Do you try to squeeze your workouts into your evening schedule and often find excuses to skip your workouts? Do you struggle waking up early to workout? If so, you are not alone, but you should know that you are missing out!
Research suggests that people who go to bed early and get up early are receiving benefits that night owls are not, such as less stress, guaranteed daily workouts, healthy breakfasts for themselves and their families, and overall alertness and preparedness for the day.
If you are looking to improve your life in any of these areas, it is time to make the switch but I know it is super hard. That is why I have put together a list of 25 tips for making the shifting to early morning workouts doable for you.
Change your sleep schedule ~ Just as adjusting to jet lag can take several days, don’t expect that a bedtime of 2 hours earlier, is going to automatically make you want to jump out of bed 2 hours earlier in the morning. Give yourself 2 weeks to adjust to this new schedule and know that it is normal to need an adjustment period.
Use light to trick your body into easing awake ~ Set a dimmer light to come on 15 minutes before your alarm goes off so that your body begins to wake up naturally.
Set multiple alarms ~ If you prefer to keep your alarm close to your bedside, I recommend setting at least 2 alarms. The first alarm gives you a chance to lay in bed and think happy thoughts for the day. It is a chance to reflect on the positives in your life and the reasons for the change you are trying to make. The second alarm is just in case you slip back to sleep.
Keep your alarm further than arm’s length ~ You wouldn’t want to wake the kids this early so you better jump out of bed quickly to shut the alarm off. Okay, so now that you are up, stay up. It is time to workout!
Start your morning with heart-pumping music ~ Music is a natural adrenaline booster that will help get your body and mind up and going. Set your alarm clock to play music as your wakeup call.
Wear your workout clothes to bed ~ You can wear them or have them laid out and ready for the morning. A bonus to wearing them to bed is that you will be nice and warm when you roll out of bed. There is nothing worse than being cold when you wake up! That leads me to tip number 7.
Set your house temperature to warmer than usual when you awake ~ A cold, drafty bedroom is a good way to make you want to crawl back into bed under your blankets. Eliminate that excuse. I use the Ecobee programmable thermostat for this trick!
Keep a glass of water beside your bed ~ There are so many reasons to start his habit tomorrow! When we awake from a night’s sleep we are dehydrated. Drinking a glass of water, before our feet even hit the floor gets our organs up and going quickly. Try it, you will notice your body just feels better as you get around in the morning. As an added tip, are you looking to cleanse as part of your new healthy lifestyle? Add a drop of lemon oil to your water the night before. This concoction will detox, hydrate, and awaken your body for the day.
Diffuse peppermint oil in your room ~ Peppermint oil makes the body alert which will help you get awake and moving in the morning. If you can’t diffuse it, keep a bottle beside your bed and smell it after you turn your alarm off. The peppermint oil will alert your senses that it is time to move.
Buy a coffee maker for your room ~ If you are a coffee lover, your incentive for getting up could be that your coffee is right there waiting for you to drink it.
Keep a cold washcloth by your bedside ~ A cold washcloth on your face will wake up all of your facial nerves! You could also splash cold water on your face.
Put a picture of your reason by your bedside ~ Maybe you want to look the way you did before having kids? If so, then your bedside picture should be of your former self. If you are working towards looking great on your upcoming cruise, a scenic coastal picture should do the trick. Whatever the reason, make sure you literally do not lose sight of it.
Make your bed ~ Not only will you benefit from slipping into a neat and tidy bed every night, but the action of getting up and moving will keep you from wanting to crawl back in. The added benefit is that your significant other will need to get up with you! It is always easier to do things together vs alone. If you don’t have a significant other at home that leads me to the next tip…
Don’t do it alone ~ Whether you are meeting a friend at the gym or your dog is counting on you for his/her daily walk, this is a great way to ensure accountability for getting up for your morning workout.
Change up your workout so it stays interesting ~ Get excited about your workout routine. I love the Beachbody On Demand app on my Apple TV because it allows me to pick from so many different workouts.
Stop thinking about how early it is ~ When you commit to working out in the morning, you also need to commit to the idea that time is only a number. It may be 4 am in your home, but it is 10 am somewhere else. It isn’t too early if you go to bed at a reasonable time. Aim for no less than 7 hours of sleep per night.
Pay attention to how you feel ~ Do you usually feel the 2 pm slump? Try working out in the morning and pay close attention to how you feel the rest of the day. When you aren’t craving chocolate in the afternoon, you will come to rely on your morning workout routine to keep your eating in check too.
Invest in some hot workout gear ~ If you want to feel good, you should first look good! Start your day off looking hot. There are so many to choose from, but here are some of my favorites.
Have a pre-workout snack ready and waiting for you ~ Start your day with something yummy like peanut butter, chocolate chip bars made with oatmeal, PB, egg, vanilla, baking soda, and chips.
Eat 2 breakfasts ~ Eating a pre-workout snack and a post workout breakfast will help keep your metabolism burning and will be satisfying.
Make your workout a habit ~ Wake up the same time every day and look forward to this time for yourself. Soon it will become a habit just like brushing your teeth.
Reward yourself every night ~ With your workout, already in for the day, you can choose to spend your evening however you need to. Be sure to carve in some time for yourself at night to do something you enjoy.
Don’t eat after 7 pm ~ Having hunger pains is a good way to motivate you to get out of bed and get to your pre-workout snack.
Make getting up at the same time a routine ~ If you wake up every day at the same time, your body will eventually begin to wake up naturally. Have you ever noticed your body can get you up, even if you forgot to set your alarm? Make your wake up time a routine so that you begin waking up more naturally over time.
Try it for 3 weeks, then skip two days ~ Prove to yourself that you can do this, then see what your body feels like when you have skipped your workout for 2 days straight. I have come to need my workout in order for my body to work as it should. After two days of missing a workout, I start to have tension in my shoulders, I feel fatigue, and I miss the endorphins that keep me emotionally balanced. I challenge you to listen to your body, it will tell you what it needs.
Waking up early for a morning workout can truly be a life-changing decision. It is not easy. I hope that some of these tips can help you achieve your personal fitness goals. Also, be sure to check out my post on staying true to your diet and fitness goals even while traveling! And working out is just one part of a good morning routine.