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How to Wake Up Early to Exercise in the Morning

How to Say Yes to Early-Morning Workouts

When your alarm goes off, do you curse its very existence and hit the snooze button eight times before finally dragging yourself out of bed? While you may not be one of those naturally perky turkeys who happily wakes up an hour before work to slip on their sports bra for a sweat session, if you find you're skipping out on exercise altogether because you're too busy or too tired, then you might have to learn to love morning workouts. Here's how a nonmorning person like yourself can turn into an early-rising morning exerciser.

Related: Hate Morning Workouts? You Should Probably Read This

  • Tuck yourself in early: You can't go to bed at midnight and expect to rise and shine at 5 a.m. with barrels of energy for a kick-butt morning workout. Get into the habit of going to bed early enough so you get at least eight hours of zzz's.
  • Induce sleepiness: Not sleepy enough to fall asleep early? Try limiting your caffeine during the day, and be finished with your last caffeinated drink by 4 p.m. Warm baths, a cup of tea, a calming sleep-inducing yoga sequence, ditching the TV and computer use before bed, eating these foods, and sticking to a regular exercise routine can help you fall asleep more easily and help you have a more restful, solid night of sleep.
  • Get personal: Find creative ways to inspire morning workouts. Remember, it doesn't even have to do with the workout — conjure up an image of that cute guy you've seen at the gym lately, or get excited about a tasty new breakfast idea you can enjoy post-workout. If you need a bigger push to get you through the actual workout, getting to listen to new songs from your favorite artist or the next chapter in that riveting book on tape might be just the thing. Or maybe the excitement of using new sneakers or trying a different running route. If you have something you're looking forward to once you wake up, you'll find it impossible not to get out of bed.
  • Make a date: You know you love Zumba and your gym only offers it at 6 a.m. Make an appointment with a trainer or plan to meet a fitness buddy at the park to go for a run. Scheduling morning workouts with specific times is a surefire way to get you there.
  • Go ahead and reward: Either give yourself a little treat after each morning workout or make a goal to exercise every day, Monday through Friday and on the last day, buy yourself a new fitness top, get a pedicure, or go to the movies with a friend. Rewards are huge motivators, and thinking about the pleasure that comes after your hard work may give you that emotional push out of bed.
Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Ericka McConnell
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Guy15261717 Guy15261717 2 years
The easiest way to wake up early morning is to drink 2 glass excess water the night before ..u would wake up early atleast to drain urself out.. I have used this tech. and it works..
jessfish25 jessfish25 6 years
I am definitely not a morning person, but I work out M-F at 6am. The only way I have been able to accomplish the painful routine of waking up at 5:30am every day is by working out with a trainer. Luckily the trainer is my friend & so he allows me to trade work services for some training sessions; but him being my friend does NOT allow me to skip any sessions to hit the snooze button. I fear being late to his sessions more than I fear being late at my job! I still hate having the "grandma" bedtime of 10pm every night and waking up so early, but it's well worth it.
insanitypepper insanitypepper 6 years
I love getting my workout out of the way & not having to try to fit it and a second shower into my schedule later.
adonnam04 adonnam04 6 years
Ok, so I am not a morning person, NEVER have been. I was voted "Most likely to sleep through your own graduation" in High School. But I took the challenge. I desperately need to get myself in better shape. After a baby and divorce, I've got 30lbs just hangin' around my middle, that make me miserable in every way! So I set my alarm 30 min earlier and this is what happend: I got up hit the snooze button twice on my ringing alarm clock (I vaguely remember this but was not coherant enough to reason why I had set my alarm so early, or the rewards I had promised myself if I did this). My second and third alarm I never even heard (ok, so the 3rd one died in the middle of the night). So I finally rolled outta bed at 7.45am, 15 min. before my Bio Lab started, rushed got my son ready, dropped him off at school, on my way to class, and I hit someone (first accident ever)... got to school, missed a test, went to work, finally called my parents just to see what I would need to do about accident and my dad's suggestion... "You should get up 30 min. earlier"... LOL, I just have to laugh b/c I thought of this article again! I'm not out yet, I'll still set my alarm 30 min. earlier again tonight and hope I can get myself up!
