Call me weird, but I love working out first thing in the morning. This does not, however, mean that I love getting out of my comfortable bed at 5:45 every morning. In fact, the only reason I opt for morning workouts is because it means my evenings are free to do other things. Oh and it also means I’ll be less likely to skip a workout, since I’ll already have gotten my sweat session out of the way.
I don’t know if this post will convince you to join my AM bandwagon, but hopefully, it will give you a few tips and tricks on how to get out of bed and move….if you so choose!
1. Get to bed at a reasonable hour.
This seems obvious…and it is. The key is actually doing it. Personally, I keep in mind that nothing good happens after 9:00 pm, and I also remind myself that I’m no longer 21, which means seven hours of sleep is a necessity. To properly transition to a morning workout schedule, make sleep a priority. Period.
2. Take 20-30 minutes every night to prepare for the following day.
This is another must. There’s something magical about going to bed knowing that all you have to do the next morning is workout, shower, get dressed, and head out the door. No standing in front of the closet figuring out what to wear. No last minute ironing. No throwing together a less than tasty lunch. But again, easier said than done. Something I’ve been doing lately is setting an alarm for 8:45 pm every Sunday through Thursday. When it goes off, I know what to do – pick an outfit, iron if necessary, make lunches, prep breakfast if necessary, etc..
3. Implement an “alarm strategy” that works for you.
The most common “strategy” I’ve heard of is keeping the alarm on the other side of the room. This ensures that you physically have to get out of bed to turn it off. I’m not sure why, but this does not work for me. Instead, I recently bought an old fashioned alarm clock that is very manual and hard to figure out in the dark, especially when combined with poor eyesight. This means that I have no choice but to turn it off and get out of bed. Works every time!
4. Get your workout gear and equipment (clothes, socks, shoes, headphones, dumbbells, exercise ball, etc.) together in one place the night before.
See tip #2.
5. Have at least one thing you’re looking forward to doing every evening.
First, make sure it’s something that would be compromised if you end up having to exercise in the evening. Second, get creative. This activity, if you will, can be absolutely anything. Personally, my list includes everything from dinner plans to a post-dinner walk with Vishnu to reading for an hour before bed to catching up with a friend over the phone. And finally, make a mental note of this activity to remind yourself that you have to work out in the morning. No if, and, or buts about it!
6. Review your workout before bed.
Every night before I go to sleep, I sit down and review exactly what my workout is going to look like the next morning. Whether it’s a run or a structured Best Body Bootcamp workout, knowing that there is a plan in place makes getting out of bed 10x easier. And it’s also motivating in a way, as I genuinely go to bed excited about whatever it is that I’m going to be doing.
Are you a morning exercise person? If so, share your tips!