Getting up early to run always sounds like a great idea. Who doesn’t want to be done with a workout before the day starts? But if you’re like me, actually getting out of a warm and cozy bed is always more difficult than it sounds. In the summer it’s easier because it’s warmer and gets lighter earlier. In the late fall and winter, you don’t feel like ripping off your warm blankets to go out into the frigid dark and cold.
So, what can you do to help you wake up early and get out the door?
Keep in mind the best time to work out is the time that works for you. It doesn’t matter whether it’s early morning, at lunch time, or late at night. Whatever is the best time for you and makes you happy, keep doing it. One of the big advantages of working out early is that you don’t have to stress about when you’ll have time to fit in your workout later.
How can you work out in the morning if you aren’t a morning person? Not everyone loves the mornings, and that’s ok. Like most things, it takes time and consistency to get used to mornings. Instead of thinking of waking up early as a “permanent thing,” tell yourself you’ll try it for two weeks. Then truly give it the entire two weeks. After that, reevaluate the situation and see if you still hate it. Who knows, after the two weeks, you might even begin to consider yourself a morning person.
Here Are a Few Tips for Morning Workouts:
Just Do It. The best tip for morning workouts is to simply get out the door. The first step is always the hard part. Getting out the door is always the hardest part. It isn’t a particularly fun suggestion, but it’s the most straightforward – just do it!
Start Small: Your morning workout doesn’t have to be long. If you can make it out the door for 15 minutes, that’s better than nothing. You might think everyone else is running ten miles before work, but that isn’t true. Start small and work up to longer workouts.
Sleep: The healthiest tip about morning workouts is getting enough sleep. Our bodies need sleep. In fact, they need sleep more than running. Try to get to bed 30 minutes earlier than you’re accustomed to. Most of us are guilty of scrolling through our devices before bed. Set a definite time that you will stop scrolling and get to bed. You’ll find yourself wasting less time online, and your body gets the sleep you need to wake up refreshed and ready for your morning run. (Editor’s Note: These tips for morning workouts are excellent but this is our favorite.)
Set as Many Alarm Clocks as You Need: There is no shame in setting multiple alarm clocks. Some people don’t need to set an alarm, and some set 15. Whatever works for you will get you out for your workout. It’s easy to hit the snooze button once, but you’ll definitely be awake if you have to snooze 15 alarms!
Turn a Light on Immediately: Turning on a light is not always pleasant in the morning, but it’ll help you wake up. You might even hook up a timer to that light as one of your morning alarms.
Lay Your Gear Out: Having your gear right in front of you makes it easy to get out and run. That way you aren’t wasting time rummaging through your things to find clean gear.
Check the Weather the Night Before: What does the weather have to do with it? You’ll want to be prepared to give yourself the best possible chance for an early morning workout. That way, you don’t get outside and then give yourself the excuse that you’re miserable and head back in.
Visualize How You’ll Feel: The best part of working out in the morning is how you feel later. Visualize how good that feeling is. Even visualize your coffee and how great it will taste after a workout. Sometimes visualization is all we need to enjoy a morning workout.
Finally, Stick to It: Give yourself two weeks. The first few times will be the hardest. As with anything, change is hard, especially if you aren’t willing to give it time.
If after two weeks, you decide that morning workouts just aren’t for you, find a time of day that is!
Early morning workouts are rewarding, and it’s a great feeling not having to worry about finding time to work out later in the day. But again, it’s also important to remember that the best time to work out is simply the time that makes the most sense for you. If these tips for morning workouts don’t get you started in the morning, find what time does get you going.