I never used to workout in the morning. For years I worked out in the late afternoon four days of the week. Being a teacher and having no kids, I could be home by 4 pm with two to three hours to myself before my partner came home for dinner. Even on the weekends, I would prefer to sleep in, have a leisurely breakfast, and head out for a run on long bike in the afternoon. It’s not that I didn’t like getting up early or couldn’t (I’d often be up by 5 am to coach swim team or cross-country), but I enjoyed my afternoon workouts.
Having a baby has changed my schedule drastically. With sleep a precious commodity, I would take all that I could get. He was my alarm and setting an alarm before he woke up was laughable. I started squeezing in workouts after he went to bed at 7 pm, but that wasn’t ideal. By the time I got cleaned up and made dinner, my husband and I were eating around 9:30 pm.
So in January of this year I decided to make a change. Just around that time my son started sleeping through the night and I was feeling a little more rested. Getting my workout in first thing in the morning was appealing – it would be over and done with and I would be able to eat dinner at a more reasonable time.
Even if you aren’t a morning person, you might see the appeal of exercising first thing. Here are some benefits:
My Top Five Tips That Worked For Me
- Plan your week – know what workouts you are doing on what day and work them around your schedule. If you have an early morning meeting, change a workout around so that you can squeeze in a shorter one.
- Go to bed earlier – if you are waking up 45 minutes earlier to do your 30 minute workout, it only makes sense to go to bed 45 minutes earlier. Go to sleep at the same time every night to establish a routine.
- Prepare the night before – layout your workout clothes on the floor by your bed, set up your workout area. Lay out your yoga mat, put the right DVD in the player, fill your water bottles. This way you just wake up and go. I’ve heard of some people sleeping in their workout clothes — do what you gotta do!
- Use a gentler alarm and put it out of reach – my husband’s blackberry has a soft alarm that gradually gets louder and it is so much better than being jolted awake. And don’t hit snooze a dozen times. Once you’re up, stay up.
- Like anything, you just need to DO IT – while you may not feel like getting out of bed when your alarm goes off, once you are up and moving around you are fine. And the feeling you get at the end of your workout is worth it!
It is all about forming a new habit so it can take three or more weeks for it to start feeling routine. There will be days you miss the workout and days you sleep in, but know that anything can be accomplished if you desire it enough and are CONSISTENT.
“Life is about habits, both big and small. So to get to the bigger goal of working out in the morning, I stick to small habits along the way, like placing my alarm clock in my kitchen. As I brush my teeth, I ask myself: What will I gain from staying awake instead of going back to bed? The answer is always ‘a lot,’ because a couple extra hours of uninterrupted time is enormous, whether it’s spent at a desk or in the gym.” — Adam Griffin, founder of Bodeefit
For some more tips like the one above, checkout this article by the Greatist:
Do workout in the morning? What helps you get up and get it done?