ella1978 ella1978 6 years
I am not a morning person, but I am a morning exerciser. I literally fall out of bed, throw on clothes, brush my teeth and go to the gym.. no makeup, not even time to put in my contacts... I work out for 45-50 mintues then head home to get ready. It is awful getting out of a nice warm bed with my fiance to walk into the cold hallway and even colder climate... but I have been doing it now for about 14 months. It hasn't really gotten easier - but I never have to worry or feel guilty about missing a workout because it has become part of my "getting ready" for the day. It works best for me!
starbucks2 starbucks2 6 years
I am a stay-at-home mom right now and my hubby works all day so the only time I get to go running is in the morning. I have a really hard time getting up, but it helps to lay out my clothes and sometime (this will sound so mean) I will take the dog for her last walk early at night so she'll wake me up demanding me to go walk her. So if I have to get up anyway, I might as well go run! Also, my best motivation (rewards don't work for me) is buying cute workout clothes. Oh and I gotta admit, a lot of the times I don't even brush my teeth working out (I know, gross) but I just kinda fall out the door....
cassie91 cassie91 6 years
I'm going to start trying to work out in the mornings! But it's hard when I have trouble sleeping most of the time :S I'll give it a go anyway, because I need to get fitter for karate.
SunnyMutt SunnyMutt 6 years
I have much less flexibility in the morning and really need to focus on warming up well, but the benefits afterwords are so fantastic. A morning workout really gets you going!
katnav katnav 6 years
I'm not really a morning person but waking up early in the morning actually feels a lot better esp when you get to stretch out and catch a little sunlight outside. :)
Camarogirl67 Camarogirl67 6 years
Putting aside my workout clothes/hrm ahead of time before I go to bed, and having a sense of what I need to eat for my pre-workout snack helps a lot. Because I have an elliptical machine, my main motivator is watching episodes of The Tudors or Mad Men. I typically watch one per workout session, so at the end of my workout I'm dying to know what happens next, and I find myself gearing up just to watch! Really makes intervals a lot less painful :o)
socalbeachgal socalbeachgal 6 years
It is hard to get into the early morning routine and so easy to fall out of it, I've done it off and on for years and when it's on; it's a great way to start the day and not worry about finding time to workout later in the day.
meshafe meshafe 6 years
I find that if I eat a large/heavy dinner close to going to bed/go to bed on a full stomach, it is MUCH harder to wake up... I'm soo groggy. When I finish eating a few hours before going to bed, I wake up much easier and am more alert and energetic in the mornings. Packing my bag with work clothes, lunch, etc. and laying out my workout clothes the night before is another good tip, along with leaving toiletries make-up at the gym so that I can get ready for work there! I like knowing that no matter how crazy my schedule gets, I've gotten my workout in. It's such a bummer to plan on working out after work and then get stuck working late and miss the last yoga class of the night, or not being able to squeeze a workout in at all. Plus, the later my workout becomes, the harder it will be to get up and have energy to workout the next morning, thus perpetuating the cycle...
Spectra Spectra 6 years
I love working out in the morning, before anything is on my plate for the day. I work 2nd shift most of the time, so "early" for me is about 7:30 or 8:00 am. I get up, get my workout done, then I take care of all my errands and housework and stuff before going to work. Then I come home from work and go to bed within about an hour of getting in the door. I also keep all my workout clothes right in the bathroom so I can put them on as soon as I get up. Sometimes, I have to work at 5am, so I don't work out until after work. I don't like it as much, though...I'd much rather work out before starting anything else for the day.
ticamorena ticamorena 6 years
I'm totally a morning person, to the extent that I love waking up at 5am, getting on with my day, then dozing off midday. In the summer I'll run first thing in the AM, and its just an awesome experience, all the fresh dew, the birds, the as-yet-untouched trail path...yeh! Obviously in winter this isn't possible, so I took to working out first after work (around 6) and now I've moved this to after dinner (around 9). I now love both the am and evening workouts. Working out late helps me clear and settle my mind before bed, and I've become very disciplined about not eating after 7:45ish, eating a smaller portions for dinner made with healthier foods and telling everyone not to bother me after 8:45. Best is I have plenty of energy and there's some good TV to workout to if I feel inclined. I'm happy to say I'm now an any-time-of-the-day exerciser!
