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Sunday, Apr 18, 2021

How to become an early morning workout person

How to become an early morning workout person

There are two types of workout people – those who begin with an exercise session first-thing, and those who blow off steam at the end of the day.

Of course, there are pros and cons to both – but it’s considerably harder to push yourself to get up earlier to exercise before your day starts.

After all, that extra hour in bed is always more appealing than a run when an alarm goes off at 6am.

If you’ve always dreamt of being a morning workout person, then the clocks going forward this weekend could be the perfect opportunity to get things in order.

Days will be longer and mornings will be brighter, which means getting up should be a little easier.

Experts have suggested a few simple ways to help your body adjust to an early morning exercise session and have outlined some useful tips to keep in mind.

Start slow


Jason Bone, head of strength at FLEX Chelsea, says it’s important not to set yourself up to fail straight away and a good way to ensure this doesn’t happen is to start slowly.

‘If you’re not already an early riser the key is to start slowly, get up 15 minutes earlier than you usually would and just give yourself a 10 minute workout, probably best to start with some mobility exercises or a walk,’ he tells Metro.co.uk.

Jason also recommends drinking a glass or two of water, as this will help with rehydration and to flush out the stomach and balance the lymphatic system.

He adds: ‘Each week set the alarm 15 minutes earlier and increase the intensity of the exercise until you’re at a full hour session. Workouts such as yoga and pilates are great to start with regardless of your goal, they will help with your energy levels.

‘As you start to feel more alert you can add mini body weight circuits to your routine and even add weights depending on your goals.’

Prep your clothes the night before


It might sound really simple but having your workout clothes out ready to go may encourage you to get up. It’ll also help you to form a habit.

Health coach Charlene Gisele says: ‘If you prepare in advance, you are a step closer to building a powerful habit. The hardest part (getting ready for the workout) is then done. This is a way to trick your mind with a technique called habit staking.

‘If you put your trainers in a place where you know you’ll see it before you reach for coffee, then you know you’ve got to earn that coffee with a workout first, which is a big motivator.’

Remember the end feeling

The feel-good endorphins will set you up for the day

Natalie Edwards, a trainer for home fitness and nutrition app Open Fit, says to keep the feel-good end of the workout in mind and how it will set you up nicely for the day ahead.

She says: ‘Waking up early and getting your morning sweat can feel like a big challenge – sometimes we just want to hide under the duvet, but remember exercise releases endorphins giving you that feel good high – it’ll transform your day.

‘Morning miles fill the lungs with fresh air ahead of your day. Strength sessions can empower and set the tone of your day – think about how you want to feel and how exercise can really change your mindset for a day working from home or looking after the kids.’

Have an incredible playlist


Music has the power to make you feel motivated, happy and just generally better. So take some time to create a playlist that will make you feel energised for the session you are going to complete – whether it’s slow yoga or high-intensity running.

Jericho McMatthews, a trainer at Beachbody On Demand, says: ‘Having a killer playlist is definitely a must. Music has the ability to change our mood instantly.

‘Selecting tracks that match the mood or intensity of your workout can help you push harder, lift your pace or power through fatigue and discomfort during the most challenging parts of your circuit.’

But don’t forget to mix up your playlists once in a while, to keep things fresh and exciting.

Stretch to wake yourself up


‘Stretching is a fundamental activity that is often overlooked – and something that is almost as valuable to the body as sleeping and drinking water,’ says Rachele Gilman, director of Stretch Inc.

Of course, stretching is important at any time of day, but it’s particularly great in the morning as it helps to wake your body up after a night of sleep.

Rachele adds: ‘In the morning, our natural inclination is to stretch, most people do it without thinking.

‘When we sleep, bodies are relatively still, meaning our muscles haven’t moved for a significant amount of time. The intuitive full body stretch is your brain letting your body know it’s time to move. The movement starts to realign your body. We can improve that process by adding in some additional, less intuitive movements that can be done from your bed.

‘Be gentle with yourself. Don’t make any sudden movements and don’t jerk or force your body into positions you aren’t ready for. You’re still waking up and your muscles are warming up.

‘Remember to breathe into positions to take the stretch deeper and try to relax.’

A few early morning stretches to try from bed


* ‘Lying flat, pull your knees into your chest to release the low back. For self-massage, perform a slight side-to-side motion.

* ‘Now, a supine twist, still on your back, drop your knees to one side, turning your head and extending the arm to the opposite side. Switch sides.

* ‘Bring your knees back to centre and place both feet on your bed. Cross the right leg over the left, flexing the right foot just below the left knee. Neck and back flat on the bed.

* ‘Extend both legs out and sit up, fold your body over your legs, reaching for your toes. Reach as far as you can whilst keeping a flat back. The goal is a deep stretch, not to grab your feet.

* ‘Finally, sit on the edge of your bed with your feet on the floor and fold again, this time rounding the back, relaxing the neck and letting the arms hang towards the floor.

* ‘Give more time and thought to stretching and it’ll keep your body and mind mobile and resilient. It’ll aid posture, injury proof your body and improve general wellbeing.’

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