Early morning workout motivation

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18 Ways to Get Motivated for Morning Workouts

Forget the snooze button; it’s time to wake up and get your sweat on! Multiple studies have shown that morning workouts can lead to eating better, feeling more awake, and having an overall healthier day. But let’s face it—working out isn’t always the easiest task to take on, especially when you have to peel your eyes open and be up before the sun. So, how do you change that? There are some painless ways to trick yourself into making an A.M. routine easier; check ’em out below and then get to work on these best ab exercises for women!

1

HAVE A GOOD PLAYLIST

Whether you’re going for a run, hopping on the bike, or pumping some iron, a workout playlist is always a must! Studies have shown that energizing music can heighten your performance and keep your energy up. Choose a music genre that will make you forget what time it is and boost those exercise endorphins.

2

PREP YOUR JAVA THE NIGHT BEFORE

Drinking a black coffee first thing is a great way to start your healthy routine. Instead of taking any unnatural pre-workout supplements filled with ingredients that no one can pronounce, coffee is a simple, healthful option. Make it the night before and leave it in the fridge overnight; in the morning, drop in a few ice cubes. Not only will coffee boost your energy, it also speeds up metabolism and helps aid fat loss. This is a cold brew that is sure to wake you up!

3

SPLASH YOURSELF

When the alarm is going off and you have to drag yourself out of bed, there’s only one thing to do before crawling back in bed—splash your face with cold water. This is an automatic wake up that will get you started and ready for the day.

4

FIND A BUDDY

Everything is more fun when you have a friend to do it with! Find someone to go on runs with, carpool to the gym with, and talk about your progression. It’s easier to have a friend helping you become fit by encouraging each other to keep going—especially on those days that you just feel like saying no. Buddying up and getting social is also one of the overall how to be happier in life!

5

PLAN YOUR OUTFIT

Forget the excuse that you don’t have enough time in the morning! Set out what you’re going to wear for your workout the night before (and to work!) and save yourself from all the fuss. Rather than wasting time rummaging through your closet, having an outfit laid out will make it easier to get dressed and go.

DON’T MISS: health food gifts for fashion lovers

6

HAVE SNACKS PREPARED

If you’re the type of person who knows they can’t start a workout without some fuel in them (because then all you’ll think about is food), make a small snack that will satisfy any cravings. This way, you can actually focus on your workout and it will leave you in less of a starvation mode so that you can control your post-workout appetite! And make sure to keep away from these worst “healthy” cereals.

7

HYDRATE HYDRATE HYDRATE

Drink water before you go to bed, when you wake up, and during your workout. Water will keep you hydrated and energized to get you along. Eight 8-ounces glasses are recommended each day; but if you’re getting a good sweat on, that means to eventually drink more!

8

GET TO BED!

Getting yourself to sleep is a major part of the success of your morning workout. You’ll feel a big difference between getting eight hours as opposed to only five or six. Try to keep to going to bed at the same time each night and limiting the number of distractions (like your phone or TV) going on around you.

9

MOVE YOUR ALARM CLOCK

Set your alarm clock (or phone) so it’s away from your bed; this way, so when it goes off, you have no other option but to get up and turn off the alarm. Instead of going back to bed, stretch your body and start your morning routine. Tip: change the tone of your alarm clock to some music that’ll pump you up to get your energy going right off the bat!

10

START SLOW BUT STEADY

If you’re not used to getting up early in the morning for a workout, start slow and go for light jogs or some movement on the elliptical. Get your body used to moving that early so that it starts to feel like you’ve always been doing it. Eventually, you’ll start feeling more awake and ready to challenge yourself. Just like there are lots of bad habits that make you fat, there are good habits that make you thin over time!

11

TRY SOMETHING DIFFERENT

Instead of sticking to the same routine each day, set up something new to do a few times a week. You can start looking forward to trying out these new workouts—and maybe even find what fits you best and that you can’t wait to wake up and do!

