New here? Like Athlean-XX for Women on Facebook to stay up to date with new posts, great fitness and nutrition articles, motivations and inspirations, fitness challenges, Q&As, giveaways and more!
Already a morning exerciser or aspiring to become one? While there’s really no ‘best time to work out’, getting your workouts out of the way early in the day definitely has its merits.
Studies show that morning exercisers are more likely to stick with their workouts probably because everyday disruptions aren’t given a chance to get in the way. You may find that working out in the morning helps you stick with healthy lifestyle habits throughout the day, too. After all, if you’ve already started the day off on a healthy note, why ruin it later by eating poorly?
Can you actually lose more weight by working out in the morning? Maybe. Morning workouts give your metabolism a boost early in the day, which helps you burn more calories in the morning and will leave you feeling energized. Exercising in the a.m. also helps avoid sleep disruptions that can be caused by working out at night. And getting adequate sleep is definitely important for weight loss!
Finally, morning workouts will help keep energy levels high throughout the day. Since we tend to reach for sweet snacks when we’re low on energy, maintaining good energy levels during the day may help support good nutritional habits.
Whatever your reason for working out in the morning, there are some things you can do to make sure you start out your workout on the best foot possible! Here are 5 tips for getting the most out of your early morning exercise, and for enjoying it more, too!
1) Drink a Ton of Water
Most of us wake up feeling pretty dehydrated in the morning. Especially if we sleep with heat, air conditioning or a fan going in our bedrooms. During your morning exercise session, you’ll lose additional fluids due to sweat, so it’s super important to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate before your morning workout!
Athlean-XX for Women creator Jeff Cavaliere recommends leaving a bottle of water next to your bed and chugging it in the a.m. before your feet even hit the floor. Then be sure to hydrate regularly throughout your workout and afterward, as well!
2) Avoid Stretching Prior to Working Out
While it might be tempting to start your day with a long set of stretches before your workout, new research is showing that this is not the way to go. Stretching before working out can actually reduce the effectiveness of your workouts and make you more prone to injury.
Since our muscles and joints are often stiffest in the morning (after 8 hours of not moving much), the risks associated with pre-workout stretching are even greater.
3) Do a Longer Dynamic Warm Up
Instead of static stretching, a longer dynamic warm up is a much better choice for lubricating the joints and preparing the muscles prior to a morning workout.
Since everything feels a little tighter when we first wake up, a 10 minute warm up or longer is a great way to make sure you’re ready for exercise. Take a short walk or have a short, easy session on an elliptical or stationary bike immediately prior to your workout.
Then, warm up the muscles you’re going to use in your workout by doing some lighter, unweighted versions of some of the exercises you’ll be doing. For example, in Athlean-XX for Women our warm-ups for the legs and glutes workouts include a few unweighted squats and lunges to prepare the muscles for the more challenging exercises to come.
4) Have a Healthy Protein-Packed Post-Workout Breakfast
Right after you finish your workout, it’s important to have a healthy breakfast that includes a good amount of protein. Eating protein at breakfast will help you stay full and keep energy levels high throughout the day. At Athlean-XX for Women we recommend eating some protein within 20 minutes of completing your workout to help boost muscle tissue growth.
Some people may find they need to eat some food prior to working out in the morning in order to not feel light-headed. If that’s you, that’s fine too! Just be sure you still get some protein in AFTER your workout.
Some great protein sources for breakfast are eggs or a protein smoothie. Most women struggle to meet their protein needs each day, and for this reason using a protein powder like Athlean RX4 Women can be a great help.
5) Make It Short and Make It Count
If you’re not the type that wakes up each morning bright eyed and bushy tailed, thinking of a long, tough workout first thing in the morning may make you just want to hit the snooze button. Since we also need to get ourselves moving and out the door, a shorter 30 minute workout may make it easier to get motivated in the morning.
Regardless of what time of day you choose to work out, a short workout can be just as effective if not more effective than a long one! With Athlean-XX for Women, you won’t need those 2 hour gym sessions anymore! That’s right…just 30 minutes of your time is enough to produce the results you want to see: weight loss and a toned athletic body. Our workouts are based on circuit strength training, which allows you to get both strength and heart-pumping cardio in one shot! The best part is that they can be done either at home or at the gym – whatever works best for you. Our nutrition plan is equally flexible, providing 90 days of meal plans that you can follow, or allowing you to simply create your own meals from our lists of healthy foods. We actually encourage you to eat more frequently – 5 to 6 times per day, and no calorie counting! Eat more, work out less and get lean and toned with Athlean-XX for Women!
And finally, if you’d like to stay up to date with the AthleanXXforWomen.com blog, then please like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and follow us on Pinterest.
P.S. We are a growing community dedicated to and passionate about realistic fitness and nutrition for REAL women. If you enjoyed this post please feel free to share on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. It would be incredibly appreciated.