How To Motivate Yourself To Work Out In The Morning, In 7 Expert-Approved Hacks
Working out is pretty universally accepted as a good thing to do. And when it's a million degrees out by 8:30 a.m., it makes sense to switch your after-work run for an early (like, really early) morning cardio session. But that doesn't make it any less daunting to leave the sweet embrace of a bed to go out to the gym, on a run, or down to the living room to do reps. If you're wondering how to motivate yourself to work out in the morning, fear not — there are a host of motivational hacks to help you sustainably make the shift to morning exercise without it being the worst thing in the world. Bustle talked to personal trainer and health expert Ashley Walter of Living With Ashley about the best and most effective ways to motivate yourself to get into workout mode while the rest of the world is snoring.
The key word here is "sustainable." If you work night shifts, have young children, or find it difficult to sleep, early morning workouts may not, well, work for you — and that's completely OK. If, however, you find that trying to fit in a workout in an afternoon or evening leaves you tired and running out of time for the rest of your life, a morning regimen might be better for your overall lifestyle, and prove easier over time. Here are seven hacks to make rolling out of bed and into your sneakers ever so slightly easier.
1. Use The Buddy System
"Make plans to workout with a friend or significant other so you have the buddy system and someone holding you accountable for getting it done," suggests Walter. That way you don't have any excuses and can make plans together — and motivate each other to finish your reps. If you prefer to take your run solo, ask a friend who's also up early to text you about doing it.
2. Set Everything Up The Night Before
"Lay your workout clothes out right by your bed the night before to remind yourself you have a purpose the second you get up," says Walter. If you set up your clothes and all the trimmings before you go to sleep, it'll be harder to resist the call of the gym the next morning; you don't have the excuse of "running around looking for things" to delay getting your exercise on. You can just throw on your clothes and go, without the fussing and worry of arranging things at the last minute.
3. Think Of How Nice & Empty The Gym Will Be
Post-work, gyms, classes and other exercise spaces fill up quickly. At what feels like the crack of dawn, though, you have more of a chance of getting a space to yourself, making a move around the track in the absence of anybody else, or doing laps without the need to overtake somebody doing the crawl every five strokes. If you're tempted to push your workout to after work, think of the hordes of people vying for space at the elliptical to motivate you not to hit snooze.
4. Think About How Great You'll Feel The Rest Of The Day
Shape reported in 2017 that studies have shown an exercise regime in the morning boosts energy and activity levels all day, which adds up to a healthier lifestyle in general. If you need to be in top gear, getting a move on in the morning is going to help you out.
5. Set Up Sneaky Reminders
If you're finding it tricky to get out of bed in the morning, anticipate how rude your morning self will be and start counteracting that with the reminders you set. "Set your alarm with a title or message like “Wake up and move to start your day right!”" suggests Walter. "Putting your alarm somewhere far enough so you have to actually get up to turn it off is key to making you move."
If you're not in the habit of working out in the morning, it can be tricky to motivate yourself to get to that place. But, as with exercise generally, practice makes perfect — challenge yourself to switch your after work workout for an AM run, and see how the rest of your day changes as a result.