12

LOOK FORWARD TO BREAKFAST

Make a post-workout breakfast that makes the sweat all worth it! Go for something full of nutrients like avocado on Ezekiel toast, a veggie omelet, or a morning smoothie. Avoid a breakfast high in sugar and simple carbs (i.e. cereal), and stick to ones with a good protein intake and healthy fat (eggs and avocado or oatmeal and chia seeds).

RELATED: 100+ healthy breakfast ideas that help you lose weight and stay slim.

13

MAKE FRIENDS

If you start going to the same studio or gym, find a familiar face that you see often. You can catch up on what’s going on and look forward to hearing what’s new the next time you seem them.

14

PEP TALKS

Keep reminding yourself how good you’re going to feel after and how amazing your body will look if you keep it up. You are your best motivation! If you need some A-list inspo, how about finding out how Goldie Hawn stays slim at 70?

15

THINK ABOUT IT

During your workout, keep your mind on what you’re doing and not what you have going on the rest of the day. And when you’re not in workout mode, think about all the amazing benefits that are going to come out of creating a morning workout routine. This could lead to you eating cleaner, feeling more awake, and living an overall healthier lifestyle.

16

…BUT DON’T OVERTHINK

There are some days you’re going to wake up more tired than other days—and that’s okay. Take a day off, if and when you need it. Pushing yourself too hard can lead to injuries, stress, and exhaustion. It’s worth it to listen to yourself and your body’s needs!

17

SET A GOAL

Make a calendar of where you want to be in the next few weeks, months, and years. Not just for your goal weight, but your entire life. Make small changes that turn into big ones as the time goes on. Keep track of it and on the days that you feel down, show yourself how far you’ve come and what amazing things you can accomplish!

18

REWARD YOURSELF

If you’ve been consistently waking up each morning and reaching the goals you’ve set for yourself, you deserve a reward for all the hard work! Buy a new workout top or tickets to a band you’ve been anxious to go see. And if you are eating healthier too—we think you will be!—then make sure you follow these cheat meal tips!

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We’ve all been there. You went to bed with the best intentions – you even skipped that late-night rerun of Bridesmaids to get extra shut-eye. But it’s 6am and your alarm is ringing… and it’s dark outside… and the thought of emerging from your toasty duvet nest is far from appetising.

That workout you had planned? It can wait until tomorrow, right? Or you could try and fit it in after work (although deep-down you know that’ll never happen). The excuses keep coming as one hand sleepily drifts out to hit Snooze…

Stop.

Before you succumb to the false belief that, in this scenario, extra time in bed is better, it could be that all you need is a quick burst of morning workout motivation. Yes, it’s not always that easy to find first thing but remember, you are not alone. Even the fittest among you will have those morning workout motivation waivers.

Which is why WH asked some of the UK’s leading health and fitness experts to share the tips that get them going in the morning.

Read on and you’ll never have reason to hit Snooze again.

12 HACKS FOR INSTANT MORNING WORKOUT MOTIVATION

1. GET STRAIGHT UP

“Whatever you do, do not hit Snooze,” says Jodi Kerschl, triathlete and founder of active-wear brand Bellum Active. “Aim to be out the door within 10-15 minutes of waking, if you can; it’ll give you less time to think about the fact that it’s cold outside or work-up excuses not to train. Focus on your end goal – or a rewarding post-workout meal – instead.”

2. KEEP YOUR WORKOUTS SHORT

“When starting out, keep your morning session to 15-20 minutes of boxing or HIIT,” says co-founder of Boxx, Anna Samuels. “That way, if you’re working out from home, you only need to set your alarm 30 minutes earlier than usual. As you get used to the routine, you can increase your workout time, if you wish.”

3. BE PREPARED

“Lay your clothes out the night before – in winter, pop them on the radiator – and set your heating timer to 30 minutes before you get up,” says Kerschl. “This will make it easier to get dressed when you’re half asleep and will save you having to stand around shivering for a few minutes until your body warms up.”

4. HAVE A GOAL

“Set a specific goal with a timed deadline to keep up morning workout motivation on days when you can’t be bothered,” says Mark Bohannon, manager and head personal trainer of Ultimate Performance Manchester. “Make sure you are constantly looking at this – set it as the wallpaper on your phone or as a message on your alarm clock – ‘You will lose 10kg by 10th March’, for example.”

