Early Birds Get Their Workouts Done: Tips For Morning Exercise

September 9, 2014

In theory, this might sound like a great plan: The alarm goes off early, you get right out of bed without hitting the snooze button, don your workout clothes and hop into your home gym equipment for an exhilarating morning workout that will boost your metabolism and give you plenty of energy throughout the day.

However, for many of us, reality looks more like hitting the snooze five times until it’s too late for that fitness session pre-work. Most often, this means we have to wait another eight hours at our job or take care of responsibilities at home before we can get in that run on the home treadmill.

It can be quite challenging to become a morning person if you’re more of a night owl. However, it’s not an impossible task, and there are certainly benefits to being up and at it earlier in the day. If one of your goals this year is to get in the habit of morning exercise, here are some excellent tips to help make that happen:

Move your alarm clock: When that buzzer starts or the song begins, it can be startling and often unpleasant. It’s easy to just hit the snooze and give yourself five more minutes, but those minutes can add up quickly. On the other hand, it’s hard to hit that button if it’s across the room. If you are a chronic snoozer, it can be helpful to move your alarm clock out of reach, which forces you to actually get out of bed to shut it off. This way you are already up, so it makes sense to stay awake.

Get dressed the night before: Sleeping in pajamas is comfortable, but many workout clothes are not that much different. If it’s a struggle for you to get up and dressed for exercise, remove the complication by wearing those clothes to bed. While this may sound a little silly, it can make it easier to just roll out of bed and hop onto the elliptical machine without having to take the extra step of changing into a new outfit.

Announce your plan: Making yourself accountable is great motivation for getting something done – including your morning workout. Announce to your friends, husband, wife or Facebook community that you will be waking up at a certain time tomorrow morning for a sweat sesh. Now that you’ve put it out there, you’ll feel like you have a responsibility to follow through, and you’ll feel accomplished once you do.

Recruit a friend: Workout buddies are always a spectacular source of motivation because it’s helpful to know you’re not alone. It’s also nice to be able to talk about your successes or concerns with someone who understands what you’re going through. If you have a friend or family member who also wants to start doing morning workouts, hold each other accountable, even if you don’t live together. Before each morning session, send each other a text to let them know you’re about to workout, then follow up afterward and let them know if you were successful.

Start slowly: If you are transitioning from a night to morning person, it’s OK to give yourself time to adjust. Initially, it can be helpful to start with shorter workouts because it might still take you some extra time to get out of bed. Fitting in 15 or 20 minutes in the beginning is a great start, and once you get more used to waking up early, the easier it will be to get out of bed and complete a longer session.