Are you going to bed at night with the best-ever intentions to wake early for a run or workout, yet when the alarm goes off, hitting the snooze button, cursing, and throwing a pillow over your head? Or, do you get in a vertical position, but just stumble around and never make it out the door? It can definitely be a challenge to make a morning workout work out, especially if you haven’t taken steps the night before to streamline the process. (Hint, Alert Gum is involved)
But, morning workouts are ideal in so many ways from the fact that important hormones are working to your benefit and there are fewer work interferences, family obligations and recreational distractions in the early hours. Read on to find learn 8 strategies that make it easier to rise and grind and get your butt moving for a morning workout.
Lock in Workout: Before fading off, physically or mentally jot down your workout routine so that you have your goals and plan of attack set. The fewer decisions that need to be made in the morning, the better. Plus, having a general idea of your planned sweat sesh will help you visualize killing it come morning.
Lay Out Clothes & Gear: Ensure what you want to wear is washed and ready to go by laying it by your bed or where you dress in the bathroom. This may feel like pre-school all over again, but it works – some have even slept in their workout clothes! Also, you will prevent disturbing a significant other who has chosen to sleep in or is on a different schedule. If you want to make your morning workout work out, the same goes for your gym bag. Spend 5 minutes before you power down to make sure it is loaded and locked with all the requisite workout gear – gloves, music, change of clothes, water bottle, post workout snack, etc. Fuel Prep: Gains in fitness are fueled by proper nutrition timed right. Ensure you are eating to win by prepping breakfast and gathering up recovery snacks for the next morning. Peanut Butter Protein Power Oats and 60 Second Beef Mug Omelet are two of my favorites of my easy make-ahead favorites. Also, go ahead and fill up your reusable bottles with water, BCAAS, protein shakes or whatever you use for sports nutrition.
Get Enough Sleep: In other words – go to bed earlier! Everyone needs 7 to 8 hours of sleep on a regular basis to perform optimally in life. And, athletes may even need a bit more as it’s during deep sleep that the majority of recovery and muscle gains are realized.
Set Alarm(s): Don’t rely on your “internal clock,” set an alarm to ensure you make it to the workout on time! Depending on your cooperativeness in the AM, you may want to consider setting two alarms (like phone and traditional clock) and even set them far enough away from the bed that you have to get up to turn off.
Enlist a Partner: If having trouble staying on a morning schedule, consider recruiting a workout/running partner to create accountability and make the experience for social and fun. A spouse, neighbor, friend and even your dog all make great workout partners.
Streamline Caffeine Needs: Most of us will agree that caffeine is a nice little boost to start the day. If you are into coffee or tea, set the machine on a timer so that your pot will be done upon waking. Don’t be tempted to drop by the gourmet coffee shop on your way to workout, that’s going to add an extra 15 to 30 minutes to your morning! Instead of coffee, I prefer to get my busiest mornings started even more quickly with Alert Gum stashed in my gym bag. I just pop it in my mouth and chew, no pouring, no doctoring up with unhealthy sugar and cream, no spilling in the car. More info below!!
So, did I pique your interest when I mentioned the Alert Caffeine Gum? Seriously, I love it and using it to replace my coffee on those days when I’m doing a really early morning workout. Not only does it eliminate the time required to make a caffeinated beverage, it also prevents me from taking too many mid-workout pit stops (I MUST drink a huge glass of water upon waking and paired with a large coffee, I am never able to make it through my run or WOD without nature calling).
Alert Gum is available in Mint or Fruit flavors and each pack has 8 pieces – you can buy Alert Gum at Amazon or Walmart for about $2.99. Each piece has about ½ the caffeine in a cup of coffee, a 12-ounce soda or half of an 8-ounce energy drink — the just-right boost for me. I’m also planning to use Alert Gum at the start line of an upcoming marathon in lieu of the caffeine tablet I usually take – it fits right in my shorts pocket and will taste so much better!
Please note that Alert Gum is not recommended for those under the age of 18, pregnant and nursing women, or people sensitive to caffeine. Visit AlertGum.com for more information