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The Benefits of HIIT Training

What is HIIT?

HIIT training is an acronym for High intensity interval training. It is a broad term for workouts that involves short bursts of high intensity exercise with varying rest periods. This variation of training is ideal for those who live busy lives and feel they don’t have time to exercise as you can create an effective HIIT workout in less than 10 minutes. Despite the short duration of these sessions, if completed effectively they can produce health benefits up to twice as much as moderate intensity exercise. 

The exercise you choose to do can vary but  can include; rowing, cycling, jumping or sprinting. The variations are limitless. An example of a how a HIIT session may be structured is 30 seconds sprints on the stationary bike followed by 30 seconds rest, and this is repeated 8 to 10 times. The amount of time you exercise  depends on the exercise you choose and the 

This article will list some of the major health benefits of HIIT training and try to show you why this is something you should be building into you weekly exercise routine. 

1. HIIT can burn a lot of calories in a very short amount of time!

One scientific study compared the calories burned during 30 minutes each of HIIT, weight training, running and biking. The researchers found that HIIT burned 25–30% more calories than the other forms of exercise. In this study, a HIIT repetition consisted of 20 seconds of maximal effort, followed by 40 seconds of rest. This means that the participants were actually only exercising for 1/3 of the time that the running and biking groups were. Although each workout session was 30 minutes long in this study, it is common for HIIT workouts to be much shorter than traditional exercise sessions. This is because HIIT allows you to burn about the same amount of calories, but spend less time exercising.

2. Your metabolic rate is higher hours after exercise!

One of the ways HIIT helps you burn calories actually comes after you are done exercising. Several scientific studies have demonstrated HIIT’s impressive ability to increase your metabolic rate for hours after exercise. Some researchers have even found that HIIT increases your metabolism after exercise more so than jogging and weight training. 

3. HIIT can be done anywhere!

No matter where you are a HIIT workout can be done without constraints. You don’t need any equipments and very little space to be able to do an effective workout. Check out our youtube channel for various home workouts you can try yourself!

4. You can build muscle!

In addition to helping with fat loss, HIIT could help increase muscle mass in certain individuals. However, the gain in muscle mass is primarily in the muscles being used the most, often the trunk and legs. Additionally, it’s important to note that increases in muscle mass are more likely to occur in individuals who were less active to begin with .

5. Improve the health of your heart!

They say that extreme training helps build extreme results. It’s hard for most people to push themselves to an anaerobic zone where you lose your breath and feel your heart pounding faster and faster. With interval training it’s easier to push yourself to that level because of the rest interval that comes right after you reach that point. This helps keep a healthy heart and helps blood flow effectively throughout your whole body.

Example of a basic HIIT workout with no equipment!!

Squat Jumps: 20 seconds 

Burpees: 20 seconds 

Press Ups: 20 seconds 

Plank: 20 seconds 

10 seconds rest between exercises

30 seconds rest after each round

Complete 3-4 rounds. 

Podfit’s Top 6 Bodyweight Exercises!

So here are a list of our favourite bodyweight exercises that you can add to your workout. These exercises need no equipment at all so you can even complete them in the comfort of your own home! 

  1. Burpee:

Target Area: Full Body

Main Muscles Recruited: Most major muscle groups

Begin standing tall, then squat down to the floor, hopping your legs back into a plank position. Hop your legs back beneath you, then spring up, clapping your arms above your head as your feet leave the floor. Repeat. Beginners: You can perform “walking burpees” by first stepping back one leg, then another, into a plank position. Return to standing by stepping both feet back beneath you, then repeat.

 


  1. Press Up:

Target Area: Upper Body

Main Muscles Recruited: Chest, Shoulders, Triceps

Begin in a plank position, hands under your shoulders with your body in a straight line from head to toe. Lower your chest to the ground, being careful to keep your elbows in and to not drop your hips. Push back up to a plank, then repeat. Beginners: You can do wall, chair, or countertop pushups. Simply extend the feet behind you as you would a regular pushup, lowering your chest toward the surface you’re elevated on.

