An early morning workout is one of the best things you can do for your body: it wakes and energizes, improves your mood, boosts your metabolism and primes your body to burn fat and build muscle. However, most can probably agree that mornings are not easy to deal with. It’s so much easier to click the snooze button! So if you manage to get up and running in the early hours of the day, you deserve to make the most of your time. Here are 7 tips to get an effective morning workout.
1. Have A Good Night’s Sleep. Since you’ll be waking up earlier to squeeze in a workout, go to sleep earlier. Make sure you’re getting at least 6-8 hours in order to build up the energy you need. The good news is that morning exercise has been shown to improve sleep so falling asleep earlier might not be much of a problem.
2. Be Prepared. You don’t want to be fumbling around in the morning half-asleep trying to find your socks. Whatever you need for the morning ahead — workout clothes, pushup blocks, jump ropes, a mat — lay it out near you. Seeing your workout materials in the morning can motivate you, too. In addition, have a workout plan so you don’t waste your time and have to rush your workout.
3. Eat. Or Not… The verdict is still out as to whether it’s good to do a morning workout on an empty stomach. I think you should just experiment with what works best with you. For the most part, experts agree that if you are going to eat, do so 30 minutes before starting your workout. And, stick to small and healthy portions. A good place to start is drink a healthy shake and see how it sits in your stomach as you’re exercising. Even if you don’t eat prior to the workout, make sure to set aside time for a healthy post-workout breakfast so you can have energy for the rest of your day.
4. Perform A Longer Warm-Up. Your body temperature is naturally lower in the morning, so extend your warmup time to avoid injury. This could also be the time to wake yourself up. Do a dynamic warmup of standing exercises like jumping jacks and high knees.
5. Skip the Heavy Weights. Well, you can lift heavy, just not in the first 30 minutes. After sleeping for more than 6 hours, your spine decompresses and the discs fill up with water, making your back stiff. If you immediately start trying to lift heavy weights, there’s a higher risk of a back injury.
6. Do More Cardio. A good run around the block is always great but building a full-body bodyweight circuit might be the best way to get your blood pumping. Some examples of some power moves to include are walking lunges, mountain climbers, and jumping jack planks.
7. Include At Least One Explosive Movement. In order to really get your blood pumping and boost muscle building, you need at least one explosive exercise in your routine. Jump squats, explosive push-ups and tornado jumping jacks are great examples.