Get in Shape: How to Stick to an Early Morning Workout Routine

Cross-training at early morning outdoors, young man doing push ups looking away, workout, exercise

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There never seems to be enough hours in the day, which is why waking up early to squeeze in a morning workout is the most logical option for most people. There isn’t always enough time over your lunch break (plus you come back sweaty and disheveled) and when you wait until after work, you’re likely to get talked into joining co-workers for a drink instead. When you bust out a morning workout, though, you have the entire day ahead of you. Plus, there is something to be said for that feeling of accomplishment that always follows a morning workout. It’s empowering to remember that you’ve already checked it off your to-do list, giving you time to spend with friends or family in the evening.

Not only will a morning workout provide you more time in the evening when social activities are happening, but some studies show that moderate morning workouts done on an empty stomach (pre breakfast) actually burn more fat than workouts done after a meal.

Put your alarm in the other room


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How many times has your alarm gone off and you shut it off quickly convincing yourself you’ll get your bike ride in after work? The key is to force yourself out of bed in order to turn off your alarm. If you have an adjoining bathroom to your bedroom, put the alarm in there so you have to get out of bed and walk to shut it off. Once you’re up and moving you’re more likely to resist the temptation of bed. For most, the hardest part of a morning workout is the initial physical act of getting your body out of bed. Once you’re up, it’s all downhill from there.

Lay out your clothes

The night before pile your shoes, clothes, and workout gear by your alarm clock. When your alarm goes off and you stumble out of bed to silence it, your gear will be waiting, making putting it on and getting out the door much easier. If this doesn’t work, wear your workout gear to bed so you can literally put on your shoes and go.

Keep it short and intense

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If your over motivated self was planning a 90 minute workout the next morning, your half asleep self may write it off as “crazy” and snuggle deeper under the duvet. If you have a 30 to 45 minute workout planned, you may find it more doable and reasonable at 6 a.m. Stick to a short, but intense plan that will challenge your body and get it moving without overwhelming your lazy, half-asleep self.

Spend time on your playlist

The night before an early morning take some time to load up your playlist with new, upbeat music or if you like audio books, stock up on some books you’ve been wanting to listen to. When you start a new early morning routine it may take new music from Mumford & Sons to make that leap out of your warm bed.

Go to bed earlier

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If you’re going to wake up at 6:30am, go to bed early enough to give yourself eight to nine hours of sleep. Skip the urge to read one more chapter or watch another episode of Mad Men and head to bed at your previously determined hour. By even going to bed 45 minutes earlier than normal, you give yourself time for a 45-minute workout in the morning.

Find a workout buddy

Everyone struggles with an early morning workout, but if you have a workout buddy, they’ll hold you accountable. There is nothing like knowing your friend may be anxiously waiting at the corner to ensure you get out of bed and lace up your shoes. If they can wake up at 6 a.m., then so can you. Use each other to get out of bed and before too long it will become part of your daily routine.

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