5. MAKE SURE YOUR GOAL IS REALISTIC

“Never forget that results don’t happen overnight – a lack of motivation could be the result of unachievable targets,” says Protein World health expert and nutritionist, Faye Townsend. “Set yourself small achievements that you can tick off each week. These don’t have to be based on declining numbers on a scale – aim lift slightly heavier weights, or run a little further, every week, for example.”

6. FIND YOUR PACK

“Exercising on your own, whether it’s working out in the gym or going for a run, can be a joyless experience – making it harder to find the morning workout motivation in the first place,” says fitness instructor and nutritionist Cassandra Barns. “Find a training partner or join an exercise class and give it two or three chances before you decide whether it’s something you want to continue with or not – it can take time to feel comfortable with new moves and new people.”

7. POWER UP YOUR PLAYLIST

“If you’re not normally a morning person, then get yourself pumped and in the zone by switching on your favourite tunes,” says Alex Crockford, Fiit personal trainer. “I like to call music ‘free energy’ because it really sets you up to work out hard. ‘Happy’ by Pharrell Williams does it for me.”

8. WHEN IT’S DONE, IT’S DONE

“Remind yourself that once your early workout is done, that’s the physically hardest part of your day, done,” says PT Hannah Dyer. “I know that whatever mental challenges I come up against during the rest of my day, I will be in the right head space to go at them full throttle because I’ve physically and mentally prepped myself at the gym first.”

9. INVEST IN THE RIGHT KIT

“The right activewear is essential – especially if exercising outdoors during the colder months,” says Kerschl. “A base layer, top with reflective strips and, gloves and a beanie to keep your extremities warm can make a world of difference to your training experience. If the weather really is playing havoc with your motivation, stay indoors and so yoga, HIIT, an exercise class or a treadmill run.”

10. MIX UP YOUR TRAINING

“A change is as good as a holiday,” says Kerschl. “And this also applies to your workouts. Add in tempo, speed and strength work to your routine, or try a new class; your body will respond to the changes and you’ll see results more quickly, without getting bored.”

11. SET MULTIPLE ALARMS

“If you’re really struggling, more than one alarm,” says Tom Jones, head trainer at F45 Stratford. “I set two; the first lets me know I’ve got a further ten minutes to sleep and gives me some time to prepare for my training session so that by the time the second alarm goes off, I’m ready to get up and tackle my morning workout.”

12. ALLOW YOURSELF THE OCCASIONAL SET BACK

“Don’t beat yourself up if you oversleep or miss a session – these things happen,” says Townsend. “One day off exercise will not ruin everything you have achieved so far. Embrace the rest and start fresh as soon as possible. Remember, it’s much harder to work up to a point that it is to fall back down, and repercussions will follow if you leave it too long.”

Still need an extra boost of morning workout motivation? Scroll through these Instagram accounts for instant fitness motivation and, if you’re trying to lose weight, here are 27 tips for weight-loss motivation.

Photo: Andy Sternberg

Long before I noticed any fitness benefits of doing burpees every morning, I noticed something else: I really, really, did not want to get out of bed. Because once I got out of bed, I would have to do my burpees.

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But it’s now the 21st of the month, and I’ve managed my burpees every day. Some days I really didn’t want to, but every day I’ve been happy when I finished. Here are some of the tactics that got me this far:

Remove the Little Annoyances

The worst thing about morning burpees, I found, was not the exercise itself—that I can handle—but the fact that it gets you all sweaty and gross first thing in the morning. And if you do 30 burpees in your pajamas, you’ll end up with super sweaty pajamas. Ew.

So I change from my pajamas into workout clothes. If I’m going to work out more that morning, that system works just fine. And if I’m not, I sweat into a sports bra and a pair of shorts, then peel those off and take a quick shower before getting dressed for the day.

Another minor annoyance is that I really don’t like exercising immediately after I wake up. But morning routines last minutes to hours, not seconds. I realized I felt a lot better about exercising if I did it maybe 20 minutes after waking up, after I’d had a chance to have some caffeine, feed my kids, and maybe spend a few bleary-eyed minutes scrolling on my phone.

