I've always been one of those people who can jump out of bed and be ready to work out no matter how early it is or the season. I am just naturally set to be a morning person. I think it's in my genetic make-up.
Since having kids, I'm even more of a morning workout person. There are too many things that can come up in the afternoon or evening and roadblock me from exercising. Stuck at work longer than expected, after school activities, friends wanting to meet for dinner and drinks, not to mention feeling tired after a full day—there's always a potential "what if".
But if you work out in the morning, the chance of any obstacles at 5 a.m., is pretty slim.
If you are a night owl, making the switch to early morning workouts is going to be rough. In fact, you'll probably hate it. But if you make a gradual switch, you may just find yourself enjoying it.
Plan, Plan and Plan Some More
Set out your clothes the night before. To take it a step further, you can even sleep in your workout clothes—that's one less step to mess with in the morning. If you absolutely NEED coffee before your workout, pre-program it to start brewing before you wake up. Know the distance, pace and route you'll run. If you are going to the gym, write out your exact workout. Having a plan will help you avoid wasting time in order to make it the most productive exercise possible.
Set Your Alarm for 20 to 30 Minutes Earlier Than You Normally Wake Up
Continue setting your alarm 10 to 20 minutes earlier every day until you reach the wake-up time you want. Baby steps are best if you don't want to be the grouchiest person ever.
Go to Bed Early
Make sure you are in bed by 10 p.m. at the very latest.
Do NOT Hit Snooze
Repeat after me: NEVER EVER hit the snooze button. Besides being the most annoying sound ever, lying in bed an extra five or 10 minutes won't do anything for you except increasing the likelihood of skipping your workout. Seriously—eliminate snoozing.
Get Dressed in the Bathroom
Or at least away from sleeping family members and pets so you don't have any grumpy spouses, early bird kiddos or animals who will throw a wrench in your plans.
Find a Fellow Morning Workout Buddy
If you know you are meeting someone, you are less likely to bail on the workout. An accountability buddy will keep you on track.
Remember How You Feel Afterward
I get a kick out of knowing I started my day doing more than most people do their whole day. "Yeah, I ran 10 miles before 6:30 a.m. What did you do?" Missing a workout in the morning makes me feel so blah for the rest of the day. Getting a sweat session in first thing sets the tone and makes you more relaxed and energized. You don't have to stress about how you're going to squeeze a workout in between meetings, appointments and family obligations later in the day.
On average it takes 21 days to form a new habit. If you don't fully commit to making this new habit, it won't stick. The good news is that if you stick with it, you'll see that it will get easier with every morning.
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