By: Dr. Phoenyx Austin
I’m a morning person, and by 4am I’m already up and getting dressed so I can hit the gym early to get in my day’s workout. And every morning without fail, I’ll run into one of my girlfriends who comes rushing in in a frenzied state so she can try to squeeze in a few minutes on the treadmill because she just couldn’t pull herself out of bed to get to the gym on time.
“Girl, I don’t know why I keep doing this! I set the dang alarm and I still can’t get here on time!”
I always shake my head and laugh. True, she does set her alarm clock, but she also snoozes it like fifteen times. So it kind of defeats the point of setting it in the first place. I should give my girlfriend credit though because she does eventually make it to the gym. And something is better than nothing at all. But personally I couldn’t image going to the gym every morning in such a rushed and agitated state. Yes, I love my bed just as much as the next person. And there are definitely days that I’ll really stay under my comfy microfiber comforter than do squats and ab crunches under my gym’s bright flourescent lights. But even still, I prefer exercising in the morning because it just feels great to start off my day that way. My blood is pumping, I’m more focused and I have tons for energy before I head off to work.
So yesterday, after my girlfriend came rushing into the gym late again, I told her that I felt compelled to share this post in her honor- and for all the other women out there who relentlessly hit the snooze button and then feel terrible about not sticking to their morning workout schedule. She laughed of course, but she also promised that she’d follow my morning exercise tips from now on. And to put a bit of a fire under her butt we also made a deal that she owes me lunch if she doesn’t make it to the gym on time tomorrow. Let’s see who emerges victorious.
Dr. Phoenyx’s Tips for Waking Up Early to Exercise
Before you go to bed, lay out your workout clothes the night before so you’re not wasting time in the morning trying to put your outfit together.
I know it feels great, but don’t sleep in your birthday suit because you it’ll just make it harder to peel yourself from under those warm covers. Instead, sleep in warm PJ’s and socks. Or better yet, try sleeping in your sports bra and workout bottoms. This way you have less work to do when it’s time to get dressed.
Set your alarm and put it on the other side of the room so that you have to get out of bed to turn it off. Also set your alarm to play music that’ll get you amped. I have my alarm set to a playlist that includes Jay-Z, Kayne, Eminem, and Rihanna. Kinda hard not to get psyched in the morning when you’re rockin’ out to Jay and ‘Ye.
As soon as you get out of bed, start burning a few drops of energizing essential oil. Essential oils like peppermint, spearmint, ginger, and citrus essential oils like grapefruit and lemongrass (my personal fave) are great for waking you up. Another aromatherapy trick is to add a few drops of essential oil to a spray bottle with water. Then mist your hair and skin in the morning with this essential oil/water mixture. It’s a great pick-me-up and the lingering aroma from the essential oil on your body will help stimulate you throughout the morning.
Before you head out the door you want to eat a protein rich breakfast that includes things like eggs, cottage cheese, milk, meat (turkey/ham), nuts/seeds, or you can make a protein shake the night before. If you need an extra bit of pick-me-up, have a cup of coffee or peppermint tea too. Overall, you want a breakfast that includes protein because it’ll help fuel your body for a better workout. Protein is also better at keeping insulin levels stable so you won’t feel hungry or sluggish soon after you workout.
My last tip is to make a date with a workout buddy or personal trainer so you'll feel obligated to get up and go. You can even make a deal like my girlfriend did and offer to pay a price if you show up late or not at all. In fact, instead of taking free lunches, I know a personal trainer who has a contract with all his clients that requires they do 100 ab crunches for every 5 minutes they’re late. And if they miss a session, that’s an automatic 500 ab crunches they must do at their next session! Makes that free lunch deal look like a much sweeter option, huh?
[caption id="attachment_8043" align="aligncenter" width="246"] *Ready for my morning workout with protein shake in hand. Almond milk, blueberries, a scoop of chocolate flavored whey protein powder. Quick. Easy. Looks Meh. Tastes Yum!*[/caption]
And that pretty much covers my tips for waking up early to exercise. So ladies, doyou prefer exercising in the morning or later in the day? And for all my morning exercisers, I’d like to know what tips and tricks you use to get yourself out of bed and moving? – Dr. Phoenyx
Dr. Phoenyx Austin is a physician, author, and creator of the fitness blog, DrPhoenyx.com. Check out Dr. Phoenyx’s awesome natural hair care book If You Love It, It Will Grow - available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iTunes. And don’t forget to say hello to the Doc on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!