SaraJeanQueen SaraJeanQueen 6 years
P.S. When I DO work out in the mornings, I pack my entire bag, make my lunch, sleep in my workout clothes, even have a hairband on my wrist. So I wake up, brush teeth, and go. Works every time.
thatsnotfab thatsnotfab 6 years
I work out in the mornings. I used to go to the gym after work, but it became increasingly harder to motivate myself at that time of day and easier to talk myself out of working out altogether. I love to sleep in just as much as the next person, but getting out of bed at 5 am (or a little before) to exercise really works best for me, in the long run. It's too early to have any excuses at that hour, so I just push through and do it. I LOVE having my evenings free and not having to constantly pre-plan my exercise time around time spent with family & friends, running errands, cooking, etc. My tip: give morning workouts a chance for *at least* 2 weeks. If you still absolutely hate them and constantly find yourself exhausted, then you can plan for another time of day. Making it through that first week is tough, but after that, my body adjusted and now I can't imagine working out any other time of day!
Mila_83 Mila_83 6 years
That is exactly what happened to me!I was never a morning person!I mean...NEVER....in fact,in college I regularly overslept my morning classes,just could not do anything about it.I also got used to working out late at night. Everything changed after I got this great job at the media company and realized that my schedule won't be easy to keep up with.In fact, with all the meetings,long hours,extra assignments I stay at work super late,so early morning was the only option.I was terrified,but here I'm one year later,working out every Mon-Fri at 6am!I noticed that morning workout does offer me some great benefits - it sets up my mood for the day ahead,I will a lot more energized and accomplished.Plus I don't have to worry about finding time to fit it my workout or skipping it all together. Here are some of my tips for the "early bird" beginners: I noticed that one of the most important things for me is to go to bed earlier - I no longer hang around watching TV or chatting on the phone.Instead I read some good book,take a hot shower and make sure I'm in bed by 10:30. I got lucky,my gym offers spinning classes 3-times a week at 6am. I always wanted to try spinning so I signed up.And I loved it - loud music,energetic instructor - I'm not likely to fall a sleep.I always make sure to prepare my gym bag at night,so everything is ready first thing in the morning,sometimes I even set up timer on my coffee maker so coffee starts brewing 15 min in advance and I wake up with a great coffee aroma:) And of course reward:)Mine is a manicure every Friday after work (given that I hit the gym every morning Mon-Fri).Once a month I treat myself a great massage,facial or new cute workout gear.One of my other favorite rewards is a trip to some super healthy organic store,like Whole Foods or Trader Joe where I pick up my fave all natural PB,almond milk,Ezekiel bread and etc.
dunnonuttin dunnonuttin 6 years
A healthy diet can make all the difference in how you're able to hop out bed with clarity and energy .... at least it does for me and my 5 am workouts.
missmaclean missmaclean 6 years
Great piece, I love exercising in the morning as soon as I wake up, as once i've finished I have the whole day to enjoy! Just one point though, in tip number 2 you say have your last hit of caffeine at 4pm, but then go on to say have a cup of tea before bed to help sleep...i'm guessing you mean green tea or decaf?
Soniabonya Soniabonya 6 years
I used to be a morning person and hit the gym without that much trouble. Though now that I live with my fiance (he is such NOT a morning person, quite the opposite) I found myself not being able to drag myself out of bed in the morning. I barely give myself enough time to roll out, get dressed and scuttle out the door. I miss my morning workouts tho. It gave me more time to do things in the afternoon. . .
ayabeachgirl ayabeachgirl 6 years
Another tip...don't beat yourself up if this transition doesn't happen overnight, or even months. It took me more than a year to fully "become" a morning exerciser. Now it's harder to work out after work because I have to keep telling myself all day that I'll have to work out after all day of work. It feels so great to get it out of my way first thing in the morning, have a nice, big breakfast and be able to spend more time with friends/family in the evenings. It helps me greatly when I don't stuff myself at dinner so I'll be hungry in the morning - it's easier to wake up. Then I eat small carb before I head out in the morning.
chloe-bella chloe-bella 6 years
It's hard for me to get up in the morning, but I find that laying all my workout clothes out the night before helps a lot . . . If I've gone to the trouble of picking out an outfit, I feel like I have to get up!
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