Over the years, I’ve wavered in and out of being a morning workout person. By that, I mean waking up early to get my workout in, before my day starts with work and now, motherhood. There is no better feeling than consistently making that 6am workout call.
You reap the benefits – you feel better by keeping a promise to yourself, your fitness levels improve from the consistency, you’re more energized throughout the day, and most importantly, you’re more focused and intentional because you’ve woken up on your own accord.
Here are the tips I’ve used over the years to make those morning workouts and commit to myself:
10 Tips To Make That Morning Workout
1. Figure out a time to wake up that’s sensical. Don’t set the alarm for 5am when you don’t need to wake up that early – that’s just setting you up for failure, because you know you can snooze and what ends up happening is that the more you snooze, the more your motivation wanes. And when you’re snoozing, you’re not even getting great sleep – it’s interrupted and thus, pointless. Figure out that sweet spot wake up time and stick to it!
2. Figure out a time to wake up that’s feasible. Now, also keep in mind that if you set too small of a window for your workout, you’ll be less likely to make those workouts, because feeling pressure first thing when you wake up is NOT motivational. For example, I set my alarm for 5:45am. I have to be done by 6:50am in order to get showered & ready for the kids. My workouts are 45 minutes long, which means that I HAVE to be on my bike between 6-6:05am. That gives me 15-20 minutes before my workout begins to wake up and get ready. I know it takes me 10 minutes to get dressed/drink my coffee/etc, so that leaves me 5-10 minutes of “buffer” time. It’s not much time, but it’s enough in case I’m moving slowly that day! No more or less than 5-10 minutes of “buffer” or else you’ll take advantage of it OR if you’re running behind, you won’t have time to make your workout and you’ll skip it.
3. Once you’ve figured out that time, set your alarm and have a no-snooze rule. Snoozing leads to more snoozing, which leads to missing your “window” of workout opportunity. Just be strict about it and don’t snooze. Five minutes isn’t going to give you any miraculous amount of sleep to energize you, trust me.
4. Prepare the night before. Whatever you have to do to make the transition from bed to exercise easier, do it! For me, that means setting the coffee machine up so there’s a pot waiting for me (I drink a half cup before my workout!), planning/picking out my workout for the next day and selecting the music, if applicable, and picking my workout clothes out and laying them out.
5. If you’re someone who needs a certain amount of sleep to function, figure out what your new bedtime should be to account for that. For me, I need at least 6 hours of sleep to function. Thus, I can’t get to bed any later than 11:30pm, so my cutoff is 11pm, in bed and asleep by 11:30pm.
6. Find a workout that gets you excited to get out of bed. This makes ALL the difference. If you’re a runner, maybe select a new route or a new playlist or make a new goal for yourself. Every day, there should be something NEW that gets you motivated to make it to your workout. For me, I like to pick out a totally new workout every day – I never repeat the same workout twice. Luckily, I have a Peloton bike, so it’s easy to find new instructors and types of rides! Find your flow.
7. Find your PURPOSE and write it on a sticky note and put it on your nightstand, next to your alarm – or set it as your alarm reminder! These tips always sound corny, but when you actually execute them, you realize that they’re not corny, they’re motivating and purposeful! Why do you want to be a morning workout person? Is it because you want to be more productive with your time during the day? To make more time for your passion project/side hustle? To spend more time with your kids? To ensure that you make your workout every day? Write it down and then it’ll be a visual reminder of why you need to get your butt out of bed!
8. If you’re not a self-starter and need someone else to help you motivate, find a workout buddy – online or offline. Text that buddy the night before, set up your meetup/log on time and encourage each other to make it to your workouts. And then in the morning, text when you wake up to check in! This accountability really helps – just make sure you pick someone that you know is as committed as you or wants it for the same reasons as you do! For instance, if you pick a workout buddy that’s just doing it to help YOU and not themself, it won’t work – they’ll be less motivated and thus, won’t encourage you to motivate. Pick someone who has your same goal – if you’re a mom, pick another mom that needs that time for herself. If you’re trying to tone up, pick someone who has the same fitness level goals as you.
9. Start small. You don’t need to wake up and become a morning workout person (literally) overnight. If you want to make that 6am alarm clock, but you’re used to waking up at 7am, wake up at 6:30am and do a quick 15 or 20 minute workout. Do that for a few days and then adjust your wakeup time to 6:15am… and then 6:00am… and so forth, until you’ve reached our ideal wakeup time. Remember, this is a lifestyle and progress over perfection. As long as you’re making an effort, you’re in the right direction. And don’t worry about “only” having a 15 minute workout, because guess what? You will eventually get there! Everyone starts somewhere.
10. Commit to 3 days. There’s an old saying that habits are formed in 3 days, and as someone who has wavered in and out of the morning workouts, I have to say, 3 days is the magical number. Tell yourself that you will wake up in the morning to workout for 3 days. Just 3 days. Commit to that. And see how you feel after the 3 days. Sometimes having a mental timeline like that can help you, especially on the 2nd day (only one more to go!) I have a feeling you’ll stick with it….