The jury is still out on whether the time of day you work out makes a difference, but numerous other benefits accompany early-morning exercise. Getting your heart pumping with 30 minutes of cardio is a great way to boost your energy levels and start your day strong without the crash you get from a cup of coffee. It can also jumpstart your metabolism, which has been dormant all night while you were dreaming. Plus, getting your workout over and done with before the day begins can boost your confidence, and you won’t spend the whole day thinking about how you still need to get to the gym.
Forbes pointed out that getting out of bed early, regardless of what you do once you’re awake, can help students earn better grades. Getting into this habit can also help people spot and handle problems more easily. When you get out of bed early, especially when you do so to exercise, you’ll get better rest, which has a bevy of health benefits from staving off disease to helping you lose weight.
Check out these tips for throwing off the covers and opening your eyes instead of hitting the snooze button:
1. Move your alarm clock far away. When you have to get out of bed to turn it off, it’s not as easy to roll over and fall back asleep.
2. Think positively about mornings. Lifehack recommended making a conscious effort to look at early mornings in a positive light. When you are constantly dreading the sound of your alarm, it’s much harder to wake up with a good attitude.
3. Avoid screens before bed. When it’s time for bed, put your phone away and resist the urge to watch TV as you drift off to sleep. Reading a book or listening to soft music can be better ways to help your body naturally power down. Set your phone to remind you to turn off the television or put the tablet away at least an hour before bed until you get in the habit, Everyday Health suggested.
4. Go to bed earlier. This may be a no-brainer, but it will be much easier to get up earlier than usual if you go to sleep earlier, too. It can be difficult to fall asleep the first few nights, but once your body starts to recognize the new routine, you’ll adjust nicely.
5. Open your curtains. Letting light into your bedroom will help you get moving. The National Sleep Foundation explained that sunlight triggers numerous effects in the body that can help wake you up, from stopping production of melatonin, a chemical that makes you sleepy, to making you feel more alert.
6. Prepare breakfast the night before. After a workout, you’ll likely be hungry, as your body craves protein and energy to help build muscle. Making food ahead, such as a breakfast burrito that you can simply pop in the microwave when you’re done working out, can help prompt you to push harder, knowing you’ll have a yummy meal when you’re done.
7. Practice not hitting snooze. Retraining your brain to think, “It’s time to get up” at the first sound of your alarm can be tricky, but Lifehack suggested practicing to get into the habit. Lay on your bed at any time of day and set your alarm to go off in a minute or two. When it goes off, stand up. Repeat the process a few times daily and eventually you’ll associate the alarm with waking up instead of hitting snooze.
8. Get your workout gear ready. Laying out your sneakers and sweats on a nearby chair before you go to bed will make it easier for you to grab them when you wake up. Once you’re dressed, you’ll have no excuse to do a few situps or go for a jog.