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Make a Small Commitment

Maybe you can do a ton of burpees when you get really motivated, but you’ll have to do your exercise every day, even on the days you feel really tired. Even on the days work is super busy. So I’m not doing 50 burpees a day; I told myself I would do a minimum of 10. With all the burpee variations that are possible, chances are there’s something you can do 10 of. (Or five! Or three!)

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Track It

I have a bad habit of giving up on great ideas before I get a chance to see them through. But I really wanted to do burpees every day for a month, so I installed an iphone app called Done to make sure I wouldn’t forget. Every day it reminds me to do my burpees, and every day I can enter the number I did.

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Something about seeing my progress really motivated me. The app encourages you to keep a streak, which is great, but it also adds up how many times you did your habit (in my case, burpees). Once I found my rhythm, I realized I was on track to do a thousand burpees by the end of the month. Well, I’m sure not going to skip a day now, because it means I’ll need to work in 30+ burpees somewhere else in the month.

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Have a Backup Plan

After a couple weeks, I started to get a nagging ache in my back. I’ve felt this before, and I know it’s not serious, but it does mean I should rest a bit. But how to rest without breaking my streak?

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I returned to those modified burpees we mentioned before. I skipped the push-up, and stepped instead of jumped. This isn’t nearly as vigorous an exercise, but it kept me in the habit and gave me time to heal. After two days of easy burpees I felt great going back to my regular ones.

If I weren’t able to do burpees at all, I’d shift goals entirely: if I broke my leg, maybe I’d find an arm exercise I could do every morning instead. Remember, this isn’t the Very Strict Burpee Competition; it’s a fitness challenge where we’re doing something to benefit ourselves.

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It’s fine if you haven’t managed a perfect streak. Heck, this is our sixth fitness challenge and so far it’s the only one that I’ve managed to do every single day. So how is the month going for you? Have you done your burpees more days than not? Are you keeping track of your total? Don’t forget you can make a new goal for yourself as we head into the home stretch!

11 Tips For Motivating Yourself In The Morning

Let’s face the facts — getting out of bed is hard. When you’re all wrapped up in your comfy blankets, it can feel almost impossible to motivate yourself in the morning. That is, unless you’re one of those lucky people who pops awake at 6 a.m. But if not, then I’m sure you’re right there grumbling, whining, and hitting snooze with the rest of us.

Starting your day like this may not feel like the biggest deal in the world. I mean, you do get up, you do make it to work (albeit, occasionally late), and you do somehow manage to survive the day. But that’s the thing, right there — you shouldn’t feel like you have to survive anything.

That’s what morning people understand that the rest of us have yet to realize. The early morning hours of the day are a really great time to be alive. When you wake up before everyone else, you have time to prepare for the day, to think about your goals, and to soak in a few moments of peace. It’s all kinds of awesome, and it really sets the tone for a good day.

And that’s where motivation comes in. Motivation is what will get you out of bed early so you can enjoy such things. And it will have you heading off to work on time, with an almost-annoying pep in your step.

Sound good? Then here are some ways to get yourself a bit more motivated in the morning.

1. Make Sure You Get A Good Night’s Sleep

First things first, you can’t feel motivated for anything if you are too tired to move. So start off by getting a good night’s rest. To do this, the general rule of thumb, according to Dr. Michael J. Breus for the Huffington Post, is to go to bed seven and a half hours before you need to wake up. “Count back five 90-minute cycles or 7.5 hours. Each sleep cycle on average is 90 minutes long and the average person has five of them per night,” Breus said. That should be just the amount of sleep you need to be ready to start the day.

2. Set Your Alarm To Something Not-So-Annoying

Don’t start your day with the sound of a blaring alarm, radio static, or annoying talk news. Instead, set your alarm to something soothing and upbeat. Think your favorite song, or a funny podcast, to make getting up way easier.