 

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  1. Mountain Climbers:

Target Area: Full Body

Main Muscles Recruited: Most major muscle groups

Begin in a plank position with your hands beneath your shoulders and your body in a straight line from head to toe. Engaging your core, draw in your right knee toward your chest, then extend it back to the starting position. Do the same with your left knee, and continue alternating knees. Beginners: You can modify this exercise by placing your hands on an elevated surface, such as a chair, and draw in your knees up to your chest.

  1. Walk Out Press Ups: 

Target Area: Full Body 

Main Muscles Recruited: Most major muscle groups, focus on Chest, Shoulders and Triceps with Press up

Begin standing tall. Reach for the floor and with your legs as straight as possible, crawl forward until you reach the plank position. Once in the plank position perform a press up (second on this list). Then crawl back up to a standing position, again keeping the legs as straight as possible. Repeat. Beginners: You can remove the press up from this movement to simplify the exercise or simply drop to your knees in order to perform a effective press up.

  1. Broad Jump:

Target Area: Lower Body 

Main Muscles Recruited: Quads, Hamstrings, Glutes, Calfs

Begin standing tall. Rapidly drop into a squat position, keeping your chest high and hips back. Explode from the squat position as fast as possible, extending the ankle, knee and hip. Leap horizontally as far as possible. When you land it is essential that you immediately drop into a squat (soft landing) to keep the exercise as safe as possible. Beginners: My variation for this exercise is to jump vertically rather than horizontally (squat jump)

  1. Plank Transitions: 

Target Area: Core

Main Muscles Recruited : Abdominals, Obliques

Begin holding the press up position (straight arm plank). Your back must be straight at all times and your hands should be below your chest. One arm at a time drop from your hands to your forearms whilst keeping your back straight and limiting any rotation at the hips. Beginners: Simply hold either a straight arm plank or forearm plank without adding the transitions.

Home Workout:

Here is a workout you can complete at home using these 6 exercises. No equipment and only a small amount of space is needed to complete these routine. 

Round 1: 

Burpee: 20 seconds 

Press Up: 20 seconds 

Mountain Climbers: 20 Seconds 

Rest: 30 seconds and Repeat 

Round 2:

Walk Out Press Up: 20 seconds 

Broad Jump: 20 seconds 

Plank Transitions: 20 seconds 

Rest: 30 Seconds and Repeat

Round 3:

All 6 Exercises back to back: 20 seconds work on each!

This workout only take you around 10 mins to complete so give it a try!!

The Podfit 12 Tips of Christmas

The Christmas season is fast approaching! Now Christmas can be a stressful time with all the planning, preparation and rushing around. At some points you may find yourself wondering if it is all worth it! Throughout this period the temptation to indulge and risk of deviating from your fitness routine is high! So this article is here to give you 12 helpful tips to help keep you on track whilst still being able to enjoy the celebrations.

1. Create a Christmas mantra

A  mantra is an affirmation to motivate and inspire you to be your best self. It is typically a positive phrase or statement that you use to affirm the way you want to live your life. Its purpose is to provide motivation and encouragement to you when you need to focus your mind to achieve a goal. You should create yourself a mantra which is personal and specific to you and your goals. You could even try to make this mantra festive and Christmas related. An example could be “I am going to gift myself with the body I want this Christmas”

2. Fail to plan, plan to fail

You should always plan in order to limit the decisions you have to make throughout the day and give you clarity and structure! This will help you stick to your diet and fitness routine and limit the risk of decision fatigue.

Firstly you should plan your meals. Planning your meals takes away the stress of having to figure out what you are going to eat for breakfast/lunch/dinner.

Planning for meals also allows you to incorporate healthy eating within what you can afford. It is important to take into account your lifestyle/schedule/commitment. If you are not willing or do not have have time to make an elaborate healthy dish, then do not plan for that dish and buy groceries for that dish if it is unlikely or unrealistic for you to have or make that dish.

For example, I know that I have a busy life and that I do not always have time to make breakfast/lunch/dinner so I try to plan meals that are healthy and easy to make, but also affordable, durable, and that will last a certain amount of time, and and I only buy groceries that fit into this plan.

Secondly you should plan your exercise. Your should set clear routines and goals when exercising. You should know at the start of the week what exercise you intend to do. Whether this be go for a run, swim, attend the gym etc. This can then be even more specific as you should never walk into the gym and not know what you are going to do or go for a run without a distance or time in mind. You will rarely exercise effectively if you don’t plan your workout or set goals for your session.

