Exercise is a necessary evil, and if you struggle to find the ideal "sweat it out" time, you might want to consider the morning.
Though that may sound insane, working up a sweat before breakfast rather than during the after-work rush hour is pretty redeeming.
Rising with the sun to ramp up your heart rate is the emotional equivalent of attending an Oprah conference: you'll finish drenched in empowerment, control and laser-like focus to up your creativity and productivity.
At first, dragging myself out of bed was tougher than curing a case of the Mondays. But with time, sunrise activities have infused my daily life with more benefits than a corporate job!
Silver lining: With practice and regular rises, waking up becomes second nature to even the laziest snooze hitter. So let your alarm clock live and get a running start on your day.
Here's how to become one of those early exercise birds.
Get a good night’s rest.
Turn up your sleep number and turn down your party levels (you'll get there one day, we promise).
Legend has it that AM workouts disturb your sleep-wake cycle, but sunrise sweat sessions don’t actually interfere with your slumber party. Instead, they ensure “greater sleep benefits.”
“The American Academy of Sleep Medicine just released new guidelines suggesting that 7-8 hours is the ideal for most people,” says Dr. Shelby Harris of Behavioral Sleep Medicine at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City.
So, swap out Solo Cups for optimal sleep to ready your morning workout and guarantee better Zs.
Pep talks are so necessary.
Though your muscles want to hit snooze, use your mind to cheer yourself on as you climb out of bed.
Warning: Your first foray into sunup calorie burning binges will incite more emotions than "Inside Out." Start small, like a 7 am yoga session, and gradually build up to a 6:30 am spin class.
But if your mind’s telling you "no," rev up your mental engine with a “YASSS” that’d make Nicki Minaj jealous.
Besides cockcrow coitus, there's one great incentive for an early wake-up call: Food.
With heightened health consciousness, your breakfast meals will transform from nutrition-lacking fare to hearty eats that up your metabolism throughout the day.
Goal: Gobble down 100-200 calories about 30-60 minutes before your sunrise sweat session and re-up on your fuel with post-workout protein.
Set the scene.
Uninspiring is the scent of sweaty genitals and the sight of cement walls, no matter the brimming man candy.
But even in the concrete jungle, there are visual gems that'll jumpstart your mental fitness for the entire day.
Reject your typical gym and take your workouts outside, especially if your hate for exercise runs deeper than a Peter Yates film.
Or, join a class and get to know your fellow classmates. It'll be less about dragging your feet and more about the anticipation of seeing your morning crew, which is a reliable motivator.
At the end, stop and smell the flowers. Literally.
Press Play Soundtrack
Inject energy into your routine by cueing up a soundtrack that'll support the cadence of your cardio.
While spinning R&B during rests is cool, keep the BPMs high for most of the workout to crank out a sweat sesh you can be proud of.