3. Whatever You Do, Don’t Snooze

Don’t start the day by hitting snooze. It’s bad for the psyche, bad for your motivation, and only makes waking up that much harder. As Alan Henry said on Lifehacker.com, “After you hit snooze and drift off, your brain starts its sleep cycle all over again. When the alarm goes off a second time, you’re likely at an even deeper, earlier part of your sleep cycle, which results in you feeling even worse than you did the first time.”

4. Ask Yourself Some Positive Questions

Before you even get out of bed, ask yourself some questions, such as “What am I happy about in life right now?” or “What am I excited about today?” It may sound cheesy, but taking a second to be grateful can help lift the veil of sluggishness. And as Henrik Edberg noted on PositivityBlog.com, the questions also make you recognize things you take for granted, which can fill you with a sense of appreciation.

5. Do Something Small To Get Yourself Rolling

If you’re really feeling the pull of your bed, try doing something small to get yourself motivated to do more. “Just clean your desk. Or pay your bills. Or wash the dishes. You just need to get started. When you have finished that small task you’ll feel more alert and ready to go do the next thing,” Edberg suggested.

6. Treat Yourself To Sweet, Sweet Rewards

Tell yourself that only once you get up, pick out your clothes, and take a shower can you sit down to breakfast, or coffee, or a few minutes of scrolling Facebook. According to Eric Barker on Time.com, “Research shows that rewards are responsible for three-quarters of why you do things.” So choose something you consider a reward, and use it as motivation to pull yourself through the arduousness that is morning.

7. Use Some Good Ol’ Fashioned Peer Pressure

If you are not a morning person, starching leeching off someone else’s amazing ability to pop out of bed. Think about setting up a gym date with a friend (who you definitely don’t want to let down, right?). Or get your SO to rustle you up from underneath the comfy covers, and then make breakfast together. Basically, if you have people waiting around with expectations, it’ll be much easier to get yourself moving.

8. Actually Have Something Good For Breakfast

When I say something good, I don’t mean a half rotten banana, or a quick bowl of stale cereal. I’m talking about smoothies, pancakes, omelettes — the things that make mornings so great. Not only will a healthy breakfast wake you up and supply tons of energy, but it can be quite the reason to start the day.

9. Take A Gander At Your Vision Board

Write down a list of things you want in life, or go full out and make a vision board complete with photos and inspirational quotes. Then, hang it where you’ll see it first thing in the morning. As Onder Hassan noted on Lifehack.org, “Our brains constantly need reminding of what we want from our lives. Having it written down creates a massive shift in our psyches and belief systems because what is simply a thought and a dream suddenly becomes tangible and clearly visible for everyone to see.” Look at it every morning, and soak up the good vibes.

10. Set Some Attainable Goals For The Day

It can be easy to get overwhelmed when your goals are things like “get a new job” or ” backpack around Europe.” That’s because these major things take a lot of planning and forethought, and can’t happen in a day. My point is, don’t let overwhelm ruin your motivation. Instead, set some small, attainable goals for the day that will move you in the right direction. As Jeff Olson said on Greatist.com, “Your little choices add up to big results.”

11. Get Dressed in Something That Makes You Feel Good

There’s something about the perfect outfit that can kind of make or break your day. That’s because when you’re feeling comfy and lookin’ good, you project confidence, and that’s a major motivator. Build a wardrobe that expresses your style — one that feels right — and you’ll actually look forward to getting dressed in the morning.

And yes, it really can be that simple to become a motivated morning person. Sometimes all it takes are a few tweaks to your morning routine, and soon you’ll actually want to get up and start the day.

Images: Pexels (12)

11 Easy Morning Motivation Rituals to Kickstart Your Day

Morning Motivation

  1. Get up early
  2. Eat a good breakfast
  3. Optimize your alarm
  4. Work out
  5. Start with “Why”
  6. Remind yourself of your wins
  7. Do something that makes you happy
  8. Remind yourself of your goals
  9. Make your bed
  10. Journal
  11. Meditate

It takes grit to be in sales. You will get rejected by prospects multiple times a day, there are some months when you won’t hit your number, and losses are just part of the job.

