In case you are wondering, I did not just wake up one day and say to myself- “Yay, its 4am I can’t wait to hit the gym for my workout.” In my early days of training, I religiously went in the evening for a few years than all of the sudden, I just lost my motivation. If you’re wondering how this could happen to someone who is now so passionate about making her early gym sessions; well it did. I just lost my mojo. I decided it was time to recommit to my goals and health. I took a long hard look at how I would make this a priority. For me, a morning workout was the way to go, it would be a new challenge.
Here are some of my favorite tips to turn yourself into an early-rising morning exerciser.
- Schedule it. Would you miss an appointment with your boss? I didn’t think so. This is a pretty common tip but you’re less likely to bail out on a friend or trainer waiting on you at the gym.
- Prepare ahead. I make sure my gym bag is packed and ready to go each morning. This includes my gym outfit (I’ve been known to wear something mismatched by dressing in the dark!), charged iPod, towel, lifting straps, water, and pre-workout.
- Tuck yourself in early. You cannot go to bed at midnight and expect to rise at 5am with loads of energy for your workout. Strive for 7-8 hours of sleep per night. Keeping a consistent sleep schedule is one of the best ways to ensure a great night’s sleep.
- Power down. Make an attempt to turn off all electronics(iPhone, iPad) by 9pm.
- Take baby steps. Give it time. Start by setting back your alarm by five minutes this week. Next week, go for another five. You’ll be getting up an hour earlier before you know it.
- Place your alarm clock across the room. If you can reach your alarm clock while still lying in bed, the chance of you hitting snooze is much higher. Put your alarm clock across the room, so your only option is to just get out of bed and turn it off.
- Caffeine is your friend. Use it as part of your early morning routine to help you wake up earlier.
- Plan your routine. Whether it’s taking a class like spin or body pump or lifting, have your routine mapped out the night before. Knowing what I’m working on the next day really gets me excited to hit the gym in the morning.
- Reward yourself. Treat yourself to a new workout outfit, get a pedicure, or a massage. Rewards are huge motivators! Thinking about the pleasure that comes after your hard work may give you that extra push out of bed.
Something also must be said about the camaraderie of the morning crew at my gym. It amazes me each day how many people are waiting and lined up to get into the gym before it opens. Some are there for the social aspect and others are there to meet their fitness and lifestyle goals. This core group of people really looks out for one another and actually show care and concern when someone is not there for a few days. Trust me, people notice when you miss a workout!
What’s your morning routine like? If you’ve transitioned from night owl to early bird, what was your favorite tactic? I would love to hear from you!