By this point, many people might have already given up on their New Year’s resolutions. If you’re slacking on your goal to exercise more, let’s get you moving with some tricks to become a morning exerciser. The thought of getting out of your warm, cozy bed and exercising in the morning might make you cringe, but it doesn’t have to be a dreaded experience.
Morning is an awesome time to work out. In fact, studies show your body is in an optimum state for burning fat if you exercise first thing in the morning, according to nineMSN. For many of us, though, actually getting up and making this happen is a real feat. I, for one, think my one true love in this world is the snooze button — I seriously can’t get enough. I know that once I’m out of bed I’ll be really happy, but the process of getting there seems too tricky. Good news for us all: It doesn’t have to be so awful. Plus, think of how amazing we’ll all feel when we get out workout done first thing in the morning and don’t have to schedule it after work when you’re so worn out and exhausted.
To give us all that kick in the butt to get up and moving in the morning, here are eight tricks to help you become a morning exerciser (and to help you defy odds by keeping that New Year’s resolution going all year long).
1. Give Yourself A Reasonably Early Bedtime
There are two primary reasons why getting too little sleep negatively affects your ability to become a morning exerciser. The first (and most obvious) one is that you physically might not be able to open your eyes and get out of bed. The second is that lack of sleep could actually counteract any good you do for your body if you actually make it to the gym. According to Shape, studies have shown lack of sleep is linked to weight gain and an increased risk of diabetes, just to name a couple.
If you’re really committed to this mission of exercising in the mornings, figure out what time you’ll need to get up and then set a bedtime for yourself, allowing for the National Sleep Foundation’s recommended 7-9 hours of sleep. If you’re having a difficult time falling asleep, I’ve got you covered in this article on tips for falling asleep.
2. Recruit A Friend To Be Your Workout Buddy
Nothing will make you feel as accountable to your goal than having a friend waiting for you at the gym and texting to ask where the heck you are (I know this from experience!). nineMSN of Australia spoke to Guy Leech, personal trainer and former iron man, who included recruiting a friend as one of the tactics he recommends to get people moving in the morning. Leech said, “If you can go and train with other people in a group, then you have to turn up — it means you will get out of bed and go do it.”
3. Bribe Yourself With A Pre-Workout Treat
For anyone else out there who is as obsessed with food as I am, just the thought of having something to satisfy my sweet tooth in the morning is enough to get me right our of bed. I am not encouraging you to go HAM with a chocolate chip pancake breakfast before the gym. Rather, come up with a healthy yet delicious pre-workout treat for yourself, and keep it small.
According to Dr. Kara Mohr, who discussed this topic in Fitness, to get the most out of your morning workout try something light — which could mean a piece of fruit that you enjoy, or even ½ of a freshly-made smoothie. Then, opt for something more substantial, like eggs or oatmeal with fruit, within two hour following your workout.
4. Bribe Yourself With A Post-Workout Reward
According to Adam Rosante, a CosmoBody trainer, one of the keys to being a successful morning exerciser is implementing a reward system. This could mean really anything you want it to. If you’re dying for that new tote bag, make that your reward for hitting the gym every morning for a few weeks. If you’re more into a food reward, give yourself an extra awesome meal once a week for sticking to your morning routine. (BodyBuliding.com confirmed weekly indulgent meals can actually improve your body!)
5. Sign Up For A Class
I’ve always found that if I sign up for a class I’m far more inclined to get up and actually go because I feel obligated to do it. “My name is already in their system, ugh!,” is usually the kind of thing I shout to myself. If you’re down for this idea to attend a class, try to make it one you’ll enjoy so that you’ll actually look forward to it. That said, don’t pressure yourself to take something if you hate it. I know a lot of people who force themselves to sign up for classes because it’s trendy, meanwhile they actually despise it. Then later I hear them complaining about how they spent so much money on the class and ended up skipping it. This doesn’t surprise me one bit. You have to figure out something that you actually like doing, or it’s going to be incredibly difficult to stick to it.
6. Refresh Your Playlist
I recently found my iPod from college and — OMG — it was a life changer. I’m not even exaggerating here. Getting to hear all of my old songs again gave me the greatest week of workouts I’d had in ages. Having the right kind of music can really make such a difference, according to the Huffington Post. The outlet reported various studies that show music can enhance our workout efforts, help get us “in the zone,” improve our mood at the gym, and make us want to move.
7. Try An At-Home Workout
Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t have a gym membership, or if you simply can’t stand running outside. At-home workouts can be equally as effective, and it saves you the time in the morning of getting to and from the gym. For example, you can try some exercise moves on your own, or invest in a DVD workout set — like FOCUS T25 from Shaun T — which I’ve used and it’s amazing.
8. If All Else Fails, Set 15+ Bone-Chilling Alarms
Let’s figure out any and every way to get your butt out of bed! Change your alarm tone to something chilling. Set multiple alarms. Try putting your alarm across the room so you have to physically get up to turn it off. If none of these work, there are actually apps these days built to help you get up. The Wake n Shake app has you shake your phone to turn off the alarm. The Better Me app does something quite frightening — every time you hit snooze it shares the news of this to your Facebook account. Whatever it takes to get you up, just do it! Imagine how happy you’ll be when you’re leaving work that day knowing you’ve already completely your day’s workout and have the whole night to do whatever you please.
For those ladies out there looking to change up their routines and morph into morning exercisers, these tricks are bound to help get you there. Before you know it, you might find yourself in bed earlier, working out harder, and feeling as healthy as could be.