It’s not all bad, of course. But on some days, it’s going to be difficult to find your motivation. So make your mornings easier and set yourself up for a productive day with these quick morning motivation exercises.

11 Rituals to Build Motivation in the Morning

1. Get up early

Research shows that early risers are more successful, more proactive, better planners, and better at anticipating problems. Not to mention that many extremely productive CEOs also get to the office uber-early. Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour is out of bed by 5:45 a.m., GE CEO Jeff Immelt gets up at 5:30 a.m., Xerox CEO Ursula Burns rises at 5:15 a.m., and Apple CEO Tim Cook sets his alarm for as early as 3:45 a.m. to get a jump start on their days.

Yes, waking up early gives you more time to work, but there are other benefits as well. You’ll be able to eat a healthy breakfast (see #2), fit in a workout (#4), or even spend time doing an activity that’s not work-related (#7). The more time you give yourself in the mornings, the less you’ll have to rush and the more ready you’ll be to tackle the day.

2. Eat a good breakfast

You are what you eat. According to research from the Health Enhancement Research Organization, people who have consistently healthy diets are 25% more likely to have high job performance and 20% more likely to be more productive. Plus, if you eat a lousy meal or no breakfast at all, you’ll be hungry all morning — and it’s difficult to concentrate when you’re not feeling at your best.

3. Optimize your alarm

Your surroundings have a huge effect on your mood, and while you can’t control the weather, whether you have enough hot water in the morning, or if there will be traffic (another reason to get up early!), you can control your alarm clock.

The right wake-up call can set the tone for your entire day, so get rid of the traditional grating beeps and replace your alarm with a song that fits the mood you’d like to wake up in. Classical music is hypothesized to increase your intelligence, pump-up songs like Queen’s “We Will Rock You” make you feel more powerful, and “feel-good” songs improve your mood by actually causing your brain to release more dopamine.

4. Work out

It goes without saying that exercise is good for you, whether you work out at work or during personal hours. Exercise increases the production of serotonin and dopamine, neurotransmitters that decrease the risk of depression and improve your mood and long-term memory, respectively. Exercising in the morning forces you to wake up earlier, gives you a totally natural mood-booster, and increases your energy.

And exercise has benefits beyond improving your mood. A 2006 study showed that regular physical exercise led to increases in willpower and self-regulatory behavior.

5. Start with “why”

It’s hard to get excited about getting out of bed in the mornings when you’re not totally sold on what you’re getting up for. And even if you love everything about your job, the daily grind can make it hard to keep your eye on the prize all the time.

Boost your intrinsic motivation — behavior driven by the enjoyment of a task — to keep yourself going. Intrinsic motivation is a more powerful force than extrinsic motivation, which drives you to act because of incentives like money, recognition, or praise.

Remind yourself why you got into sales — for example, you could tape a list to your bathroom mirror and reach for it at the start of each day, or write down one thing you’re excited about every night to read the next morning. The important thing is to be able to quickly remind yourself of what drives you to be great at your job.

6. Remind yourself of your wins

It’s all well and good to know that you love sales because you believe in your product, but on days when you’ve dealt with rude prospects, been reprimanded by your boss, or lost a big deal you’ve been chasing for weeks, you’re going to need a more concrete reminder.

Greg Fung, a HubSpot sales rep, keeps a list of wins and losses in an Evernote document that he refers to when he’s having a bad day.

“Keep your list handy and add to it as new good and bad incidents come your way,” Fung says. “You’ll be surprised by how quickly the ‘rights’ outpace the ‘wrongs,’ and you now have a great tool to lean on during tough times.”

To adapt this exercise for a boost of morning motivation, keep a “master list” of your biggest wins and keep it on your nightstand or somewhere easily accessible so you can refer to it on mornings when you just don’t want to go into the office.

7. Do something that makes you happy

Breaking news: We do better at work when we’re happy in our personal lives.

Multiple studies have shown that happiness is closely correlated with job performance, and of course, happiness is closely tied to our personal health as well.

