Want to know how to start working out early in the morning? Sometimes, the biggest hurdle to working out in the early hours is getting up in the first place.
If you’re anything like me, time and time again, you have had every intention to get your workout done first thing in the morning. You may have even laid out clothes the night before in preparation, but when the alarm goes off, your alter ego (aka your sleepy self) decides to press snooze.
With the following tips, you can learn how to beat your sleepy self and become someone who works out in the early mornings just like I did!
This article is going to give you some of the BEST tips to help you be that “it girl” who works out in the mornings.
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Benefits to Morning Workouts
1. Focus Better Throughout the Day
There is no doubt that physical activity improves focus. This fact is even more true in the mornings.
According to the British Journal of Sports Medicine, morning bouts of exercise improve cognition, decision making, and visual learning, especially when paired with short, walking breaks throughout the day.
2. Get It Over With
Whenever I work out in the morning, I am happy because I know I can enjoy the rest of my day with the pride of knowing that I already did my workout.
Once I am home, there is no pressure on myself to work out. I just enjoy dinner or spend time with family.
It is such a nice feeling to be one of the only people awake, knowing that you are bettering yourself. Once your workout is complete, you will feel much more productive throughout the day. It really helps to work out in the morning so you can focus on the rest of your day.
3. Less Distractions in the Morning
Compared to working out in the afternoons or evenings, there are far less distractions during AM workouts.
Usually, it is quieter and there is less traffic in the morning.
There are usually less people out and about on your favorite local running trail.
Your family bathroom is available for your shower afterwards – no fighting over it!
Additionally, the gym is usually less crowded is the early hours.
A morning workout is a perfect opportunity for some quality alone time with yourself, where you can focus on improving yourself and getting ready to cease the day.
4. Better Mood
It is well-known that physical activity is a natural remedy for stress. During exercise, the brain releases a chemical called endorphins that help you feel good and feel less anxiety.
Further, exercise is a distraction from thoughts that may be causing you stress or anxiety. Personally, whenever I exercise, it’s hard to think about anything besides the task at hand, so I am able to take my mind off of things that are pressing on my mental health.
By working out in the morning, you are setting up your day to have a positive mood. It also serves at giving you a sense of accomplishment, helping you to have an optimistic outlook throughout the day.
How to Start Working Out Early in the Morning
1. Plan Your Workout in Advance
One of the best ways to be productive in the mornings is to remove as many variables as possible.
Having a well-defined training program streamlines your workout routine and becomes one less thing to think about in the mornings.
If you know you’re going to the gym in the morning because your workout is already planned for in advance, all you have to do is get yourself there.
2. Lay Out Your Clothes the Night Before
Set yourself up for success in the morning by streamlining your morning routine as much as possible. You can do this by laying your workout clothes out the night before. Then all you have to do it put them on the mornings.
3. Sleep in Your Workout Clothes
This tip will just eliminate having to change in the morning all together. Just roll out of bed, and you are ready to go!
4. Put Your Alarm Clock or Phone Across the Room
If you are having trouble waking up, then this is going to help you get out of bed. Since the alarm will be across the room, you will have to physically get out of bed and walk to turn off the alarm. This helps you wake up better than it would if the alarm is within arm’s reach.
5. Consider Waking Up To an Alarm Clock Only
I don’t know about you, but I have the terrible habit of picking up my phone in the mornings and then starting to scroll endlessly on Instagram, Pinterest, emails, and more.
However, when I don’t have my phone nearby, I can’t enable myself to do the bad habit of mindlessly scrolling as soon as I wake up.
If you don’t have to pick up your phone to turn off an alarm, you are far less likely to waste time scrolling and you are more likely to get out of bed to work out instead.
This alarm clock from Amazon is cute and goes with my decor. It saves me from the temptation of looking at my phone in the mornings. I highly recommend it.
6. Practice the Two Minute Rule
If you are having trouble getting out of bed to work out, it could be because the task you set for yourself is too much right now.