3. Don’t go places hungry

The truth is, we are not our ideal, best- thinking, balanced selves when we are hungry. We overestimate how much we need to eat (“eat with our eyes”), we overeat, we eat things we shouldn’t eat, we say things we don’t mean, etc. Our primal instinct and drive to eat takes over and nothing else really matters.

So it is good to not go places hungry, even if there will be food at the place you are going to. Generally, it takes time for food to arrive at the table, for people to decide what they want to eat, for hosts to have things ready to roll, for social and interpersonal activities to take place, etc. which means that going hungry to any place makes you more likely to be irritable and on a one-track mind to get your physiological needs met. Going to places hungry also doesn’t support the best decision-making so it’s good practice to eat something before you go.

4. Decide on indulgences beforehand

Throughout the Christmas period it is easy to over indulge. While this can be avoided with the will of steel, sometimes we will decide to give our wills of steel a day (or two? Or more?) off.

When this happens or when you decide to eat as you should not be eating, be selective in what you are eating and when you are eating it. A treat does not hurt every now and then, but it is a waste to eat a sweet or food item that we do not really care for just because we can.

If you are going to cheat, cheat sparingly and selectively.  Do not waste your cheating opportunities on stuff that you do not really want to eat and are only eating because you are craving something sweet/salty/etc. or because it happens to be around.

5. Be decisive

Indecision can be exhausting so decisiveness conserves both our physical and our emotional energy. It helps us to reduce procrastination, become more productive and organised, and gives us a greater peace of mind by eliminating anxiety and improving our confidence. When setting goals and making food choices your should be decisive and make a firm decision, then stick to this decision. You will gain so much more control over your life and your confidence will dramatically increase from simply being decisive.

6. Drink lots of water

Water is healthy for you and necessary for our bodies to survive. Our bodies are 50- 70% water and the rest blood. You can survive up to eight weeks without food as long as you have water. I do not recommend trying this out unless your life is such that this is unavoidable but rather include this to highlight the importance of water. For many cultures, water is life or is associated with life.

You should be drinking water throughout the day, whenever you are hungry, whenever you are bored, whenever you remember, and before meals. In fact, you should be drinking water right now. Your body needs an average of 8-10 cups of water to replenish the water that our bodies lose each day a n d it takes more water to replenish our water stores when we are involved in activities, heat, etc. It also takes time for your body to absorb the water that you take in and your body cannot take in all the water that it needs in one sitting.

7. Lower expectations

Expecting too much of yourself is a sure-fire way to increase stress levels. Ask yourself what you think you should or must be doing. Sometimes the expectations we have aren’t helpful, especially if we feel others might judge us.  SO throughout this busy time don’t try and cram in too much. Taking a break will give you time to recharge your batteries before the New Year starts.

8. Remember what Christmas is about

Among the Christmas panic and stress you should always keep in mind what Christmas is all about. Christmas is about having fun, celebrating the year gone by and spending time with the people you love. Try to enjoy yourself and relax,  stay positive and think about what makes Christmas great.

9. Routine is key

The word routine can often be frown upon and seen as being restrictive and boring. However routines can be fun and having one can lead to many health benefits. With the Christmas period being hectic and stressful a routine will be especially beneficial. A solid routine can result in:

  • Better stress levels lead to improved mental health, more time to relax and less anxiety. A lack of healthy stress management techniques can put you at greater risk for heart disease and negatively impact your overall health.
  • Better sleep will leave you refreshed. Your daily routine influences your quality of rest. Your sleep scehdule and bedtime habits affect your mental sharpness, performance, emotional well-being and energy level. It’s best if you can maintain a consistent time for waking and going to bed.
  • Better health is a result of just a little extra planning. Set the alarm a little earlier and you’ll have time to exercise and eat breakfast, fuelling your body for the day. Even a quick (and healthy) breakfast will get you energised. Whether you like to just go for a run or go to the gym for a bigger workout, it’s important make time for exercise.

10. Learn to say no

This one can be a hard one, especially around the holidays, festive days, celebratory days, or any days with food outside of your healthy eating plan, but the truth is that in order to lose weight and to maintain weight loss, you will have to say “no” to a lot of things that you want to say “yes” to.

