Think morning workouts are just a pipe dream? Something your ideal self would do before reading the paper and organizing the closets? You’re not the only one. We’re all just trying to negotiate how to wake up — and stay up. There are alarms and apps by the hundreds, but we think paying attention to our physicality is the way to nail the wake-up-and-work-out line item on our to-do list.
Here’s how it really works: Tap into your five senses.
The body has a rhythm, a pattern and a prewired way of working. Consider honoring and paying attention to these instincts as you encourage your body to get on board and go.
Touch: Put Your Feet on Cold Tile
The sensation of touch on skin automatically makes the body more alert. So your first sensation is: feet on the floor. Any floor will do, though the feeling of cold tile is a bonus. Plus, there’s no better first step to getting out of bed than actually getting (part of you) out of bed.
Sight: Expose Your Eyes to Light
The human form has always had an instinctual reaction to sunlight. It signals our natural circadian rhythm. Sun up, sun down. Time to wake, time to sleep. So when it’s actually time to wake, pull back those curtains and give your body some motivation with an extra dose of light.
Sound: Tell Your Friends & Family
Your mind can be as strong as your body when it comes to achieving a goal. Remind yourself why you want to wake up early: to become strong, to nurture your growth, to train for your best time. This inner sense of purpose can be as much of a motivator as sunlight. When you’ve decided the early mornings are worth it, tell friends and family that you’ll be up at 5:30 a.m. daily (or a time of your choosing). Whether or not you actually invite them to call you, being accountable is another way to perk yourself up, even on gray days.
Smell: Try the Lemon Effect
You don’t have to literally start buying lemons to sniff them. (I mean, you could.) Essential oils can do the trick and they’re easy to pick up in any pharmacy or big-box store. Citrus has a true biological effect – sparking your system and your senses.
Taste: Drink Water
Sometimes a sip will do. Other times half a glass is the kick start you need. Either way, it’s a way to boost your readiness and give your body what it needs. The glass of water on your bedside table can charge your body and hydrate you for the gym session or run that comes next.
Your ideal morning-workout self is within reach, and so are the energizing benefits of kick-starting the day with a swarm of endorphins: increased focus, a boost in your metabolism and, of course, better sleep.