So set aside some time each morning to do something that makes you happy. Whether it’s reading a chapter from your favorite book, spending 30 minutes on a side project, or just eating a really, really good breakfast sandwich, if you dedicate time to improving your personal life, it’ll pay dividends in your career as well.

8. Remind yourself of your goals

Let’s face it: No matter how much you love your job, there are days where it’s going to feel like you’re just slogging through. That’s okay, as long as you don’t let the bad days slow you down.

But sometimes passion or intrinsic motivation just isn’t enough to get you through. That’s when goals come into play. Why are you doing what you’re doing? Presumably you’re influenced by external drivers as well as internal ones — you want to earn a promotion, you want to qualify for President’s Club, you want to save money to buy a house. On the days when you don’t feel inspired, remind yourself of what you could lose if you don’t give 110% effort.

9. Make your bed

Making your bed every morning gives you an instant sense of accomplishment, creates a positive state of mind, lowers your stress, and sets you up for completing other good habits throughout the day. Plus, it takes less than five minutes.

And, according to the book, The Power of Habit, “Making your bed every morning is correlated with better productivity, a greater sense of well-being, and stronger skills at sticking with a budget.”

10. Journal

Sometimes called writing your “morning pages,” starting your day penciling in 750 words can help clear your mind, focus your thinking for the day, and empower you to make changes in your life.

Start before the mind has time to become distracted and write for approximately 30 minutes. Oh, and handwriting only, please. Putting pen to paper apparently gives you more of a connection to your truest thoughts and the reasons behind your actions. So, want to get to the bottom of why that prospect got under your skin yesterday? Start writing.

11. Meditate

Meditation activates your parasympathetic-nervous system, which leaves you with a deep sense of relaxation. That means even if you only got six hours of sleep last night, the energy-inducing endorphins brought on by meditation can give you the boost you need to take on the day — without the jitters a fifth cup of coffee will give you.

Meditating has also been proven to reduce the pain associated with headaches, counteract stress, and filter negative self-talk. Three things salespeople never have to deal with, right?

The most important thing for you to do in the morning? Take care of yourself. Whatever your morning routine, give your mind and body what they need to take on the day refreshed, recharged, and re-motivated.

Originally published Jun 21, 2018 10:32:00 PM, updated October 29 2019

Topics:

Sales Productivity

Photo: Twenty20

Let’s start with the bad news: Only about 1 in 10 people is a true morning person, according to The Body Clock Guide to Better Health. The good news is, only 2 in 10 fall into the category of night owls, while the rest fall somewhere in between. Better still: Even if you operate best in the wee hours of the night, you can still train yourself to be an early riser. Here’s how.

Morning Person 101: Plan Ahead

“Hitting the snooze button a couple times before getting up is a clear sign of sleep deprivation.”

Waking well-rested starts with getting enough sleep. “Hitting the snooze button a couple times before getting up is a clear sign of sleep deprivation,” says Nathaniel Watson, MD, president-elect of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. “If you are getting enough sleep, you should be able to wake up on time without a morning alarm.” Sounds easier said than done? First, follow these tips for catching the zzz’s you need to wake refreshed.

RELATED: 22 Simple Steps to a Healthy, Happy Morning

1. Practice good sleep hygiene.

“Keeping a consistent sleep schedule is one of the best ways to ensure you’re getting quality, restful sleep,” says Dr. Watson. If you need to shift your schedule earlier, start moving your bedtime forward by just 15 minutes at a time. Adjustments more drastic than that will keep you rebounding between early and late bedtimes rather than creating lasting change.

2. Take your time.

Balancing your own well-being against other personal and professional responsibilities is tough. Often, finding the right work-life equilibrium starts with saying “No,” and so does getting enough sleep. Pare down your evening commitments so that you’ve got an hour completely blocked off to wind down before bed.

3. Implement a routine.

Establishing a schedule can help clue our bodies in to what’s to come. Maintaining a regular evening routine will help chill you out and let your mind know that it’s nearly time to fall asleep. For example, that could mean drinking a cup of (decaffeinated) tea and reading for 20 minutes each evening before bed.

