Out of bed and off to sport! Studies show: training in the morning is more effective, better and also healthier. With these morning exercise tips, even those who are grumpy in the morning can do it.
Don’t you have time to do sports? Too much going on? Job, family, friends – for many, sport inevitably falls by the wayside. But that’s the end! From now on, you tear off your sports units in the morning.
“Those who do sports right after getting up benefit from it all day,” says the Düsseldorf doctor and personal trainer Moritz Tellmann, who – due to his shift work – regularly trains in the morning. And you can do that too:
Why Should I Do Morning Exercise?
- After the training, you feel fit and motivated for the day you are (rightly!) Proud of yourself – proud of having beaten your weaker self so early in the day.
- When you exercise, your body releases happiness hormones, and you go about your job in a good mood.
- And: in the morning the streets (and gyms, too, if they are open) are pleasantly empty, but in the evening there is often a traffic jam – on the streets and in front of the equipment in the studio.
- If you train early in the morning, you also have the most excellent chance of consistently doing your workout or cardio unit – and training exceptionally effectively. According to a US study that evaluated data from fitness tracker apps.
How Do I Overcome My Weaker Self For Morning Exercise?
For everyone who is more of a night owl and doesn’t like to get up early, here’s the good news first: morning exercise can be learned. “The body is adaptable – this also applies to getting up early and exercising in the morning,”. However, usual daily routines change if you exercise early in the morning.
In 5 Steps To The Early Bird
- Write Down The Advantages And Disadvantages: Whether strength or endurance training, first, make a list in which you note the advantages and disadvantages. For example, I have to go to bed earlier in the evening on the contra-side, and I’m constantly tired in the morning. On the pro side: energy boost for the whole day; I gain time for family and friends in the evening. Tellmann says: “If you weigh things up honestly, most people will conclude that the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.”
- Informing Family And Friends: An example: If you usually leave the house at 8 a.m. but suddenly go for a run beforehand, everything you have been doing before work has to be organized differently. Waking up children, getting rolls, eating breakfast, all of this no longer works without the help and understanding of the roommates (unless you are single).
“You have to let everyone who is affected by the new daily routine know about your plans,” says Martin Grüning, editor-in-chief of the running magazine “Runner’s World” – and a passionate morning athlete himself. “Discuss the advantages and disadvantages, organize the days you run in the morning together.”
- Look For A Training Partner: A lot is more accessible with two people. If possible, find a sports partner, especially for the first few weeks. “It is extremely motivating to know that someone is waiting for you out there whom you cannot let down,” says Tellmann.
There is no potential early bird athlete among your friends? No drama either: You will indeed find what you are looking for in running and gym online forums or via pin boards in the fitness studio (if it is open). Then all you have to do is find a training location that suits you and your buddy.
- Determine The Training Location: Getting out of bed early in the morning is not the only challenge. It’s also about finding the correct running route for you. Only: What fits perfectly at 6 p.m. is not necessarily suitable in the morning. See your traditional lap through the eyes of an early bird: Is there enough light in the morning, does the road surface and route profile fit?
The Other Way Around: Can you finally do completely different laps in the morning that doesn’t seem to make sense in the evening because of the traffic situation? “Many an evening round, which regularly suffocates in rush hour traffic, is completely emission-free in the morning. Play through various options in your head and test them out,” advises Grüning.
- Formulate Goals: In the morning, your weaker self is an adamant opponent. It is all the more important to formulate clear, motivating goals. “Goals give you an orientation and remind you again and again of what you want to achieve,” says Tellmann. But also be careful not to aim for unrealistic plans, for example: “I want my biceps to gain 10 centimetres in size within a week.” Goals that are set too high can quickly demotivate you.
How Do I Change My Inner Rhythm?
Each of us has an internal clock that, among other things, regulates the sleep-wake rhythm. This is partly genetic but is also influenced by age and the environment. The decisive environmental factor is the alternation of (sun) light and darkness. It affects the body’s melatonin production – the hormone released in the dark makes us tired.
But many lifestyle-related habits also play a role – and you can influence them directly: how long you work, when you have dinner, when you go to bed. Adjust these factors to your new rhythm and give yourself about three weeks – then you are almost certainly one of the early birds.
How Do I Change My Sleeping Habits?
Seven and a half hours of sleep is optimal for most. If you want to work out at 5:30 a.m., you’ll need to go to bed at 10 p.m. – or earlier. You need a few more minutes to wake up and get dressed. Changing your living and sleeping habits is anything but easy. It will take a few weeks for your body to get used to it.
The following strategy will help you: If you have always gone to bed at 11:30 p.m. until then but want to lie down at 10 p.m. in the future, you will go to bed 10 minutes earlier every evening and stand 10 minutes every morning from then on earlier on. This gentle, gradual change prevents your sleep rhythm from going entirely off the rails.
