Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Exercise Early in the Morning

Even if you're not the early-bird type like me, you can still learn to rise and shine. Here is how you can get motivated so you can reap the benefits of exercising early.
Things You'll Need:

* Alarm clock
* Exercise plan
* Workout gear
* Discipline

- Choose an alarm clock with a pleasant wake-up call. If your alarm scares the pants off of you every morning, then you might be waking up grouchy and uninspired for a very good reason.

- Lay out your workout clothes, gym bag or other gear before you go to bed each night. Include a variety of items in case the weather changes overnight.

- Wake up at the same time every day (and ban the snooze button). Even if you choose to sit on the couch and read the newspaper instead of exercise, at least you are teaching your body to rise and be semi-alert at this hour.

- Don't leave enough time to dilly-dally. The more you are standing around in a dark, cozy house, the less likely you are to leave it. Wake up, get dressed, and get out the door.

- Experiment with your pre-workout food. Figure out how little you can eat and still fit in a solid workout. Can you run 5 miles on an empty stomach? Can you ONLY run on an empty stomach?

Some quick-and-easy foods that are usually gentle on a pre-workout stomach: banana, cereal bar, toast or yogurt. If you are doing an especially tough workout that requires ample fuel, give yourself enough time for your food to digest before exercising.

- Find a friend or group to keep you accountable and motivated. If you are meeting outside for a walk or bike ride, establish weather-related guidelines.

- Explore different activities, then alternate your workouts to keep things fresh, but consistent.

- Create an exercise plan or fitness goal so that you know what you're working toward. Once you start seeing results, you will be more motivated to keep that alarm set on EARLY.

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