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Today’s post is for everyone, but it’s reaches out *especially* to my fellow NON-morning peeps.  Hopping out of bed at 6am when the alarm goes off is really easy for some people.  However, for others, such as myself, it doesn’t come quite so naturally.  I love to stay up late after a long day, reading..writing..watching a movie..whatever, and then press the snooze button about 7 times before finally crawling out of my cozy, warm sheets.

On top of not being a morning person, most of us follow busy schedules.  So when we wake up, it’s normally to begin another busy, hectic day.  Many people are left with this question:  When on earth will I find time to go to the gym?  On some days, my schedule started to become crazier than others.  I’d be getting home late and crashing as soon as I walked in the door.  So I began to ask myself this question.  Finally, I decided I’d have to figure out a way to get motivated, get up, and get to the gym early in the morning a few days per week.

Today, I’d like to share my early morning fitspo tips with all of you, in hopes that at least a couple of them will assist you in your efforts to get that extremely early morning workout in before the rest of your day begins.  I’m aware that some of them sound silly, but I’m keeping it real hereespecially for all my friends who aren’t morning people either. 😉

Early AM Fitspo Tips According to Fit Soul and Spice

1.  MOST IMPORTANTLY, get your beauty rest!  7-8 hours of sleep makes the “waking up” process much easier.  You didn’t make the effort to get up and work out this early to hop on the treadmill feeling all drowsy and weak.  Go to bed on the early side if you know you’re waking up the work out in the morning.

2.  Charge up your music supplier. (iPod, iPhone, iDK ~ whatever you use for a jam sesh)  The last thing you want is to get to the gym at 6am and have a dwindling battery – EEK.

3.  Prep your playlist.  Download Pandora, the Songza app on your iPhone, or the Podcast app on iTunes.  Choose genres that will wake you up and make you feel awesome.

4.  Lay out your gym clothes the night before.  I do this and I’m so happy every morning that I did. This way, I can wake up, brush my teeth, splash some cold water on my face, throw on my clothes, grab my bag, and go. No thought required – it’s 5:45 in the morning, ain’t nobody got time for organizational skills right now!

5.  Prep your meals.  Prepping meals helps to maintain clean, healthy eating habits. It also makes it quick and easy to pack up your food early in the morning to take on the go. Whether it’s on Sunday night for the rest of the week, or on a nightly basis, prep your food ahead of time.  Naturally, hunger will strike after your workout, and you’ll need to fuel the machine that is your body.  You’ve worked out, so now you’re metabolism is on the move and you’ll be burning fat for the day.  You don’t want to ruin your hard work by running out and getting something processed or unhealthy.  My daily meals usually go something like this:

Post workout:  I usually prep my protein shake for after my workout.  It keeps me full and satisfied for a while.

Midmorning Snack:  Something like overnight soaked oats, raw protein bites, a big piece of fruit, or a smoothie made with fresh fruit and water or coconut water.

Lunch: [Packed in a tupperware container] A combo along the lines of steamed spinach, baked sweet potato fries, and two or three egg whites.

Afternoon Snack: Something like a small baggie of raw, unsalted nuts.

Lots of water throughout the day is key, as well.  Green tea is wonderful, too!

6.  Set 3 alarms.  Yes, I said 3.  It sounds silly and quite annoying if you are a morning person, but if you’re not, then you get it.  This works for me because a) it makes me feel like I had five more minutes of sleep and b) I know I won’t wake up if I have ONE alarm scheduled this early in the morning.  Give a girl a couple minutes to roll around.  Here’s my rationale on the whole 3 alarms theory:

Alarm 1 (5:40) ~ Five minutes before your goal wake up time. (Snooze)

Alarm 2 (5:45) ~ The time you should seriously be getting up and out of bed.  (Snooze)

Alarm 3 (5:50) ~ The time you actually will get up, and need to get up without losing precious gym time before having to head to work. (And you’re up!)

Now, I don’t mean set ONE alarm and snooze a few times.  I learned that the hard way when I turned OFF the alarm instead of pressing the SNOOZE button (they should really be placed further apart on the iPhone) – bottom line, I didn’t make it to the gym that morning.  Set 3 alarms.  I know this sounds like a bit much, but it will help you get your booty out of the bed!  We’re not morning people..we have to make it work. #beyou #yourlife #yourstyle

7. Eat very light or not at all before working out this early.  This is a controversial issue and I’m sure many people would disagree with this tip, but I’m simply speaking from personal experience.  Eating this early can sometimes lead to a sluggish, tired feeling upon beginning your workout.  Normally, I’ll hop out of bed, work out, and then have a big protein shake afterwards once my body is more awake.  If you want something pre-workout, the most I’d suggest this early is a small protein shake or a banana on the way to the gym.  To each his own 🙂  See this tip below as well:

**FIT Tip: Fasted cardio is when you do your cardio without having eaten in at least four hours.  Fasted cardio helps to boost metabolism and burn stubborn fat because it turns directly to your body fat stores for energy rather than utilizing the current glucose in the system, as you would be doing had you have had something to eat prior to your workout.  I’ve also realized that it curbs the appetite, reduces cravings, leans out the stomach, and keeps me feeling energized for a longer period of time.**

8.  Base your gym schedule on your life and your style.  Make the decision to get up a few days per week for that early AM workout, and designate the other days to go later on, allowing you to sleep in.  Waking up that early won’t seem so bad when it’s not every morning, and you’ll grow to appreciate the treat of sleeping in on the other mornings.  Balance is key.

So there you have it, my friends.  Just a few little tips that made a big difference in my attitude towards waking up early and fitting that morning workout in.  I never thought I’d be able to get into it, but as time goes on, I’ve grown to enjoy alternating my gym times.  Try a couple of these tips out, and tailor them to your personal lifestyle and schedule as necessary.  If they worked for me, they’ll work for you!  Stay positive and be true to yourself.

That’s all for tonight.  Meals are prepped and gym clothes are out.  I’ve got a 6am workout coming up, and 7-8 hours of beauty rest to catch!  Enjoy your beautiful summer evening..

Be positive, be you.  Much love 🙂