more energetic. The release of endorphins while exercising improves your mood which also increases productivity at work. It is no wonder may workers exercise during their lunch break, so they can stay sharp and productive well into the afternoon.