Instead, try the Two Minute Rule, a simple tip to help any habit seem more achievable.
According to this rule, any good habit you are trying to form whether that be going to the gym, doing the dishes, or waking up early for working out, can be scaled down to a two minute version.
For example, “Run three miles” becomes “Tie my running shoes.”
“Work out in the morning” could be “Wake up and brush my teeth.”
By scaling down the habit you are trying to form into a smaller, more manageable habit, you are helping yourself be successful. This is because it helps you get started toward actually doing the goal or habit you sought out to do.
7. Meet With a Workout Buddy
Having an accountability partner will help you be more motivated to get out of bed in the early mornings.
Studies prove that we emulate the habits of those around us. When we surround ourselves with people who are devoted to fitness, we tend to do the same. It’s no wonder that a 2016 study showed that when obese people began to surround themselves with healthy people, they tended to lose weight.
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8. Adjust Waking Up Early Gradually
At first, waking up early can be a big adjustment for some people. That’s why if you’re trying to become a person who works out in the mornings, begin adjusting your workout time gradually.
Instead of waking up at 5:00 AM right off the bat, begin by waking up at 6:30, 6:15, 6:00, 5:45 and so on until you are waking up at your target goal.
Once you are able to wake up early on a regular basis, it is going to be much easier to get up and start being productive or working out.
Work on changing one habit at a time, as opposed to trying to form two habits at once – such as working out and waking up early.
9. Go to Bed on Time
Getting adequate sleep is key to being energetic throughout the day and waking up early. The first step to getting the sleep you need is by going to bed on time. By doing so, you ensure you will get enough rest for the day ahead.
10. Prep Your Food in Advance
Anything you can do to save time in the morning is a must. This includes but is not limited to prepping what you’ll eat in the morning.
By prepping your food, you don’t have to think about it in the morning. All you have to do it grab it and eat it.
Some foods you can eat before your workout could be a banana, orange, or other piece of fruit. Keep it on the kitchen counter so it’s prominent and you’ll be able to reach for it quickly.
Also prep your post-workout breakfast in advance to save time afterwards. You can pack overnight oats, quiche, or something else that keeps well.
11. Fill Up Your Water Bottle the Night Before
This trick is essential. Whatever you can do to save time in the morning is a necessity.
I like to fill up my water the night before my morning workout so I don’t have to do it in the in a rush while getting ready. It saves me time when I’m scrambling in the mornings.
My favorite water bottles are from Yeti because they are so good at keeping my drinks cold. I love them. They make drinking water more fun. I highly recommend them.
12. Book a Nonrefundable Workout Class
Workout classes such as Orangetheory Fitness will not refund your class is you miss it. Further, they even charge a fee to help make sure you’re not going to miss your class. Having that extra motivation to get out of bed so you don’t lose any money is really helpful!
13. Make a Realistic Morning Routine
You may find that working out for two hours in the morning is unrealistic for your work schedule.
If you want to be sure you stick to your goal, you need to make a realistic morning routine.
This could mean doing a 30-minute home workout as opposed to driving to the gym.
Opting for a shorter or more easy workout may work better for you.
Maybe you can go for a walk or run around your neighborhood if that is a realistic routine for your lifestyle.
Find something that is realistic for you and can stay consistent.
14. Once You’re Up, Splash Cold Water on Your Face
This is a trick I heard growing up to help me feel more awake in the mornings.
The shock of splashing cold water on your face shocks your nervous system, stimulating you to feel and look more alert and energized. Nothing better than a shock to your system to get you invigorated to start your morning work out!
The Bottom Line On How to Start Working Out Early in the Morning
The tips of the article are great ideas to help you learn how to start working out early in the morning. Nothing feels better or more productive than starting your day off on the right food with a morning workout.
With any habit, it takes time to form and become second-nature, but with ample time, you will become the best person you want to be.