I’ve always been a champion sleeper. Even in my mid (sigh) 30s, if you let me sleep until noon, I can do it (not that I do, but still can if you let me). Shameful? Maybe. But impressive, considering a lot of people my age and older don’t sleep well. Given my sleep skillz, in my teens and early 20s, I was more of a night owl, staying up late to finish homework or working late, and I was always an afternoon or evening exerciser. Maybe it was result of playing sports growing up and having practice and games after school. But the later I got into my 20s, the earlier I started going to bed, and preferring mornings to either get a jump-start on my day, or work out. Not to mention, showering twice a day is just annoying. So, I determined to work out in the mornings. I once read that no one can bug you at 6 a.m. (unless you have international colleagues or a small child), but once the work day starts, all bets are off and you’re less likely to get bogged down before 8 a.m. Here’s how I went from night owl to morning ninja.
Don’t Do It Everyday
This may be counterintuitive, but it helps that I don’t work out every single morning. This makes the days when I can “sleep in” feel a little more like a treat, and morning workouts less daunting. Sometimes I skip Mondays, but sometimes a Monday morning run is the best thing to start the week off on the right foot (no pun intended). I try to work out in the mornings only two or three weekdays, and one weekend, then do something in the evening or afternoon another one to two days a week. This also helps break things up and keep my routine ever-changing. Plus, if I don’t HAVE to wake up at 5 or 5:30 a.m. every single day, it makes it mentally way more easy to do.
Commit to a Class or a Friend and Put it on the Calendar
I’m usually a solo exerciser, but it’s so much fun when I can sync up with a friend for an Orange Theory or spin class. Having someone waiting for you makes it way more difficult to bail. I love the function of inviting friends to work out from ClassPass. And if you don’t have a friend to work out with, if you signed up for a class, that’s commitment right there. Most places charge you for not attending if you don’t cancel within 12 hours, so losing money is also a huge motivation. When I don’t have a friend or class and do something on my own like run on the treadmill, I still put it in my calendar. Speaking of, I usually plan my week ahead in terms of my schedule of work, meetings, after work commitments, happy hours and meal planning. I also make sure exercise is on this list. Sit down for 20 minutes on Sunday (or even Friday afternoon before the week’s out) and plan ahead for the week, and write down your morning fitness commitments.
Practice Waking Up and Be Strategic About Your Alarm
Don’t go from waking up at 7 all your life to the next day setting an alarm for 5 and then running six miles. Your body will say “WTF” and you’ll be miserable. When I started working out in the morning, I practiced a little bit. So I’d get up at 5:30 instead of 6:30 and do something around the house instead like put away laundry or going into work early; that way I was practicing the task of getting up first. Once I got used to it, then I started my workout. Even now I try to give myself time between waking and working out. If I have a class, the drive there helps. If it’s just a run around my neighborhood, I’ll unload the dishwasher or pick out my clothes for the day first so I have some time to adjust. Also, I love my Fitbit for waking up since it vibrates on my wrist. I often wake up before my husband so this doesn’t disturb him. If you don’t need to worry about that, use the tried-and-true trick of putting your alarm on the other side of the room or in the hallway so you’re forced to get up and shut it off.
Get Encouraged on Social Media
Social media can be annoying sometimes, but it can also be motivating. I follow a few people who post about fitness often (and don’t sell shakes and workouts and who knows what else) so they are naturally motivating. Try scrolling through Instagram and be encouraged by others who work out early. One example I follow is A Foodie Stays Fit. Girlfriend is super inspiring with her morning workouts!
We’re about to get into fall and short days, so take advantage of summer now with working out in the mornings, and have daylight work in your favor. I don’t recommend starting this in October and November when we have zero daylight. Or January when it’s freezing cold and dark AF. Starting now can help those months be easier. I’m still not perfect and snooze through my alarm some days, but now that I’m used to it, working out in the morning is a great kick start to the day to get a great sweat in and feel good the rest of the day. And I actually miss it if I don’t work out. You got this!
To help encourage you, I’m also bringing my playlist series back so without further ado, here’s the latest “Songs to run to,” part XII. I recommend you hit shuffle and then get moving.