How to Become a Morning Exerciser

running with the sunrise

If we’re being honest, I’m not your typical morning person. I often bargain with the snooze button. But over the past couple years I’ve started becoming a morning person (yes, you can make yourself become one!). I never realized the beauty of the mornings until I started preparing for a trip to Dubai, when I was facing a 12 hour time change. Since I was going to be there for only a week, I wanted to make the most of every day so to minimize any possible jetlag, I started slowly changing my body clock by 6 hours before I even left for my trip. (Call me crazy. I might be.) What that meant was that I was eventually waking up at 2 am (yep, I realize how crazy I sound) but what I learned was that my life totally changed!

On my typical routine, I accomplished nothing in the morning besides getting dressed and scarfing down a rushed breakfast, and left all my workouts and errands/chores to the evenings. By the time I got home, I was so exhausted (and lets be real, hungry!) that my workouts were sluggish (if they even happened) and I didn’t get much stuff done around the house. That’s because my sharpest, most energetic moments were used up at work between 8am-12pm. So I was giving my best hours of my day to my company. I love my company, but I love me more. I wanted to give my best, most energetic hours to ME.

When I started the earlier morning routine, I generally had all my personal emails done, cleaned the house, got my workout done and got an errand or two done before even getting to work. Sure, I was TIRED by the end of the work day, but then I was able to just go home, eat dinner, kick my feet up and totally unwind. While I’m not suggesting that you start waking up at 2am, something more reasonable like 5 or 6am might just do the trick 🙂

Here’s How to Start Waking Up and Working Out Earlier:

Sleep in your Workout Clothes.
You think I’m kidding. I’m totally serious. I sleep in my workout shorts, sports bra & tank top. I have my shoes with my socks at the foot of the bed so that I can slide them on quickly and get out the door for my run. If I’m going to the gym, I have my bag + water bottle + towel + headphones packed by my door.  I know it sounds crazy, but just knowing that the ONLY thing I have to do is simply roll out of bed makes one less hurdle between me and my workout. So being already dressed makes me way more likely to get out of bed and do it.

Adjust your Sleeping Time by 15-30 Minutes Each Day.
Go to bed 15-30 minutes earlier each night, and wake up 15-30 minutes earlier each morning. This is a nice, gentle way to get into your new routine. If you normally wake up right now at 8am and expect to start waking up at 5am tomorrow, you’re going to exhaust yourself and give up

Schedule Your Weekly Workouts & Write Them Down
I personally write out my weekly workouts in my Google Calendar every Sunday night. I plan which mornings I’m running, BBG-ing, spinning, or whatever else floats my boat that week. It helps me mentally prepare and have something I know I can do and need to stick to.

Schedule a Pre-Paid Workout Class
I often schedule a 5:30 or 6am pilates class that I had already paid for. I was not going to waste the money – how stupid would I feel for throwing money down the drain because my lazy ass just didn’t feel like getting out of bed? And I’m tellin’ ya those classes ain’t cheap!

Get a Workout Buddy
If you don’t think you can make yourself do it on your own, schedule workout dates with an early bird friend. You won’t want to let them down if you know they’re waiting on you. It will help you stay accountable until you are fully in the habit yourself.

Find an In-Home Workout Plan
If getting to the gym is just not realistic for you, get a workout plan you can do easily at home! I love BBG and Insanity. There’s also Denise Austin daily workout videos, and TONS of other DVDs, YouTube Videos, subscription streaming workouts, etc. There’s no limit of in-home workout routines. And I live in a teeeeeeeeeny tiny condo, and I still have room to workout. So, unless you live in a box, you should too. 🙂 Or go outside for a walk or jog and get some fresh air!

Just Make Yourself Do It
Sometimes, you seriously won’t want to get out of bed. But unless your body is really giving you signs of fatigue (not just whiny “I dont wannnaaaa”), just make yourself do it. It’s not a question, it’s not a maybe. It should be a habit, a routine, a norm. The more you stick to it, the easier it will become.

The first is my favorite – which tip will you use?



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