In an ongoing series on health, nutrition and becoming a better you, Modern Mississauga has teamed up with local fitness and health enthusiast Julie Cropper to provide tips, advice and inspiration to help you become the best you possible. Got a question for Julie? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I have always wanted to be one of those women who jump out of bed and can be at the gym for 6 am. But, I’m not a morning person and never have been. The idea of becoming a morning person has always intrigued me, so I decided to give it a try and share a few tips that worked for me. It took some time and some training, but you can do it too! Here’s how.
Create your proverbial "carrot"
You really need to look forward to something in the morning. For me, it’s a cup of coffee. Decide what the dangling carrot is for you. Whatever makes you most happy in the morning is what you will prepare the night before. Set the coffee maker timer so it brews before you get out of bed. Lay out your workout gear so you’re ready to go!
Establish an evening routine
Take a hot bath and read a book or magazine. Make a list of anything you are worried about to help clear your mind. Turn off televisions, computers, cell phones, and other LCD screens, which emit blue light and suppress melatonin production. Dim the lights and meditate. Eventually, your body will recognize these activities as signals that it’s time to start shutting down. You will sleep better and wake up feeling more refreshed.
When the alarm goes off, it’s time to get going. When we lay in bed checking our social media feed, we allow the grogginess to set in. The moment you wake up, get up and get moving – this will naturally make the body feel more energetic. Try some stretching which will get the blood flowing, or even a few jumping jacks!
Let there be light!
You definitely need to sleep in a dark room, but as soon as you wake up, let the light in. The sun will lighten your mood and signal that it’s time to get up. Check out our article on essential holiday technology for a great gradual light solution if sunlight isn't an option.
Consistency is key
Set the alarm clock for the same time every morning, even on weekends! A consistent wake up time will make it easier to get out of bed. You can give yourself a little extra time on the weekends, but the goal is to get excited to tackle your day. I can’t wait to get out of bed on weekend mornings to hit boot camp and lead my running group!
Take it slow and steady
Be realistic when making your “morning person” switch. You will not transform overnight. Pick a new wake up time and gradually work towards it. Want to wake up at 7 am but can’t get up ‘til 8 am? Start by setting your alarm for 7:45 and move down by 15-20 minute increments every few days.
Even though I haven’t fully become a morning person, it has become much easier for me to get out of bed earlier and feel energized. Are you ready to give it a try? Experiment with these tips and let us know what works for you.
Engage with me on my Faebook page Jules Cropper Health & Fitness for more Health & Wellness tips!