We get it—it can be hard to wipe the sleep from your eyes and get into that exercise mindset right upon waking up. And if you’re one to hit the snooze button a few too many times that morning, spin or HIIT class will seem impossible.
Yet, it’s a great idea to get moving and sweat it out in the morning—that way you can check off that workout for the day and start your day with some good energy and that faster metabolism.
There are so many times when work gets in the way of an evening workout. That commute might take longer than expected, you might get hit with another project, or co-workers might tempt you into heading into happy hour instead of that class you had booked. And sometimes you’re just plain old tired after a long day.
Here are a few ways to train yourself into becoming an early (okay, earlier) riser where you can hop out of bed, get into the workout mindset, and give your mind and body that boost to start your day on a high note and reap those benefits all day long.
And a pro tip? Don’t stay up binging on Netflix. Go to bed earlier so you can secure those 7-8 hours of sleep a night. It will make it easier to wake up in the morning feeling more rested and refreshed, and it’s important for muscle recovery, too.
Want to make it to early spin? Or do you want to head to the gym to lift? And lastly, do you think you’d do better off just doing a workout in your apartment—whether you are hitting the apartment gym, streaming workouts in your living room, or using a machine you might own?
Plan accordingly. Set that alarm clock and have your workout clothing ready to go the night before. Keep your sneakers and apparel either in a bag if you are planning on changing at the studio or gym or out on a chair for you to grab and change into after you wake up.
Once your alarm is set and everything is in place, you’ll be able to jump out of bed and know exactly what you’re doing. That purpose and direction will help you succeed.
Eat Fuel If You Need It—and the Right Way
Another issue with morning workouts might be that you do not wake up hungry but also cannot give a workout your best performance on empty. So, to become a morning exerciser, learn how your body and appetite works and give them what they need.
So, if you cannot stomach food and can workout on empty—great! Yet, if you cannot, or you wake up ravenous, too, (I happen to wake up starving!), make sure you eat something small enough to provide energy for the workout but not too heavy to weigh you down and make you forego that workout altogether.
A good idea would be a yogurt with some fruit or nuts, a quick smoothie, or a protein bar for that boost and to tame hunger.
Recruit a Buddy or Ask for Help
It can be hard to get into a fitness routine, especially alone and in those morning hours. So, recruit a buddy or tag along with a friend or partner who already works out bright and early!
If your friend loves her 6 a.m. spin class, book one with her and see what you think! Tell her you are determined to go to a few each week with her and that you want to be held accountable. Pretty soon it’ll become a habit (let’s say 21 days!) and it will make you feel happier seeing their face each morning! Something to look forward to—that makes that workout way easier to get done upon waking up.
And if it’s about recruiting someone else, ask a co-worker to sweat it out at HIIT with you before heading into the office. Or ask your partner to do some moves with you in the living room before heading to work. Another option? Ask for help! If your S.O. can help with getting the kids ready for school, you can get your workout in.
Make it Fun
If the idea of a morning run in the wintertime doesn’t seem fun—well, you’re not alone, for starters—and two, then don’t do it! There are so many other types of activities to do in the morning, so pick one that you will want to get out of bed for. Running is a great workout, but it is not for everyone, especially those with bad knees or who are prone to injury. And running on the treadmill can get tired unless you’re known for getting that runner’s high easily.
So, play around. Try ClassPass or a type of class-pack to test out different methods and go for variety. Then you can decide which types of workouts you enjoy doing. There’s yoga, pilates, barre, boxing (my fave!), and HIIT (another fave!).
It’s all about getting your heart up, sweating a bit, and releasing those feel-good endorphins. And if you don’t want that cardio boost, go for muscle building and lifting instead. You should be lifting 3-4 times a week, anyway, for optimal health and greater bone density.
Plus, if you do a class and book it, you won’t want to cancel since you will be charged. That’s right—you will LOSE MONEY. And who can afford that? So, use classes as another way to hook yourself on to this whole morning exercise thing.
Have the Right Mindset
Lastly, have the right mindset! If you already decide that you will not like waking up or that it is a hassle, you will not want to get out of bed. Instead, think about how great you will feel after that sweat session. Visualize it as a technique—this can help you see the results before they happen and have something to look forward to. And it makes you feel as though you’ve already accomplished it, where you won’t want to lose that feel-good sensation by ditching that workout. I can’t think of a better way to start the day than doing something good for myself.