Tuesday, March 30, 2010

How to Become a Early Morning Workout Person

The only time I can fit in my workouts is the early morning but I can not seem to force myself out of bed.
Can I retrain my interval clock?
    Absolutely. The solution is a combination of delegation, preparation and rehearsal. Training with little different twist. Delegate the responsibility to the subconscious mind and cut yourself out of the loop. 
    And how do I possibly do this?  The same way you learned any other repeatable tasks you accomplish everyday.  You prepare, practice and rehearse until it becomes polished.  Eventually your subconscious will take over and function on autopilot.
    This may sound foolish, but it works.  Practice. Walk through the steps just as though you were rehearsing for a speech, pitching the championship game or preparing for a final sale, however now you will be responding to your alarm clock.  You will be training your subconscious to take over as soon as the alarm sounds.  But do not perform the drills in the morning.  Do it during the day when you’re wide awake.
    Starting in your bedroom, and organize the room conditions to match your desired wake-up time to the best circumstances allow.  In the evening just after sunset so it’s already dark, jump into your pajamas, brush your teeth. Pre set your alarm clock for a few minutes ahead.
    Lie down in bed just like you would if you were sleeping, and close your eyes. Relax.  Imagine it’s early in the morning… a few minutes before your desired wake-up time.  Pretend you’re actually asleep.  Visualize. Allow for dream zone.
    BUZZZZZZ the alarm goes off. Turn it off as quickly as you can.  Take a deep breath and stretch. Sit up, plant your feet on the floor, and stand up.  Smile and laugh.  Then proceed to do the very next habit you normally practice upon waking.  For me it’s walking over and turning on the shower.
Great Job! 1 set completed with success. Now shake yourself off, mentally return to pre-waking conditions, return to bed, reset your alarm, and repeat.  Practice this drill over and over and over until it becomes polished, or that you run through the whole routine without thinking about it.  If you have to sub-vocalize any of the steps (i.e. if you hear a mental voice coaching you on what to do), you’re not there yet.
    Practice physically the first few times. If you are well versed at visualization you can practice mentally. If I may suggest practicing physically first as there are many subtle details you may leave off. Soon a new physiological response to the alarm will be honed without even thinking about it.
Beating yourself up about your bad wake-up habits will not work — in fact, you’ll just condition these mental beatings as part of the very routine you’re trying to change.  Not only will you not get up when your alarm goes off, but you’ll also automatically beat yourself up about it.    Let’s condition a more empowering pattern.  For good or ill, your habits will make or break you.

Just a few more quick tips:                                  
1. Get to bed early the night before.
2. If you are not sleepy at bed time, limit your caffeine intake during the day and no caffeine after 4 pm.
3.  Warm baths, massage encourage relaxation and sleep as well as limiting the television and computer work.
4.  Visualize your health and fitness goals and how great it will feel when you achieve them.
5.  Your trainer or workout buddy is waiting with a fun planned workout designed specifically for you.
6.  Reward yourself for your morning efforts. Whatever is important to you: fun new fitness clothes, a pedicure, special time with you and Reggie. Rewards are great motivators.
Tammi Jacobs, Health and Wellness Expert
Owner, Results Health and Fitness Center

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