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Have you ever seen that morning runner around your neighborhood and think to yourself “How are they exercising so early in the morning?!”… and you wouldn’t dream of doing anything like that until your second cup of coffee? Yeah, we’ve all been there.
Even if you’re not a morning person, becoming a morning exerciser is doable, especially if you follow this step-by-step plan. Once you start, you’ll soon wonder how you ever started your day without a morning exercise!
1. Slowly Move Up Your Bedtime
If you’re not getting enough sleep in the morning, working out in the AM can be pretty counterproductive and can make waking up early that much more difficult if you aren’t fully rested. Decide what time you’ll need to start waking up in the morning to make your workout happen and then calculate what your new ideal bedtime should be. Don’t expect to magically start falling asleep at 9pm if you’re usually in bed by midnight - those things take time. Instead, try going to bed 15 minutes earlier each night until you have reached your bed time goal for getting up in the morning.
2. Put a Realistic Strategy for Success in Place
It’s 6 am in the dead of winter and you need to go to the gym. That just sounds awful! Every morning regardless of the weather you have to bring yourself, work clothes, shoes, hair dryer and all your make up all the way to the gym - is the gym really the best option for you? There are THOUSANDS of great workout DVD’s and routines that can be just as effective as a gym session. With a few simple pieces of equipment – exercise ball, weights, etc. you can get the same workout in the comfort of your own home. Plus, you’ll cut out the time it takes to travel to the gym.
3. Plan to Fail
Yup, you read that right. It’s ok. Being prepared to fail truly is the best credo you can have when it comes to sticking with a fitness routine. Let’s face it, life happens and becoming a morning exerciser takes time. Try to decide ahead of time what you’ll do if and when something out of your control comes up, don’t stress. Try to have an alternative plan if you can’t always get through your morning routine.
4. Bribe yourself
If you love to start off your day with that cappuccino from your local coffee shop, make a deal with yourself that you’ll only be able to stop on your way to work if you fit in your morning workout first. Or if you have had your eye on an amazing pair of shoes or a nice shiny watch, treat yourself to them ONLY if you make a month’s worth of scheduled morning workouts. Make your new routine worth your while!
5. Pump Up Your AM Mix
You don’t even have to be out of bed to get your music to motivate you - start playing it even before your feet have touched the floor! Set your alarm clock to your favorite radio station, or connect it to your iPod. Add your favorite songs to the mix - the ones that really get your blood pumping - and try to change it up every so often to help keep you feeling fresh and inspired.
6. Share Your Plans to Your Social Media
We all have those people in our newsfeed who like to share every little detail of their workout with their friends list. We’re not saying you have to be THAT person, but sharing your workouts on Facebook or Twitter can help you get positive feedback and support from your friends and family! Plus, making your fitness goals public may help you feel more obligated to follow through with them.
7. Prepare for the Most Painless Pre and Post Workout
Don’t give excuses any wiggle room in the morning. Put your workout clothes, socks, shoes, even your hair elastic right by your bed so you don’t have to waste time rushing around for all of your workout gear. If you had a good workout and your hair is showing it, try using some dry shampoo instead of rushing through a full shower. The easier you make mornings on yourself, the more likely you are to stick to a morning workout routine.