5 Tricks to Becoming a Morning Exerciser
It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of working out early in the morning.
After years of working with clients, I know this isn’t always the preference. Yet, I try to sway as many people as possible to come to the early morning hours (dark) side. I’ve just seen so much more success in this set-up with busy Mom’s lives than any other approach. So, now let’s look how to set yourself up for success.
Early morning workouts have their advantages:
- If your workout is the first thing you have to do, rarely will something else take its place. Think about afternoon or evening workouts… how often do they get pushed back because of work, family, dinner, kids needing something, your sister calling, etc. They are pushed back and unfortunately, pushed out, all too often.
- Mentally, you are “fresher” after some sleep. Maybe it wasn’t a full night, but rest in general can help ease some of the mental fatigue a day can put on us. When our mind is rested, typically willpower and motivation are easier to come by – because those take mental energy too. The less fatigued you are mentally, the more likely you are to stay on course.
- Workouts wake you up. Ironic, right? But true. There is something about getting the blood moving that helps you get going for the day. I’m not saying it takes the place of coffee, but it can be used in addition to it.
- If you get up early enough, usually it’s just you. That means no mouths to feed, no requests to fulfill…simply you. If I can’t spark your interest in early morning workouts by telling you you’ll have alone time, what will it take??
So, it’s great to want to workout at o’dawn-thirty, but I’m the first to also say it is not easy. It takes dedication and commitment to the idea, but trust me, it’s worth it.
Here are some tools I use to make it just a little easier:
Get your clothes, shoes, water bottle, etc ready to go. Lay them out in the bathroom (or where ever you can get dressed without risking waking others).
I can’t tell you how many workouts I missed in the beginning because I couldn’t find the leggings I needed or the right sports bra wasn’t clean.
I’ve coached some women who even sleep in their workout clothes… now, I personally do go that far, but you do you. Whatever makes it happen.
- Know EXACTLY what you are doing for your workout.
I think this is important every time you workout, but especially in the early morning hours. Trust me when I say, most mornings you will not be thinking well. Take as much heavy mental lifting out of it as you can the night before. Have a plan of attack.
- We do not negotiate with internal dialog at 5am.
The only time you decide to NOT to workout in the morning is the night before.
Hear me out: how familiar is this?
5:00am: alarm goes off. 5am brain says “eh…. Snooze”
5:09am: alarm goes off. Negotiations begin. “I AM tired” and I worked out earlier this week. I DESERVE some rest*. Snooze.
5:18am: alarm goes off. Snooze.
5:27am: alarm goe-SNOOZE…snooze…snooze…off.
7:13am: Baby cries. “Well, damn”
Repeat after me: When the alarm goes off, I get up. No pause. No hesitation. No negotiation.
*Now, listen, I’m not unreasonable. We DO need and deserve rest. Let’s build that in. Make a goal to start with 1 or 2 days per week of the early morning workouts, not every day. The days “off” allow you to still sleep later so you don’t feel completely deprived of sleep.
- Bedtime matters.
If you are going to start getting up early for workouts, it’s important you start to shift your schedule a bit at night. This takes time to adapt to, but it does get easier.
I often hear women say, “I am so tired waking up that early- how do you ever get enough sleep?”….weeeellllll, you go to bed earlier? It will not work to keep the same 11pm bedtime for yourself if you plan on an early rise. Sleep is still critical. So shift a bit. The first night may be challenging to get yourself settled and to bed, but the nights of your early rise… you’ll fall asleep no problem by 10pm (or earlier… me? Like 8 if I could swing it! Okay, okay…. 9?)
- Find accountability.
There is something magical knowing someone is keeping track…especially if that someone isn’t you. Accountability can do wonders for the success of your goals.
It’s kind of like when I’m out running and I’m dying but I pass by someone and suddenly pick up the pace and smile and pretend like this is NBD. Like that.
Accountability can be a workout partner, a coach, an online community, a best friend you text and report back to… the options are endless for support- make use of it.
So let’s start here. I’d love to hear any other tactics that keep you coming back to early morning workouts and how you set yourself up for success.
Now, go set your alarm. We have an early rise.