The food will look great, smell great, and everyone around you will look happy as they eat the food that you too would like to be eating. It takes strength and willpower, but you have to implement the “no” and the self-control if you want to lose weight and maintain weight loss.

11. Get up and make movement your “modus operandi”

You may feel like throughout the Christmas period that you do not have time to exercise and that there is simply too much else to do. However it is essential to exercise, even if it is simply taking the stairs instead of the lift in the shops, as our bodies were made to be in motion and we suffer mental, physical, and spiritual effects when we are not moving sufficiently and when we are not getting enough activity in our daily lives. There are numerous articles and research that has been done highlighting the detrimental health.

So get moving and find and way that works for you to track it. It can be with a pedometer, an activity log, a daily break checklist, or a hybrid of methods but you’ll want to hold yourself accountable and want to see that activity “add up.” It also helps with consistency and routine in making movement part of your “modus operandi.”

12. Reduce sugars in your diet

Now throughout the Christmas period there is so much more sugary foods which are put right in front of you, whether this be a advent calendar, box of celebrations or a bowl of Christmas pudding. A high sugar diet can lead to health conditions such as:

  • Obesity and metabolic syndrome
  • Heart disease
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • High blood pressure and cholesterol
  • Chronic inflammation
  • Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
  • Dental plaque and cavities

Reducing the amount of sugar in the diet can help reduce the risks for these conditions. Replacing sugary foods with healthful ones can help a person get all of their essential vitamins and minerals. It may also help a person lose weight. To help you do this you should try:

  • Reading food labels
  • Avoid simple carbs such as white rice and white pasta
  • Avoid artificial sugars and sweeteners
  • Do not drink sugar (fizzy drinks etc)
  • Plan your meals
  • Focus and unprocessed whole foods

So there you have it! Try use these tips to help you get through the Christmas period and help you stick to your goals. Merry Christmas from all of us here at Podfit!!!

12th October 2018

How to Prevent Decision Fatigue When You Are Trying To Lose Weight

Personal Trainer York

Why do we make unhealthy choices that prevent us from losing weight — even when we know we should do better?

If you ask most people, they will say that poor food and drink choices are a result of a “lack of willpower.”

In fact, you may be surprised just how much small daily decisions impact the willpower you have for important choices. And most importantly, it turns out there are simple choices you can make that will help you master your willpower and make better decisions on a more consistent basis.

About 40% of the decisions we make are made on autopilot. So the first thing to do is to retrain the brain to make automatically smart choices. This takes time and practice and I will discuss this in another article.

Why Some Criminals Don’t Get a Fair Hearing

So this might seem a little off topic, but It is fundamental to you uderstanding decison fatigues. In a research study published by the National Academy of Sciences, psychologists examined the factors that impact whether or not a judge approves a criminal for parole.

The researchers examined 1000 judicial rulings over a 10-month period. All of the rulings were made by a parole board judge, who was determining whether or not to allow the criminal to be released from prison on parole.

Now, you might assume that the judges were influenced by factors like the type of crime committed or the particular laws that were broken.

But the researchers found exactly the opposite. The choices made by judges are impacted by all types of things that shouldn’t have an effect in the courtroom. The most notable factor was the time of day!

What the researchers found was that at the start of the day, a judge was likely to give a favorable ruling about 65 percent of the time. However, as the morning wore on and the judge became drained from making more and more decisions, the likelihood of a criminal getting a favorable ruling steadily dropped to zero.

After taking a lunch break, however, the judge would return to the courtroom refreshed and the likelihood of a favorable ruling would immediately jump back up to 65 percent. And then, as the hours moved on, the percentage of favorable rulings would fall back down to zero by the end of the day.

This trend held true for more than 1,100 cases. It didn’t matter what the crime was — murder, rape, theft, embezzlement — a criminal was much more likely to get a favorable response if their parole hearing was scheduled in the morning (or immediately after a food break) than if it was scheduled near the end of a long session.

What’s Going on Here?

As it turns out, your willpower is like a muscle. And similar to the muscles in your body, willpower can get tired when it is used repeatedly. Every time you make a decision, it’s like doing another rep in the gym. And similar to how your muscles get tired at the end of a workout, the strength of your willpower fades as you make more decisions.

