You know those unnaturally perky people in the morning? With the bright eyes and positive attitude? I never used to be like that, in fact, I was the complete opposite. For some, being a morning person is something that comes naturally. For others, it is something we have to work for and earn.

I get asked a lot why I wake up early on my days off. In a nut shell: I don’t like to waste my life. I am most productive in the mornings and find I am set up for the day and motivated when I get up early. I find from the time of 20:00 on wards, I don’t particularly do much that isn’t watching TV or surfing the Internet. After 20:00 (or 21:00 for very few) is unproductive time that is better off spent sleeping and getting ready to smash through your ‘to do’ list tomorrow. Life is too short to waste days and nights not 100% giving it your all. And let’s be honest, life is so much more fun doing things yourself than being in front of the TV or computer watching others live their lives. If you can’t tell already, I am not really for television at all. In fact, it can really impact your health.

Why you should be a morning person:

·         Morning workout routines allow for more flexibility throughout the day. If you complete your workout before work, or getting the kids up, then no matter what happens or pops up throughout your day, you have already completed your workout.  This means you don’t have to choose between health and work, health and family or health and friends.
·         When you complete a vigorous workout in the morning your metabolism is then raised for up to 12 hours post work out. This makes you more efficient at burning fat and helps you burn more calories even when you are just sitting at your desk.
·         Your fitness improves. People who work out in the morning are more likely to be fitter than those who work out in the evening. I have got some great info graphics for becoming a morning person and being more productive here.

Here are my tips for getting your body on track to being a morning person:

1)      Wake up consistently at the same time. Don’t let yourself over sleep on the weekends. You can catch up on lost sleep from the odd late night, but the longer you are sleep deprived; the harder it is to regain the sleep lost.  The more consistently you wake up, the easier it will be to go to sleep at an appropriate time.
2)      Get organized. Have your gym clothes set out ready to go, have your lunch packed, breakfast prepared, water bottle filled. It takes much less time to do this at night (think: in the TV ad breaks) than at 05:00. If you are one of those people who are particularly good at giving yourself excuses not getting up in the morning then consider sleeping in your workout gear. That’s right. That way all you have to do is roll out of bed and head to the gym.
    Get some rays. Sunshine helps suppress melatonin (your body’s sleep hormone), which in turn keeps you up. Getting exposure to sunshine (safely of course, guys!) earlier on in the day can not only help wake you up, but can help release the melatonin earlier on that evening.
           Don’t press snooze. I am serious. You can take the option off your phone. Do it. No you won’t die by not pressing snooze. This is the number 1 reason why I wake up quicker than my partner. I don’t have a snooze option on my phone. I couldn’t even tell you where to find it. If you feel you need to press snooze every morning then you’re not going to bed early enough. Cut back on TV, Internet, and phone use. Watch the rest of that show/movie tomorrow. It will still have the same ending. I promise.
5)      Slowly start going to bed earlier. This is not something that is easy to be successful in straight away, particularly if you have been a night owl for a while. Start by not pressing snooze over the weekend or days off, spend time outside every day to help reset your circadian rhythm and start consciously making the effort to go to bed earlier. 15 minutes earlier every few days is all it really takes and you will have a healthier sleep pattern.
6)      Have a meal time routine. For example: Breakfast at 07:00, lunch at 12:00 and dinner at 19:00. This helps your body’s natural rhythms and metabolism and will help you adjust to rising earlier.
7)      Cut out caffeine. Ultimately cutting caffeine out altogether is best. If you are a big coffee or tea drinker, perhaps try cutting down and slowly replacing your caffeinated beverage with herbal teas. More of a coke/diet coke drinker? Try swapping slowly with fruit flavoured water. I am really partial to lime and cucumber water! Me? I cut down on caffeine (I love my coffee machine!) by switching to Rooibos tea.
       Looking for some more great tips for giving yourself a kick start? I’ve got some great info graphics here!