I’m going to let you in on a little secret. I’m not a morning person. Like not even a little bit. My kids know to not wake me up before 7:00 a.m. because before then they refer to me as “mean mommy.” And while I despise waking up before the sun is up, I also recognize that morning exercise has a ton of benefits. So I’ve been setting my alarm clock to wake me at 6:00 a.m. and have learned how to exercise in the morning.
How to Exercise in the Morning
6 a.m. for me is the crack of dawn (don’t judge). I know that I’m not alone in this. Exercising in the morning can be really tough for a lot of people. It certainly takes a ton of willpower to get out of your comfy bed! And if, like me, you’ve got young kids at home waking you up at all hours of the night, getting up with an alarm can feel nearly impossible.
The thing is, morning exercise is good for you. Not only will you get your workout out of the way early so you don’t have to worry about it later, you’re more likely to make healthy food choices when you start the day on the right foot, and you’ll have more energy to accomplish the rest of your to-do list.
So, if you’re like me, trying not to hate your alarm clock, I’ve got some tips.
Sign Up for a Morning Class
Sometimes we need a little extra motivation to get out of bed.
If you sign up for an AM fitness class, you’re more likely to actually go than if you say you’ll get up and workout on your own. Many studios have fees associated with skipping classes or being late – talk about a good reason to wake up!
You can also start working out with a personal trainer and plan to meet them in the mornings.
Having someone waiting for you will make you more likely to get up and exercise. Plus, you’ll find that after the class you feel invigorated, which will help motivate you the next time.
Find a Buddy
If you don’t want to pay for studio classes or a personal trainer, find a friend who also wants to work out in the mornings. Having a workout buddy will keep you accountable and also help the time pass during your workouts. It’s a great way to catch up with a friend while doing something healthy.
It doesn’t even have to be someone you meet in person. Maybe your workout partner lives across the country or you’re both moms trying to sneak in a workout before the kids wake up. Send a text to make sure you’re both up in time and then report back with what workout you completed. It’s all about that accountability!
Get Ready the Night Before
If you will be going to the gym in the morning, pack your bag and get your clothes ready the night before so that all you have to do in the morning is roll out of bed, brush your teeth, change and go.
Make sure your gym bag has a change of clothes for the next day, a towel if you will be showering at the gym, sneakers, and anything else you might need afterward.
You can also sleep in your gym clothes the night before, that way you don’t even have to change in the morning until you get used to waking up earlier.
This also applies if you’re going to be working out from home. I lay my sports bra, yoga pants, and tank next to the bed so that I literally have no excuses.
You don’t have to immediately start waking up at 4 or 5 a.m. to exercise. That would be a shock to your system. Start in small increments.
How about waking up 20 minutes earlier and doing a 10-minute easy workout or yoga video?
Every week, set your alarm for just 10 minutes earlier, and before you know it, you’ll have time to fit in a full 45-60 minute workout.
Workout at Home
I’m going to be honest here. This is the only way I get in my morning workouts. Because really, why drive to the gym when you can workout right in your living room? There are a plethora of fitness videos on YouTube that you can do in the comfort of your own home. Then, all you have to worry about is waking up, getting into your gym clothes and walking into your living room.
I love my TRX, but when I’m not in the mood for self-led workouts, I’ll put on a workout using my Roku Express (did you know you could watch YouTube on your TV?!).
Some of my favorite fitness channels are:
With most videos, all you need is a pair of dumbbells and a yoga mat! Now you don’t have to deal with driving to the gym, getting there, and having to wait for your favorite machines.
Rewards are always a good motivation tool. Tell yourself that if you wake up every day for a week, you will reward yourself with something you love, like a manicure or massage. Or if you hit consistent goals, buy yourself new workout gear. You can also start putting a dollar in a jar for every day that you get up to exercise. Who knows how much money you’ll save up in a few months!
Just be sure not to treat yourself with food rewards! It can be easy to fall into the trap of thinking you “deserve” a brownie for working out. More than likely, you’re not working out enough to offset the calories from that treat. Plus, you’ll be playing into habits associated with emotional eating.
So that’s it!! Motivating yourself to exercise in the morning can be super simple:
- Sign up for a class or personal trainer
- Get a friend to commit to working out alongside you
- Lay your clothes out the night before
- If you don’t want to join a gym, workout at home
- Set up a reward system
While exercising in the morning can be tough, there are so many health benefits. You will feel great knowing that you got your workout out of the way while everyone else was sleeping. It might take some time to get accustomed to it, but once you do I promise you’ll feel amazing and wish you started sooner.