6 tips for smashing early morning gym sessions this winter

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Let’s not pretend it isn’t – getting up and staying motivated as the weather gets colder and wetter is tough…let alone trying to prise yourself out of bed that little bit earlier to make it to the gym. Sometimes, lunch breaks or after work slots just aren’t reliable and are easier to sack off if something more exciting comes along. The feeling of heading in to work with your gym session done for the day is incredible but is that enough alone to motivate you? Here are my top 6 tips for getting up and going for the next few months…

1. Be a prep-spert

Being a morning gymmer is all about prepping. Whether that be the clothes you are going to throw on, your gym bag and toiletries or food and shakes for the day.   In my experience, leave this until the morning and (a) you will have to get up even earlier (b) you give yourself a potential reason to run behind time at the expense of time in the gym (c) you have a big barrier that makes it more likely you’re going to sack it off. Have clothes next to your bed or in the bathroom with a pint of water ready to go. You won’t even think about what you are doing half the time and you will associate going to the gym in the morning as something quite straight forward.  Don’t half pack and think you will finish it in the morning – you won’t, or you will but you will forget your shoes…I’ve been in that position many a time.

2. Keep warm

Sounds stupid but one of the big reasons the winter is tougher is the cold. Keep your workout gear on the radiator, grab a coffee to go and make sure your kit is suitable to brave all winds and weathers.

3. Travel light

If you haven’t already, invest in some suitable kit to aid your morning gym habits; whether it be a small travel towel, mini toiletries, reusable coffee mug, suitable protein shaker – whatever. If you can, use towels at the gym versus your own or keep your shoes / jacket in work to save carrying it. Having to carry your life around with you isn’t fun so the less you can carry / risk getting wet the better, your morning will run a lot smoother and you might consider doing it again…

4. Wake up right

Snoozing is potentially the enemy. It of course depends on the type of sleeper you are, but, if like me, 1 snooze, leads to 2 and then accidentally turning the alarm off instead of snooze 3 and oversleeping to the point of no return. I use ‘Sleep Cycle’ on my phone where you set a window of time to be woken up within, the app then works out when you are at your lightest sleep and wakes you then to avoid that awful feeling of being woken from a deep sleep – something I find helps with early starts.

5. Don’t sacrifice sleep

Sleep is key to restoring and rejuvenating our bodies, especially for muscle growth and recovery. According to the Sleep Council, the average adults needs between 7 – 9 hours per day. If getting up in the morning for the gym means getting up earlier than normal, maybe think about going to bed that bit earlier.

6. Find a friend

Things are a lot harder to cancel if someone else is relying on you. If a housemate, partner or gym buddy is getting up at the same time as you, it makes life a lot easier.

Overall, routines make life easier and help us form habits, which we don’t actually need to apply our brain to. Get up at the same time, get dressed, grab a quick coffee, whack your breakfast in your bag, get out the door and catch that same time train each day. Whatever it is, set a mini routine, make it as easy and sustainable as possible and stick to it, a habit will be formed and you won’t look back!  To find out more about my online personal training and nutrition plans – all based around building healthy habits – take a look here.

 Photo credit: Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash
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