I’ve always been a morning person. My body seems to operate well first thing which sounds like a good thing, but that only means the reverse for me towards the other end of the day.
So I may be able to pull myself out of bed at an ungodly hour, tap into my energy stores and bust out an hour workout like its nothing but ask me to go out past 7:30pm and I turn into one lackluster grump. It has its pros and cons.
Regardless, I often get asked how I manage to find the motivation to complete my exercise before I really even start my day, just about every day. Truthfully, I enjoy it and I’ve developed such a routine around this type of daybreak schedule that it has become habitual.
Initially, when I decided to work from home, I thought I might want to begin playing around with different workout times since my schedule was a bit more flexible. I spent two weeks adjusting to see if I could adapt to a different time and to be honest, I hated it. I missed the early hour workouts and put myself right back into the old schedule.
So what does my current schedule look like? Here is an example of this week in workouts:
Monday- 5:30am – 8 mile Run + 20 min Strength
Tuesday- 5:30am- RPM + 2 mile run
Wednesday- 5:30am- 8 mile Run + Abs
Thursday- 9:00am- RPM + 20 min strength
Friday- 5:30am- RPM + 2 mile run
The only day that I get a later start is on Thursdays when I teach a 9am class. Other than that, 5:30am has been an ideal time for me.
You may ask yourself, what in the world would make one want to get themselves out of bed that early to sweat? Well, the feeling of accomplishment for one. Knowing you’ve already rocked a workout no matter what the day brings because we all know, as the day progresses, there’s only more opportunity to deter us from hitting the gym.
So if you’re not a morning exerciser but would like to start, here are my top 5 tips for getting your workout mojo before the sun comes up.
5. Lay It Out
Working out in the morning has to be as painless as possible, and you want it to be as easy as possible to get out the door. So lay your workout clothes out the night before, have your bottle of water ready, brush your teeth, lace up your running shoes and get going. Do nothing but the bare minimum. Ideally, it should only take you 5 to 10 minutes to get ready. Also, make sure you know your workout plan! If you’re set to run, know your route, set a distance goal and so forth. If you are hitting the weights, have a plan in mind. Our brains don’t operate as sharp fist thing, so don’t waste your energy on thinking of what exercise to do.
4. Make Waking Up Fun
Since when is waking up fun? For me, when I know I have something to wake up for, it’s much more attainable. On the mornings I run on my treadmill, I plan to catch up on one of my favorite shows. Before I head to the gym to teach, I grab a snack to eat on the way there. As soon as you wake up, blast an energizing song on your iPod. Dance around for a few minutes, shake it out and get moving. Do whatever you need to do to tap into those endorphins.
3. Bribe Yourself With a Rewarding and Tasty Breakfast
This is probably one of my favorite tips. I often feel like I’m able to complete a killer workout knowing I’ll reward myself with a big plate of delicious food. 2 cups of coffee always tastes so much better to me when I feel like I’ve earned it.
2. Make It a Non-Negotiable
The hardest part about working out in the morning is getting out of bed. This is essential and probably the hardest part for most, but DON’T and I repeat, DON’T hit the snooze. Don’t even give yourself a second to think about it, just do it!
1.Ease Into It
If you’re body isn’t use to stress at this hour, it may take some time to actually feel good about it. Start slow. Try one or two days a week and as you get more comfortable with the new wakeup time, increase your days. And if you skip a day, don’t beat yourself up. The sun will come out tomorrow!
That gives you an idea of how I do it, but I also want to note that I really do enjoy it. There are some people who are just not built for morning exercise and that is 100% okay. I know I reach my maximum potential when I workout before anything else but for you, that may not be the case. If the dread of getting out of bed is enough to make you hate the thought of exercise, please don’t force yourself into it. Whatever you do or whatever time you chose to do it, you should always enjoy it.
Are you are morning exerciser? Do you have any tips for getting out of bed to workout in the am? Feel free to share!