How You're Sabotaging Your Morning Workout

If getting your sweat on in the wee hours of the morn is the only time you can fit it in, kudos to you for resisting the urge to hit the snooze button and skip out. Make setting your alarm and pulling yourself out of bed worth all the effort and avoid these morning exercise mistakes.

POPSUGAR Photography | Ericka McConnell
  • Not eating: Even though it's super early, not noshing before your workout not only slows down your metabolism, but it also mean no fuel for your workout. No need to eat an enormous meal — munch on something small while you're getting ready, like half a banana or half a piece of toast with a little peanut butter. You'll not only avoid the gnawing hunger pangs, but you'll also have an extra pep in your step to exercise harder or longer than you would on an empty stomach. When you get home, you can enjoy your usual breakfast, which is always something to look forward to.
  • Loading up on fiber: While it's important to eat a little something, you don't want to load up on bulky fiber, like pears or chia flax granola bars that can make you feel too full or upset your stomach.
  • Not hydrating: Aside from food, you also need water. Definitely don't down half a gallon before you hit the gym because too much water can cause cramping, but make sure you sip a short glass of H2O while enjoying your small snack.
  • Not laying your outfit: You don't have oodles of time in the morning, so don't take away from your exercise time by scrambling to find your missing sock. Plan your outfit before you go to bed so you can just slip it on and go.
  • Not getting enough sleep: Exercise is very important, but your body equally needs adequate rest — you can't stay up till midnight and expect to feel bright and perky for a 5:30 a.m. workout. Hit the hay early enough so you'll get at least seven to eight hours of sleep before your alarm goes off.
  • Scheduling a boring workout: If you're not that psyched to run on the elliptical, then you're more apt to miss your morning workout. Plan something exciting like a power yoga class with your favorite instructor or meet a buddy for a bike ride in the woods. Make the workout so enticing that you're not tempted to skip out.
  • Not warming up: Since you barely woke up, it's even more important to take a few minutes to warm up before starting your real workout. Brisk walking, jogging up and down stairs, or doing this active warmup will not only warm up your muscles, but they'll also get blood flowing to wake up your brain, which can reduce morning fogginess that could result in an injury. Save the stretching for after the workout when your muscles are warm.