Two HK student athletes and champions' tips for getting out of bed early in the morning

The mornings in Hong Kong at the moment are still chilly, and it can be difficult to get out of bed. Two student athletes tell us how they motivate themselves to wake up early

Joanne Ma |

Latest Articles

Beloved Hong Kong icon Brother Cream dies

Hong Kong protests: 5 teenagers arrested for possession of petrol bombs and gas masks, but demonstrations fail to materialise

You know the feeling: you’re warm and toasty in bed, and everything outside the duvet is cold. You know you have to get up, but it’s hard to do when all you really want to do is lie in bed and nap the day away – especially when the mornings are dark and cold.

Young Post spoke to two of Hong Kong’s top young athletes about how they manage to get themselves into training on cold wintry mornings, and how you can do the same to get to school on time.

Christy Leung-yi is a figure skater, who last month became the city’s first-ever champion of the sport at the 2018/2019 Chinese National Figure Skating Championships in Harbin, China. She came a clear 10 points ahead of her closest competitor – something that she can attribute in some way to her ability to get out of bed early.

Health mythbusters: 7 common beliefs about exercise and fitness explained by a pro

“One thing that forces me to wake up [early] is imagining that my competitors are already up, and training. That motivates me to get up and start training,” Christy, 16, says. “I just want to make sure I don’t fall behind.”

Christy says her desire to maintain a constant edge over her opponents gets her out of bed.
Photo: David Wong/SCMP

It’s not just her desire to maintain her edge over her opponents that gets Christy out of bed, though. Another reason that she gets up earlier than she needs to on cold mornings is that it affords her the time to look good. Like many other girls her age, she likes to take care of her appearance. “It just gives me more time to decide what to wear. I can also do my make-up without rushing.”

She adds that it’s also important for her to be able to enjoy her breakfast. Whenever she wants to sleep in, the thought of eating breakfast without rushing is enough to motivate her to get up.

Hong Kong épée fencer Kaylin Hsieh Sin-yan says that she finds that she is able to get up quicker on cold mornings when she’s had a decent amount of sleep the night before. The 17-year-old Sha Tin College student, who won two silver medals at the 2018 Buenos Aires Youth Olympics in the women’s individual épée and Mixed Continental Teams events, has morning training sessions everyday, and sticks to a rigid sleeping schedule.

Get enough sleep, advises Kaylin.
Photo: International Fencing Federation

Kaylin says that setting your alarm to go off half an hour before you plan to actually wake up also helps – so if you plan on getting out of bed at 7am, you should set your alarm for 6.30am. “Then you’ll have time to slowly wake up and get ready,” she says. “Sometimes, though, you will just have to force yourself to get up once your alarm goes off. Don’t just press the snooze button and go back to sleep.”

We might not all be like Christy and Kaylin, and be capable of scoring medals for the city, but we can all make an effort to get up early like they do, even when the city is as cold as it has been over the past few weeks. You know what they say – the early bird gets the worm. Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise. Who knows what you might discover or do (like that piece of homework you might have forgotten about) in that extra hour that you’re awake in the morning?

Edited by Ginny Wong