How to start working out in the morning, well, for the longest time, I aspired to be a person who worked out in the morning. I would set my alarm for an hour earlier than I normally set it. On day one I would normally get up, get my workout done and feel pretty good about it. But by the time day 2, 3, and 4 came along, I was hitting the snooze button and sinking back into the comfort of “this just must not be for me”.
At the time, it didn’t matter too much because I was single and extremely disciplined after work. I would get a quick run in even if I only went a few miles and even if I planned on going out for a drink with friends afterwards (or if I already had before). There wasn’t much to coordinate but me and my social life so my workout always got done. Obviously, that’s a bit different now and my routine had to flex to accommodate the other humans and responsibilities in my life.
Why I work out in the morning
There are tons of reasons to workout in the evening. I’ve heard them all from people who aren’t believers in morning workouts. And I understand them! Sometimes I do think it’s nice to get a run in after work and shake off everything from the day. Some days I noticed I was able to push myself harder in the evening because my body was all warmed up from a day of moving around. And I too use to convince myself that I can’t run outside in the morning because that shade of pitch black is scary. But I always come back to this desire to work out in the morning.
Why do I keep coming back to this desire to work out in the morning? The benefits of morning workouts are hard to ignore. Maybe we could kickstart your journey for figuring out how to start working out in the morning with a list of pros.
The benefits of morning workouts
- Once you’re up, your willpower is the greatest in the morning vs. in the evening when you have worn it down throughout the day, so it’s less likely that you will decide not to do it.
- Exercising for moderate intensity for at least 20 minutes is proven to boost your mood so working out in the morning sets your day up for happiness — this is my favorite one!!
- It’s DONE. You don’t have it hanging over your head for the rest of the day because it’s done — HECK YES!
- You head into work with a fresh mind and body — I’ve even noticed better focus since starting to work out in the morning.
- It’s less likely that things will get in the way of your workout (had to work late, Jack’s practice was changed to today, I’m exhausted, etc.).
- Starting the day with self-care feels freaking good!
Intrigued? I’d be shocked if you never once considered working out in the morning. Especially after reading that. Convinced?? Let’s make it happen…
How to Start Working Out in the Morning
Create a bedtime routine the sets you up for success
Yes, this does include getting yourself to bed early, which often times is the hardest part. But an early bedtime is crucial for the ability to wake up and workout. And an early bedtime is only possible with a bedtime routine. If you’re exhausted it will be 99x harder to wake up and workout than if you are well rested. Set up a system for yourself!
Here are some things that work well for my bedtime routine — try a few out tonight!
Set your workout clothes out the night before and make them unavoidable
In the morning, you want to make as few decisions as possible between your alarm and your workout. The more decisions you have to make the more opportunities you have to check out and go back to bed. Make it as easy as possible to get into your workout clothes, including your shoes!! It’s far less likely that you’ll climb into bed once you have your workout clothes and shoes on.
It’s funny to think that the key to how to start working out in the morning might be tricking yourself into getting dressed. When I first started working out in the morning I put my workout clothes in the entrance of my bathroom because the first thing I do when I wake up is go to the bathroom. I told myself I wasn’t allowed to leave the bathroom until I put them on. Most of the time I was half awake, eyes still tiny slits, as I got my clothes on. Then I wash my hands, brush my teeth, and throw water on my face before leaving to head to the basement and get my workout on.
No more snooze button
Forget that you have a snooze button. If you hit the snooze button regularly read my post on how to stop hitting the snooze button and then read this out loud…
“morning after morning the snooze button has tricked me into getting nine more minutes of mediocre sleep. NO MORE!”
Create a morning routine that involves your workout
How to start working out in the morning: well, how do you want your morning to go? Are there other things you already do each morning? Decide if you want to workout asap or workout after you do a few things. I’ve done some trial and error with this one and realized that working out asap works best for me. After I am done getting dressed I head to our living room, let our dog, Miles, out, fill up my water, feed Miles, then head to the basement to workout. When I’m done working out I read, make myself breakfast, and then start to get ready for the day. This order works well for me because everything feels doable once I have my workout in (endorphins, y’all). When I tried swapping the order in the past, I would fall back asleep while reading or read for so long that I wouldn’t have time to workout.
But everyone is different. This might take some trial and error, so let yourself experiment with the order of operations and find what fits your vibe and makes your body feel the best. Be honest with yourself though, if your goal is to workout every morning, but you find that a few times a week you read too much and end up without enough time to workout, then you need to adjust.
Enjoy your workout and the space it creates after work
If I hate the workout I’m doing, it’s unlikely I’m coming back for more. You need to love the exercise that you are doing first and foremost. Secondly, take note of the freedom that you have throughout the day because you checked your workout off in the morning. Celebrate that!
For me, I get to spend quality, focused time with my family in the evening and once Hayes is asleep I can get other things done or hang out with my husband. The freedom your morning workout routine creates might be an even stronger driver than the workout itself — use it to drive you!
Think about getting an accountability group
Doesn’t matter if it’s a Peloton workout, a barre class, or something completely different, after I workout in the morning I post my workout in my accountability group. This group is full of people who are committed to their workout, they are encouraging, excited, and willing to help keep you on track.
If you need an accountability group, I have one that I would LOVE for to join! Email me, dm me on Instagram, or check out this post for more details. If you’re not ready to jump into a group, start with an accountability partner. Text a picture to your accountability partner post-workout each morning, send encouraging notes, and share inspiration. Make sure they are committed and ready to push you to be the best you can be — and be ready to do the same for them!
How to start working out in the morning…when all else fails
When all else fails, JUST GET UP AND MOVE YOUR BODY. Even if you’re still in your pajamas and you’re sports bra-less. Even if you only move for four minutes and decide you’re done. Keep turning that alarm off and MOVING. The more often you get up and move, the more often you’ll get up and move. And the more you do it the better it will feel. The better it makes you feel, the less you have to think about it, and the more you just DO IT.
YOU CAN DO THIS.