The benefits of being a morning gymer
Finding the time to get in a gym session isn’t always easy – least of all when you’ve got the kind of packed schedule that has you jumping out of bed in the morning and running straight out the door, and then crashing out on the couch within minutes of arriving home again.
There are a few tips that get thrown around for coping with this, but one of the best and most uplifting options is to begin waking up early enough to get a morning pre-work gym session in.
Here’s a look at some of the benefits.
Start the Day with a Feeling of Accomplishment
The writer Mark Twain once quipped that if your job were to eat a frog, you’d better do it first thing in the morning (and that if your job were to eat two frogs, you’d better eat the biggest one first).
This bit of advice has become commonly used in the success and time-management industries. The basic idea is that when you have a tough task to do, getting it done first thing in the day creates a wave of positive momentum which helps you to sail through the rest of your to-do list on a high.
Starting your day with an early morning workout will mean that you’re already entering the office each morning with a sense of accomplishment. That’s a pretty good place to be, psychologically.
A Jolt of Energy First Thing in the Morning
It used to be a pretty common bit of advice that those suffering from insomnia should go and do a quick workout to help exhaust themselves and prepare their bodies for bed. Recent research turns that whole idea on its head and suggests that exercise may actually keep you awake instead of sending you off to sleep.
Rather than having to suffer through the first half of the day bleary-eyed, why not rely on your morning gym session to get you energised and charged up?
If you need a bit of extra help, you can always throw in a strong cup of coffee or a carefully selected pre-workout supplement to kill two birds with one stone (your workout will benefit too).
Fewer People, Fewer Distractions
One of the big things which puts people off going to the gym regularly – especially beginner trainees who haven’t yet fallen into their stride – is the sheer amount of people bustling around. It’s easy to feel crowded or judged when a hundred or so ripped fitness fanatics are queuing for the machine you’re on.
Early morning workouts help to sidestep this issue by getting you in and out of the gym at non-peak times. If you arrive early enough, you may even be one of only a handful of trainees in the entire place.
Start the Day on an Endorphin High
Going to work first thing in the morning tends not to be anyone’s favourite event. It’s probably not going too far to say that the experience can be downright depressing. Wouldn’t it be nice to begin the day with feelings of hope, positivity, and optimism, rather than dread, irritation and sorrow?
Well, a morning workout can make that happen for you. Vigorous exercise is a well-known way of boosting endorphins, the body’s feel-good hormones, ensuring that you ride into the office on a natural high.
How to Begin?
Alright, so you’ve seen the benefits of hitting the gym first thing in the morning. Now how do you get started?
Here are a few tips:
Begin by waking up 10 minutes earlier each morning – Trying to wake up an hour earlier right off the bat is impractical. Let your body adjust by small increments until you hit your desired wake-up time.
Identify a gym near your workplace – Pick a gym which has what you need and is near your workplace, and then go visit after work or on the weekend. Sign up. Your commitment has begun.
Get used to driving by the gym on the way to work – The first thing to do is to start acquiring the habit of heading to the gym before work. You can start small by getting yourself used to the idea of driving by (or even walking by if it's close enough) the gym on the way to work. This should be done even on mornings where you haven’t allowed enough time to go in for a workout. It’s all about forming the habit.
When you’re consistently waking up early enough, hit the gym – This should be self-explanatory. When you’ve become accustomed to an earlier wake-up time, begin regularly heading down to the gym before work and completing your workouts.