Let's face it, some days we have every intention of working out, but life somehow gets in the way. Between work deadlines, family obligations, and sick kids even the most dedicated exercisers can get derailed. One way around this is to work out first thing in the morning. Sounds good, but getting out of a warm and cozy bed to exercise is hard! Follow these four steps to get yourself up and moving in the morning.
Photo by:Christopher Campbell
START SLOWLY: Figure out how much time you will need for your workout and begin to gradually adjust your sleep schedule. Start by going to bed 15 minutes earlier and waking 15 minutes earlier. Use that extra time in the morning to do a quick yoga or stretching routine, or any other short workout. This will help you get into the habit of doing something good for your body every morning. Continue gradually adjusting your sleep schedule by 15 minutes each week until you have enough time for your full workout.
SET YOURSELF UP FOR SUCCESS: Create an environment that is conducive to exercise. Start by packing your gym bag or setting out all of your workout gear the night before and placing them by the door so you are ready to go. If you are having a hard time resisting the snooze button put your alarm clock across the room or set multiple alarms. The goal is to make it as easy as possible to get out the door in the morning! It also helps to have a plan B in place just in case. For example, if you are planning to head out for a run but wake up to a thunderstorm, try an indoor Tabata or strength workout.
GIVE YOURSELF AN OUT: Sometimes we wake up and just don’t feel like getting out of bed to exercise! When lack of motivation strikes, promise yourself you can stop after 10 minutes if you are still feeling exhausted. Chances are that once you get up and moving you will want to keep going. Even if you decide to stop, at least you have done something for 10 minutes. Even 10 minutes of exercise is better than zero!
ENLIST HELP: An early morning workout buddy can work wonders in helping you stick to a morning workout routine. We are more likely to show up if we know we have someone waiting for us! If you can’t find a friend who is willing to wake up and work out, Try signing up for a class, hiring a trainer, or posting your intentions to social media. All of these things can help create accountability and help you to stick to your plan.