This phenomenon is known as decision fatigue. When the judge on a parole board experiences decision fatigue, they deny more parole requests.

This makes sense. When your willpower is fading and your brain is tired of making decisions, it’s easier just to say no and keep everyone locked up than it is to debate whether or not someone is trustworthy enough to leave prison. At the beginning of the day, a judge will give each case a fair shot. But as their energy starts to fade? Deny, deny, deny.

Do You Suffer From Decision Fatigue?

Decision fatigue happens every day in your life as well. If you have a particularly decision-heavy day at work, then you come home feeling drained. You might want to go to the gym and workout, but your brain would rather default to the easy decision: sit on the couch. That’s decision fatigue.

The same thing is true if you find it hard to muster up the willpower at night to cook a healthy meal for dinner. You will come home, open the wine and order a takeaway. Tha’t not going to help you lose weight. That’s decision fatigue.

And while decision fatigue is something that we all deal with, there are a few ways that you can organize your life and design your day to master your willpower.

5 Ways to Overcome Decision Fatigue and Boost Willpower

1. Plan daily decisions the night before.

There will always be decisions that pop up each day that you can’t plan for. That’s fine. It’s just part of life.

But for most of us, the decisions that drain us are the ones that we make over and over and over again on a daily bais. Wasting precious willpower on these decisions — which could be automated or planned in advance — is one reason why many people feel so drained at the end of the day.

These are examples of daily decisions

What am I going to wear to work? What should I eat for breakfast? Where shall I get my lunch from? What groceries shall I buy? Shall I exercise today? Should I weigh myself tomorrow? And so on.

All of those examples above, can be decided in 3 minutes or less the night before, which means you won’t be wasting your willpower on those choices the next day and you are much more likely to lose weight if you reduce the decision making process. Taking time to plan out, simplify, and design the repeated daily decisions will give you more mental space to make the important choices each day.

2. Do the most important thing first.

If there was the most important court case in the world, when would you want the judge to hear it?

Based on the research above, first thing in the morning. You’d want their best attention, energy, and focus to go toward the decisions that were most important.

The same thing goes for your work and life. What’s the most important thing for you right now?

Is it getting in shape? Is it writing that book you have inside of you? Is it learning to eliminate stress and relax? That’s why I train first thing in the morning, usually around 6am, when ever I can. I make exercise my modus operandi and I don’t make that choice when I get up. It’s pre determined in my long term planning and entered into my diary.

Whatever it is for you, put your best energy toward it. If you have to wake up 30 minutes earlier, then do that. I’m a huge fan of getting up early.

3. Stop making decisions. Start making commitments.

I think advice like, “you just need to decide to do it” gets dished around too much.

Yes, of course you need to decide to do the things that are important to you, but more than that you need to schedule them into your life.

We all have things that we say are important to us.

“I really want to feel fitter.”

“I really want to lose 40 pounds.”

“I really want to get started on XYZ.”

Unfortunately, most of us simply hope that we’ll have the willpower and motivation to make the right decisions each day.

Rather than hoping that I’ll make the right choice each day, I’ve found much more success by scheduling the things that are important to me.

For example, I scedule in gym sessions on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 6am. I have a 2 week plan of the food I’m going to eat and If I forget that food, I have a back up plan of 2 shops I will get my lunch from when I am at work, to reduce the decion making process on things that I can control. As a business owner, the buck stops at me and I have enough decisions to make in my day. I’m sure you do too.

If you sit back and hope that you’ll be able to make the right decisions each day, then you will certainly fall victim to decision fatigue and a lack of willpower.

4. If you have to make good decisions later in the day, then eat something first.

It’s no coincidence that the judges became better decision makers after eating. Now, if you cram french fries into your veins every day, then I doubt that you’ll enjoy the same results. But taking a break to feed your brain is a wonderful way to boost willpower.

This is especially important because although it’s great to do the most important thing first, it’s not always possible to organise your day like that.

When you want to get better decisions from your mind, put better food into your body.

5. Simplify.

Whether you are trying to start eating a healthy diet, the biggest frustration for most people is the feeling that you need to use willpower on an hourly basis.

