Yesterday when I was at the gym doing my shoulder workout, a man came up to me and said “You must wake up at 2am. You’re here SO EARLY, EVERY DAY!” it really made me laugh. First of all, I wake up at 4:15am, not 2. Secondly, it’s not easy. A lot of people make comments like “I don’t know how you do it” or “I’m just not a morning person” – I get that.
I work out in the morning because if I don’t, I have less of a chance of actually getting a workout in that day. After work it’s really hard for me to put the gym at the top of my priority list. I usually want to go home, sit on my butt, and do absolutely nothing. Or I want to go out and do something fun with friends. Working out in the morning makes it easy for me to still have a social life, or be a lazy POS from 5pm until 9pm.
I decided to put together a list of things that I do to get myself motivated to work out in the morning. Just remember, habits are just as difficult to form as they are to break. It takes time and it takes repetition to get a routine going that your body is used you. You will not ALWAYS be tired; it’s an adjustment. Think of it like jet-lag – does that last forever? Nope. Your body will adapt and it will become easier to wake up and get movin. You just have to stick with it.
1. Sleep in your work out clothes
Whether you’re an at-home workout person or a gym person, this is a great trick. It cuts out a few minutes of your routine right from the get go. When I first started my morning workouts I used to talk myself out of it because I would think about ‘how much work’ it was to get ready.“OMG I do not feel like changing out of these nice warm PJs right now to put on a sports bra and tennis shoes…” Now I’m up and out the door within 3 minutes. It takes so much LESS effort and it makes things so much easier.
2. Only set one alarm
I know this sounds crazy and probably unrealistic for some people, but setting only one alarm will make you much more alert in the morning. If you miss this alarm, you’re going to miss getting ready for your day. If you miss this alarm, you’re going to be late for work – heck, maybe you’ll get fired. THIS ALARM IS A BIG DEAL, PEOPLE. Set it – once – and when it goes off, jump out of bed. If you have to, LITERALLY JUMP. Talk about a wake up call, eh?
3. Keep your alarm far away from your bed — and make it obnoxious
I know it’s an age old trick, but it works. If you have to get up to set off that annoying chirping bird at 5am, you’re much more likely to stay up, especially if you’re already fully dressed. Having to walk a few steps across the room is going to wake up your body more than you think it will. Give it a shot – make sure you find the most annoying alarm noise you can.
4. Choose a gym close to home
Obviously this doesn’t apply if you’re an at-home workout person, but if you’re a gym go-er, this is key. If I had to drive more than 10 minutes to the gym in the morning, I’d probably fall asleep on the way there. My gym is about 6 minutes away from my house. Do I love my gym? No. Does it do the job? Yes. I would love to attend a much smaller gym, but there isn’t one that’s close enough to where I live. I specifically choose the closest one just because remembering that I have only a short drive until I’m there is motivation in itself.
5. Chug coffee, eat an apple … or drink pre-workout
I’m not an advocate for putting unknown substances in your body, but pre-workout is a magical thing. I honestly hadn’t started to drink it until recently and I regret that immensely. It gives you so much immediate energy. If you’d rather stay natural, make a cup coffee and chug it. You can even make one the night before and put it in the fridge. Iced coffee anyone? Caffeine, caffeine, caffeine, it’s a beautiful thing.
If you’re not a caffeine person, apples are a great food to use to wake you up in the morning. Their nutrients, especially the natural sugars, are great for a quick energy boost. And since apples are so easy to eat, you can do so while you’re driving to the gym. Win-win.
6. Go to bed early
I am SUCH a grandma when it comes to my bed time during the week. Working out is a priority for me, though, so making sure that I’m in my bed before 10pm is at the top of my list. You can still accomplish a lot between 5pm and 10pm, trust me. That extra TV show isn’t going to go anywhere. You can check your Facebook when you wake up – no one is going to read your notifications between night and morning. Turn off your cell phone, turn off your TV, and go to bed. The amount of sleep that adults need to function varies, but most need between 6 and 7 hours. Calculate it out and go to bed at the right time. Your body will thank you later.
7. Never miss a Monday
Strange, right? Monday’s typically set the tone for your week. I’m speaking from experience here, but when I skip a Monday work out, I’m much more likely to skip another work out later on in the week. I know Monday’s suck, but you’ll feel a lot more accomplished if you make it a point to never miss your Monday workout. Who doesn’t like to burn a few calories first thing Monday morning?
Changing your routine to accommodate for a morning work out is not easy. It takes time to form the habit, but try it out for a week or so and see how you feel. You’ll have more of a social life, you’ll be more awake and you’ll get your metabolism moving right away. Remember – all you have to do is start. Once you start, the rest is a piece of cake.