Cold, dark mornings and dreary winter weather can make getting out of bed difficult for even the best early birds. But you don’t have to go into hibernation until April and wear out your snooze button in the meantime. Whether you prefer a quick jolt of energy to get yourself going in the a.m. or feel better easing into your morning, the following tips from trainers around the country will help you feel ready to go and refreshed in seconds.
1. PROGRAM INSPIRATION.
If your phone doubles as your alarm clock, type a motivational phrase as a note in your alarm, suggests Sherica Holmon, an instructor at Flywheel in New York City. Try a personal mantra or a line from an athletic brand ad or song that fires you up. “Having the message attached to your alarm will force you to look at this message before you press that snooze button!” says Holmon.
Take advantage of your phone further by jotting down a quick to-do list or a couple goals you want to accomplish that day in your notes app as soon as you wake up, recommends Meghan Takacs, a personal trainer and running coach with the fitness app Aaptiv. Taking a minute to think about your priorities and to write them down will likely energize you to get up, she says.
2. HAVE SOME H20 BEFORE YOU GET OUT OF BED.
If your alarm isn’t doing the trick and you’re still lying in bed feeling groggy, gulping a glass of water can help you get going. “Winters are tough, but incorporating some healthy habits into your morning is a great way to jump-start your day,” says Christi Marraccini, a head coach at Tone House in New York City. Marraccini knows a thing or two about supercharging your mornings: She teaches a class at 5 a.m. “A simple thing to do is keep a glass of water by your bed and drink it before you even get up. It helps to rehydrate the body, fire up your metabolism, and increase alertness.”
3. TAKE A DEEP BREATH.
Giving yourself a moment to breathe and reflect can help you start your morning on a relaxed, pleasant note. “I’m a big believer in breathing practices,” says Elizabeth Brewer, a fitness and yoga instructor in Tucson. “I take a moment, pause, and smile.” She suggests centering yourself by sitting with one hand cupped in the other and repeating a mantra in your mind. Her favorite: thinking “present moment” as she inhales and “joyful moment” on the exhale.
4. GIVE YOUR BODY A LITTLE LOVE.
Taking a few seconds to stretch while you’re still lying down can make leaving your warm bed seem a little less brutal. Takacs recommends hugging your knees to your chest while you lie face-up. “It’ll stretch out your spine and lower back, which will help wake up your whole body,” she says. Then flip over to child’s pose, advises Mike Donavanik, C.S.C.S., a personal trainer in Los Angeles and creator of the Extreme Burn workout series. Here’s how: Get on all fours, then lower your butt to your ankles, reaching your arms flat overhead and letting your forehead sink into the mattress. “It just feels so good on everything, and you literally don’t have to leave bed,” he says. “Just hold it for a minute or two, then get out of bed immediately after.”
5. WATCH A VIDEO.
Maybe save the clips of political news or press conferences for later (they might make you roll over and bury your face in a pillow). But checking out a new Under Armour commercial or clip from the CrossFit games or video of athletes crossing an Ironman finish line? Yeah, those should get you going, says Holmon: “Whenever I see a video of someone working out, I can’t wait to get a workout in myself.”
6. DROP AND GIVE YOURSELF 20.
The thought of doing a bodyweight exercise in your bedroom might not seem all that appealing while you’re still lying down—but doing so is guaranteed to wake you up. Donavanik loves to hop out of bed and bust out some push-ups. It fires up the muscles in your arms, shoulders, and core and gets your blood flowing in no time.
7. GIVE YOURSELF SOMETHING TO LOOK FORWARD TO.
Try to set a quick morning ritual that you love, suggests Marraccini—like taking 10 minutes to sit and sip coffee, read a chapter from a book, or meditate with an app like Headspace. Make it something that really appeals to you so the thought of doing it is enticing enough to prevent you from hitting the snooze button (again).
All images courtesy of iStock.