5 Reasons to Wake up Earlier for a Fitter You!
“Early to bed, early to rise; makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.”
This old saying has been around since forever. Do you still believe in the power of waking up early? Or would you rather make love to your bed for as long as you could?
In this age of traffic and hectic schedules, many people prefer to get as much sleep as they could. We tend to stay out late to avoid the chaos on the road (hello, rush hour). However, studies have shown that waking up early has pretty neat benefits.
I can personally add to that testimony.
One of my New Year’s resolutions this year was to wake up earlier everyday so I could stretch my super busy days. Just a little bit of background on how “busy” my busy is. I am an entrepreneur. I own and manage (and teach at) a tutorial center for kids. I maintain a blog and also do content writing and marketing for a few websites. I also do social media marketing for a local coffee shop. I take freelance training and/or events projects on the side. And I train Kettlebell Sport and do Muay Thai regularly. (Whew. Writing that just made me exhausted.)
So, you see why I really wanted to have as many productive hours as I can every day. Well, I am proud to say that I have been fulfilling my resolution since January. Yey! Self-high-five!
Here are the super duper fun things I have discovered about being the early bird.
1. Waking up early allows you more time to eat breakfast.
Who doesn’t love breakfast? It’s a great way to start the day. But many of us skip breakfast because we’re already running late. Others tend to eat on the go because they don’t have time to sit down and eat. When you wake up earlier, you have ample time to prepare and eat breakfast. I have been enjoying breakfast more now that I am an early bird. I can taste my toast better and savor my coffee without rushing. It sets my pace for the day.
2. It allows you to have ample time for exercise.
Morning is a great time for exercise! When you wake up early, you have time to squeeze in a workout before your day gets any busier. Plus, your mind might take time to process that you’re actually working out. So, lesser chances of being de-motivated!
I like exercising in the morning. It keeps me more awake during the day. I also found out that it makes me more mindful of what I eat thereafter, since I don’t want the calories I burned to go to waste.
3. Being early means more productive time.
This one is an obvious. The very reason I tried waking up early is to increase my productive time. When I wake up at 5:30am instead of my usual 7:30am, I gain two extra hours to do more things. This also gives me room for leeway and other unexpected things.
But of course, the extra hours should not be spend on social media or the like. For me, I try to only check my social media accounts after 11:00am. This ensures that the extra hours I gained from waking up early will be put to good use and will be productive hours.
4. It can reduce stress.
This is honestly my favorite part! I found out that I get stressed less when I wake up early. Okay, many might disagree. But after training myself to wake up earlier and plot everything for the day, I felt clearer and worked better. And of course, better work is lesser stress. I have more time to do the things that I need AND like to do.
Waking up early also allowed me to practice 10 minutes of shower meditation. I mean, c’mon! I used to rush shampooing my long hair just so I could leave on time for work. But now, I have more time to be more relaxed in the shower and squeeze meditation time. I am generally lesser stressed as an early bird.
5. It brings you to a good night sleep.
And the last thing I found out about waking up early is getting more quality good night sleep. I guess for obvious reasons that I have pretty much utilized every brain cell and muscle in my body. Or perhaps, because I just feel accomplished and ready to start a new day. Whatever the actual explanation is, I really sleep well when I got up earlier that day. I usually sleep around 10:00 or 11:00pm if I need to be up by 5:30am. So far, my sleep has been well-rewarding. I loved how waking up early helped me achieve better sleeping habits.
So, here are the few things I have learned about waking up early. I know some people really hate early mornings. But, I love it! It has been one of my greatest life hacks.
If you want to start an early morning habit but you’re not sure how to begin, here are my simple steps:
1. Set your intentions of waking up early before you even go to bed. Program your mind that tomorrow will be a great early day for you.
2. Set an alarm earlier than the actual time you’d like to wake up (because snooze is a b*tch). Just being realistic, your snooze button will be hit once or twice before you actually wake up. So, to be sure, set your alarm 30 minutes earlier than you intended.
3. Recall all the things you have to accomplish for the day. If you run an errand list in your mind, you are most likely to get up from your bed.
4. Put on your best “morning playlist”. Be in a joyous mood when you wake up. This will prevent you from going back to bed and hating the world because it’s early.
5. Prepare early. Eat early. Leave early. Basically just a little efforting and training will go a long way.
Let us know how this works for you! Hope you develop an early morning habit that you enjoy!
Em Villanueva is Fit Access’ Accounts Manager and Social Media contributor. Em is a multi-potentialite – she owns a tutorial center and a dance studio, and works as a freelance corporate and communications trainer. She is also an amateur Kettlebell Sport athlete in the Philippines. Other than that, she’s just a crazy girl with a deep love for the universe. Check out her blog The Happinay, and connect with her on Instagram via @the.emvillanueva.