Find ways to simplify your life. If something isn’t important to you, eliminate it. Making decisions about unimportant things, even if you have the time to do so, isn’t a benign task. It’s pulling precious energy and willpower from the things that matter.

Willpower is the one area of life where you can improve your output by reducing the number of inputs.

The Bottom Line

Willpower isn’t something you have or something you lack. It rises and falls. And while it’s impossible to maximise your willpower for every moment of every day, it is possible to make a few changes to your day and your routine so that you can get the most of your decisions and make consistent progress on the things that are important to you.

8th June 2017

What are the Benefits of Waking up Early And How To Do It!!

Let’s be honest. For most people, it’s not easy to get up first thing in the morning, especially when it’s still dark. But a lot of successful people say,

“If you win the morning, you win the day.”

In fact, there are all kinds of clichés about rising early. There’s the one about the early bird getting the worm, to which I always reply that I don’t want the worm.

However, there are so many other benefits to waking up early, from better performance in work to being more able to stick to a diet plan.

In this article, I’ll discuss the benefits in more detail, provide you nine helpful tips to make rising early a habit, and answer some questions you have about starting a morning routine.

Benefits of Waking up Early

Physical

Helps you to Sustain a Healthier Diet

People who wake up early tend to eat breakfast, while later risers are often rushing out the door and have to grab something convenient (i.e. unhealthy), or they skip the meal altogether.

The problem with skipping breakfast is that it leads to poorer eating habits later in the day. If you’re hungry because you missed a meal, the doughnut in the break room may be too tempting to resist.

Helps your Skin Look Healthy

After a night of restful sleep, our skin is at its best first thing in the morning. And if you’re an early riser, you can take advantage of the morning hours to give your skin some extra TLC.

Similar to the breakfast example above, people who get up later in the day tend to focus less on healthy morning habits like hydrating and exercise, which oxygenates your blood and promotes healthy skin. Early morning risers can also use the extra time to exfoliate, moisturize and cleanse.

People who wake up early also tend to have regular sleeping habits (unlike the night owls who keep erratic sleeping schedules). Having a predictable sleep routine ensures that your skin gets proper time to rejuvenate.

Gives you More Time to Exercise

I enjoy an after-work gym session as much as the next person, but I’ll also admit to missing a fair number of workouts because of commitments at the office or with my family. And sometimes, I’m tired after a full day of work!

When you exercise in the morning, you’re less likely to have an excuse. Plus, you’ll find that your morning workout will keep you energized all day long.

Mental

Better Concentration

Starting your day early improves your concentration. In addition to being able to focus on goals and task lists without being interrupted by family members or coworkers, getting up early means that by the time you get to work or school, you’ve had hours to properly acclimate yourself to the day. You’ll be more alert during peak hours as a result.

Enhances your Productivity

Most successful people report that they’re up at 5 am, or even earlier. Early risers tend to be more productive for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Having more time to focus on important tasks while the rest of the world is asleep. This also translates to fewer interruptions.
  • Brains tend to be most alert in the morning. If you’re able to focus without interruptions early in the day, you’ll get more done.
  • You tend to make better decisions and think more clearly in the morning than in the afternoon and evening. Setting your goals first thing will help you achieve them.
  • If you can manage to get out of bed early, you’ll find that you have more energy throughout the day. It seems counterintuitive, but there are countless testimonials.

Emotional

Improves your Quality of Sleep

Keeping your body on a sleep routine will make it easier to go to sleep and wake up naturally at the same time each night. This is important for your body’s internal clock. If you go to bed late and wake up late on the weekends, for example, it’s harder for your body to adjust.

People who get up early are naturally sleepier when it’s the “normal” time to go to bed. And being on a predictable routine will help you sleep better each night and wake feeling more rested.

Helps you Enjoy Quiet Time

Sometimes it amazes me that not everyone gets up earlier. It’s a miracle how quiet the world is first thing in the morning. Not only are there zero distractions, which will allow you to enjoy peace and quiet, but you’ll also find that your daily commute is easier if you leave an hour earlier and beat all the traffic.

Plus, you get to avoid all that annoying office chit chat about weekends and kids and all the stuff you have to pretend to care about to be “polite.”