What Should I Prepare For The Evening Before?
- Eating well in the evening: “Diet has a direct effect on athletic performance,” says expert Grüning. For this reason, dinner before a morning exercise should be high in carbohydrates and contain a good portion of protein. On the other hand, it shouldn’t be too heavy in the stomach. Our tip: Rice, fresh vegetables, chicken fillet – it’s best to have all of these before 8 p.m.
- Have everything ready: Prepare everything for the next morning’s exercise before you go to bed. Put your clothes near your bed (if you’re starting from home) or in your gym bag. Prepare everything for morning coffee in the kitchen and charge your sports if necessary. “If everything is ready in the morning, there are no more excuses not to get started right away. It also saves you from becoming unnecessarily hectic just because you are not awake yet,” says coach Tellmann.
- Dim down the lights: So that you can get up early in the morning, you have to go to your bunk early in the evening. But this is often not easy for budding morning athletes. Therefore, you must create a relaxed, cosy atmosphere in your living area an hour before you go to bed by dimming the lights. The darkness stimulates the production of melatonin, the hormone that signals your body that night is falling and then makes you tired.
How Do I Manage To Get Up Early?
Significantly few people jump out of bed as soon as the alarm goes off and start the day. Almost every one of us needs a specific ritual to wake up. These five measures will help you get going:
Alarm clock strategy: Set the alarm clock so that its signal sounds for the first time when you want to get up, the second when you should get up, the third when you have to get up, the fourth when you have to start walking. Goal: press the snooze button less and less. At some point, get up at the first signal. Unique alarm clocks with wake-up light , which simulate the sunrise with additional light effects, are also helpful.
Light strategy: If you have a lot of time to wake up, it can make sense to gradually let the light get brighter. However, if you want to wake up quickly, it is beneficial to make it completely bright right away. If you cannot do this in the bedroom out of consideration for your partner, do it in the bathroom or kitchen at the latest.
Wake up strategy: The more time you have to wake up in the morning before the start of training and get your circulation going, the easier it will be for you to run, workout or swim afterwards. It’s worth it: If you manage to get up half an hour in advance, you will be compensated for it with even greater feelings of happiness during the morning training. It would help if you had a little more time, especially before a morning running or swimming session with hard intervals and before the full-throttle lap during strength training.
Coffee strategy: Do you need a coffee in the morning to get going? Go ahead, have a drink before morning exercise! A regular coffee in itself is not bad; caffeine fully serves its purpose as a booster. “Even better, however, is a so-called bulletproof coffee, a real miracle weapon when it comes to boosting energy,” says fitness expert Tellmann.
To prepare this stimulant, mix the following ingredients and stir them with a hand mixer or hand mixer for 20 seconds: 1 tablespoon high-quality butter (ideally: from grass-fed cows), one tablespoon MCT oil (or coconut oil), 1 cup (preferably Colombian) filter coffee and 1 pinch of Ceylon cinnamon. After training, especially after a strength session in the gym, you drink a protein shake with creatine and glutamine, then (if you have time) a light breakfast rounds everything off.
Preparation strategy: “When the alarm goes off at 5 o’clock, the processes must work, so that you do not waste time or become hectic,” explains running specialist Grüning. Therefore, you must find your rhythm, familiarize yourself with the processes, and know precisely how long you need, such as in the bathroom, to get dressed or go to the gym—the more rounded the methods, the better, the better.
How Do I Start My Morning Exercise Correctly?
The body is not yet prepared for quick and abrupt movements in the morning: the body temperature is lower, and your muscles are not yet warmed up. Always take the time to relax, warm-up, and stretch muscles. For example, do gentle circular movements with your arms and legs and side lunges and only then start running. Our tip: make lunges backwards for a change.
Before strength training, you first loosen and stretch the muscle groups you want to train and do each exercise 3 times in advance (without weight). Go ahead carefully, deliberately so as not to overwhelm your body.
Grüning says: “Like a morning exercise beginner, you run yourself in for at least 5 minutes every time before you start playing tempo games.” And now and then, sprinkle in exercises from the running ABC – such as heels, skippings, knee lever runs.
What To Do If I Don’t Feel Fit
If you wake up and do not feel well or if your partner is sick and you would rather stay close to them, you still get up (if this is a one-off case) and alternatively do an extensive stretching program. Your internal clock should continue to run in early mode. The more even the sleep-wake rhythm, the better. Exercise in the morning or the evening?
Morning exercise is motivating, effective, healthy and works even if you have trouble getting out of bed in the morning. In the first few weeks of morning exercise, try different options to see what works better and what does worse. This applies to both the time you get up and the physical exertion itself. Important: Don’t stress yourself! Take enough time to determine whether your body can go full throttle early in the morning or whether it needs more moderate training.
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