Not all of us are lucky enough to call ourselves “morning people,” and while the thought of jumping out of bed and getting your workout over with is appealing, it can often feel impossible if you’re just not good at mornings.
But besides getting the best worms, there are many benefits to being an early bird. Studies have found that early risers are more likely to be high performers in school and at work. Getting up early can certainly have other perks as well; ample time to make a healthy breakfast, avoiding the pre-work rush and scramble to get out the door, while also being able to squeeze in an activity that makes you feel good, like exercise.
While there are benefits of exercising in the evening, no one can deny that fitting in a workout first thing in the morning can help set you up for success when it comes to achieving your health and fitness goals. How many times have your after-work or school exercise plans been derailed because you’ve felt too exhausted or have had social plans pop up that are too difficult to say “no” to?
Unfortunately, whether you are a morning person or night owl is ingrained and not easily changed. Fortunately, humans are creatures of habit — so while it may be harder to get in morning workouts if you’re a night owl, creating a new routine that sets you up for success is possible. Read on for some tips for becoming a morning workout person.
Practice sleep hygiene.
Practicing sleep hygiene can help you achieve a higher-quality sleep and set a new sleep-wake routine that makes getting up earlier a little easier. Good sleep hygiene includes going to bed and waking up at the same time every day (even on weekends!), not using your bedroom for anything other than relaxing activities, leaving your phone out of the bed and not sleeping in total darkness so you wake up with the sun.
Know exactly what your morning workout is going to involve. Have a plan for where you are going, set your coffee maker up, and plan what you will eat before or after. Without a set plan in place, pressing snooze will be a lot easier. Set your gym clothes out before you go to sleep or, if you really struggle, re-define what “pjs” mean to you and sleep in your gym shirt.
Don’t overthink it.
Get up and go. This one is definitely easier said than done, but giving yourself time to think about how you’d rather stay in bed will quickly translate into actually staying in bed. Don’t press snooze. Get up and get at it. By the time you’re awake, you’ll already be working out. One foot in front of the other.
Place your alarm across the room. This one goes with the tip above. By placing your alarm across the room, you have to get up to turn it off. Once you’re up on your feet it will be easier to get going. Keeping your alarm next to your bed makes it much easier to press snooze.
Morning workouts can be a lot easier if you give yourself something to look forward to after. Maybe it’s a coffee from your favourite spot or a smoothie from that great juice bar. Whatever it is, keep it healthy, but still motivating enough to make getting up less of a chore.
Enlist a friend.
Making plans with a friend for a morning workout will keep you accountable. Bailing is a lot harder when you know someone is counting on you to meet them. Plus, it makes the workout more enjoyable to share it with a friend.
Once you’ve successfully fit in a few great morning workouts, you will realize how good it actually feels. Hold on to that feeling when you really want to sleep in… and when all else fails, don’t forget the power of a good cup of coffee.