I’m going to give myself props today. I’m 5 for 5 morning workouts this week! Over the years I’ve grown to love morning workouts but don’t think for a second though that I jump out of bed at 5:30am with a smile on my face, overzealous about the thought of running in the pitch black or being the first person on the elliptical machine at the gym. I really don’t love sleeping in any less than anyone else.
I prefer morning workouts for a few reasons. There are many proven benefits of morning exercise such as increased energy & acuity at work, a higher percentage of calories-from-fat burned, it jumpstarts your metabolism and helps you sleep better. Mostly though, I love morning workouts because it means:
- I only shower once that day.
- My evenings are free for blog reading & writing, cooking dinner or date nights with the girls or my fiancé.
While busting out an arm sandwich workout yesterday morning, I got to thinking about my usual routine – the mornings I actually get out of bed to exercise versus the mornings I blow off a workout for another hour of sleep. I came to the conclusion that it’s all about preparation.
The more preparation you put into your morning workouts, the more likely you will be to get out of bed for them.
If you’re wanting to become more of a morning exerciser, here are some tips that really help me get out of bed for a morning workout:
The day(s) before:
- Write a workout schedule for the week. Consider work deadlines and having your really busy days be rest days. I do this on Sundays while I’m also plotting the week’s meals.
- Enlist a morning workout buddy to meet you for at least one early workout per week. Anne was mine all throughout grad school!
The night before:
- Decide exactly what morning workout you will do.
- This dramatically increases the likelihood you’ll follow through. For example, instead of saying, “I will exercise before work tomorrow,” say “I will run 3 miles and do 30 pushups before work tomorrow.” Suddenly, you can determine how much time you’ll need to exercise and have a game plan should you wake up in a fog when your alarm goes off. Check out my workout schedule from this week and you can see how specific I am. Guess what? I got up for every single one because I woke up with a plan!
- It also prevents you from dozing back off to sleep while pondering what type of exercise you’ll do.
- Workout agendas maximize efficiency by eliminating wasted minutes spent debating which piece of cardio equipment to hop on or which strength moves to do next.
- Lay out your exercise clothes.
- This gesture alone is a sign you’re committed to getting out of bed for exercise in the morning.
- It takes the guess work out of dressing for the weather which can be overly complicated if you’re groggy from a good night’s sleep.
- It saves time which means you can sleep 5 minutes longer.
- Your still-sleeping significant other will appreciate not hearing you fumble around in the dresser drawers and closet.
TIP: Check what the low temperature will be overnight and plan your workout attire accordingly. If your workout is fairly early, chances are the temperature will be at or near the low temperature for the night.
- Pack your gym bag if you plan on a post-sweat session shower. You’re much less likely to forget critical belongings like deodorant and underwear.
TIP: Write down a list of your essential “getting ready” items such as shampoo & conditioner, towel etc… and keep it close by such as in a medicine cabinet, bedside table drawer. Take a quick peek at it as you’re packing your bag so you don’t forget any of the essentials. Eventually, you’ll have it memorized.
- Get a good night’s sleep. No explanation needed.
The morning of:
- Use the power of positive thinking to your advantage. Don’t dwell on how much you’d rather fall back asleep. Instead, focus on what you’re excited to do with your free time after school or work.
Obviously, the best time to work out is a time that you’re most willing to commit to but if want to become a morning exerciser, hopefully these little tricks of mine will help!
Questions of the day: Morning or afternoon? | What helps you early exercisers get out of bed for a workout?