9 Tips on How to Get up Early

1. Start slowly

If you typically wake up at 8 am and decide that tomorrow you want to be out of bed by 5 am, you’re setting yourself up for failure. Instead, try waking up just 15 minutes earlier each day. Within a week, you’ll have worked your way up to almost two hours!

2. Sleep early

Start going to bed earlier than you normally would. That way you’ll get enough hours of sleep, and you won’t feel deprived when the alarm goes off. If you’re not tired when it’s time to catch some zzz’s, read a few pages of a book, especially a boring one, and you’ll be in dreamland in no time.

3. Set an alarm clock

Unless you naturally wake up at your goal time every morning, you’re going to need to set an alarm. I recommend putting it across the room, so you have to get out of bed to turn it off. I also set the alarm to play an inspirational or energetic song to help nudge me out of bed. Something with a positive message or an upbeat sound is much better to wake up to than a series of obnoxious beeps.

4. Step out of the bedroom

We’ve all turned off our alarm and crawled right back into bed. It’s so warm and comfy, right?

Instead, leave your bedroom. Whether it’s a trip to the bathroom or the coffee maker, once you’ve put enough distance between you and that blissful mattress you’ll find that you’re awake enough to start the day.

5. Have a good reason

Your long list of emergencies is not the driver that should spring you out of bed every morning. Instead, think of something positive that you plan on accomplishing. Maybe you can tell yourself something like you’ll get to leave work early if you get to work earlier. Or if you enjoy meditating but don’t often have the time, use that as a reason to get up and start your day.

6. Consider it as a reward

By rising early, you’re rewarding yourself. Try to remember that. If that’s enough of a motivation, bribe yourself with a treat from your favorite coffee shop or an extra long shower if you manage to get out of bed on time and without pressing snooze.

7. Use the extra time

Is there a book you’ve wanted to read or an online class you’ve been considering enrolling in? Use the extra time you get in the morning to do something that helps you grow and improve.

8. Eat less before bedtime

Even though eating before bed can make you sleepy, it’s also been known to disrupt your sleep and even cause nightmares. You need to listen to your body on this one. If your tummy is grumbling, try a soothing cup of herbal tea instead of a carb-filled snack. If you struggle to get off to sleep, try porridge before bed, it will help you drift off. If you find yourself waking in the night, stick to the herbal tea!!

9. Make a firm decision to get up, no matter what

Even if you tell yourself the night before that you plan on rising before dawn, it’s almost like you have a second personality that takes over when the alarm goes off and urges you to go back to sleep. It’s unnerving.

To avoid that evil monster living inside your brain, you’re going to have to be firm. If you can’t reason with it, then you’ll need to set up external cues in your environment. I recommend putting a reminder on my phone about my commitment or sleeping in my exercise clothes, so I’m all ready to start my day as soon as I wake up.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best time to wake up?


The answers to this question will vary depending on whom you ask. A lot of CEOs and gurus will tell you 5 am. However, the medical community generally agrees that the best time to wake up is at sunrise. Sunrise isn’t practical as it changes all thew time, so go with 5am to 6am, but no later.

The most important thing to keep in mind is consistency. Set a time that you plan to wake up and stick to it.

What are the effects of waking up late?


Besides having to rush around and feel like you’re playing catch up all day, the harmful effects of waking up late include having a hard time falling asleep when it’s time for bed and messing up your internal clock.

If you woke up each day of the week at 6 am and then slept in until 8 am or 9 am on Saturday, you’ve completely thrown off your clock, and you’ll feel effects similar to jet lag. When Sunday rolls around, and you try to resume your normal sleep schedule, you’re likely not to feel tired at bedtime, and in turn, you’ll be exhausted when the alarm goes off on Monday morning.

What’s the importance of a morning routine?


A morning routine sets the tone for your entire day. This is especially if you’re forcing yourself to get up early and you’re not naturally an early riser.

Having a set routine each morning will help you stay focused and productive. Countless productivity experts agree that the first thing you do in the morning is to make your bed. It gives you a small win and you can claim completing that task as your first accomplishment of the day!

Why do students need to get up early?


There’s a strong correlation between waking up early and scoring higher on tests. Texas University found in a recent study that the students who got up earlier got higher grades and performed better on tests than students who slept in.