Ever hear about those type-A personalities who manage to cross off half of their to-do list before we’ve even had our first cup o’ joe? While their “sleep is for the birds” mentality may have some rolling their eyes, crossing exercise off the agenda first thing in the morning is a great way to hold yourself accountable and start your day off with a healthy mentality. Here are a few tips for helping all you “night owls” tap into your inner “early bird.”
- Move your alarm clock. Usually the biggest obstacle we face every morning is finding the motivation to hop out of our warm, cozy beds. But, who can sleep with an annoying, repetitive noise ringing in their ears? Try placing your alarm clock across the room, so your “up and at ’em” in the most literal sense of the phrase.
- Turn on the lights. As soon as that alarm clock sounds, flip on the light switch to stimulate your body and feel more alert. If you have windows in your bedroom, raise the shades the night before and the let rays of sunlight wake you from your slumber.
- Don’t snooze. Hitting the snooze button and expecting more zzz’s is like watching Forrest Gump and expecting to be able to run a marathon distance. Those precious extra nine or 18 minutes are actually doing more harm than good, because your body doesn’t fall into a deep enough slumber to close the sleep deficit. Instead, set your alarm for the time you actually plan on waking up, so you are in a deeper sleep state for a longer amount of time.
- Plan ahead. Sweating it out before sunrise leaves little time to dilly dally. Set out your workout gear and breakfast ingredients the night before to avoid rushing around and feeling frazzled.
- Hit the hay an hour earlier. It’s no secret that an early wake-up call usually requires you to get more shut eye. But, keep in mind that sometimes the anticipation of rising a little earlier can induce an epic battle with the Sand Man. Talk about a catch-22! However, if you hit the sheets an hour before your desired bedtime, it gives your body more time to relax and fall asleep.
- Set a goal. Creating a goal and envisioning how you will feel after achieving success is a great way to get motivated. Training for your first 5k? Sign up online, print out the registration confirmation and stick it on your bedside table to serve as an early-morning reminder that you have a goal waiting to be tackled.
- Commit to a workout buddy. Make a date with a friend who has similar fitness ambitions to hold yourself accountable. No one wants to be the friend who calls and cancels because they overslept.
You may feel a bit groggy when the rooster crows, but chances are, you will appreciate the extra free time after work.