RELATED: 9 Easy Yoga Poses to Help Wake You Up

4. Nap cautiously.

If you have a sleep debt to repay, it’s better to nap during the day than to mess up your nightly sleep schedule. That said, you don’t want a daytime snooze to keep you up at night. (For more napping tips head here!)

5. Eat (and drink) smart.

Some experts caution against going to bed too full or too hungry, as the discomfort may keep you awake. The same goes for drinking: Sipping too much before bed can cause mid-slumber trips to the bathroom, and caffeine and alcohol in particular have been shown to disrupt sleep.

6. Power down.

Any kind of light can shift circadian rhythms, making it harder to sleep at night. And if you’re constantly plugged in, you’re even less likely to hit the hay right away. Research has shown that the blue light emitted by electronics like laptops and cell phones disturbs sleep even more than natural light. Turn off those electronic screens at least an hour before bed to make dozing easier.

RELATED: 15 Get-Out-of-Bed Tricks from Fitness Pros

7. Prep before bed.

Wondering what to do with that electronic-free hour? Use the time to get together anything you’ll need in the a.m. — like a healthy lunch, make-ahead breakfast or a gym bag. Shortening your morning to-do list just might make it easier to roll out of bed.

8. Get cozy.

Temperature, noise, light and comfort can all impact your ability to sleep well. A cool, quiet room (around 65 degrees) has been shown to be an effective sleep environment. And if your mattress leaves you achy, you’ve got a good excuse to upgrade — your health may depend on it! The National Sleep Foundation offers even more recommendations for tweaking all of these for better sleep.

Photo: Pond5

The Morning Person’s Guide to Waking Up with Ease

You’ve set yourself up for success and slept like a boss. But the battle isn’t won just yet. Here’s how to skip the snooze button and hop out of bed when that alarm starts buzzing.

9. Set your motive.

As with any change, it’s important to have a tangible reason for waking up early. Come up with a meaningful goal you’ll be able to achieve by starting the day earlier, whether that’s being able to fit in a morning sweat session or having some extra time to cook a healthy breakfast.

RELATED: 11 Superfood Breakfast Bowl Recipes to Jumpstart Your Day

“When you wake spontaneously, you’re likely in a light sleep stage.”

10. Play a mind game.

The alarm goes off, and the immediate temptation is to hit snooze. Go ahead, do it — but then stay out of bed for those next nine minutes. The idea of the so-called “inverted snooze” is to ease the pain of waking up by telling yourself you only have to stick it out for nine minutes. Move around, stretch, start brewing coffee — anything to keep yourself awake. By the time the alarm goes off again you should be awake and alert enough to start your day rather than still grumpy in bed and (likely) hitting snooze again.

11. Bite the bullet.

If you naturally wake within minutes of your alarm, it can be tempting to close your eyes and relish in a few more minutes of rest. But you’re better off just getting out of bed. When you wake spontaneously, you’re likely in a light sleep stage, explains Dr. Watson. Going back to sleep could send you into a deeper sleep stage, making it harder to wake up and start your day.

12. Make moves.

Finding the right alarm and where to put it can have a big impact on whether you wake in the morning. Try experimenting with the sound, timing and location of your alarm clock to help yourself get up when you need to. For example, some alarms wake you gradually with pleasant sounds to make the transition into daytime less jarring and more relaxed.

RELATED: 7 Health-Boosting Coffee Hacks to Try This Morning

13. Seize the day.

Waking up with a groan and thinking about all the things you don’t want to do is a terrible way to motivate yourself to get out of bed. Instead, think ahead to the best things you’ll do all day to fuel your desire to get up and at ‘em.

14. Try an app.

There are several apps that promise to get you out of bed in the a.m. For example, Wake n Shake makes you shake your phone in order to turn off the app, while Better Me shares your failure to your Facebook every time you hit snooze. There are also apps, like Sleep Cycle, that use motion sensors to monitor your movement and determine the best time to wake you within a preset window.

15. Brighten up.

If you need to draw shades at night to make your room dark or — shudder — you need to wake before it’s light out, you can’t always rely on the sun to wake you. Fortunately, there are gradual light-up alarm clocks that promise to lull you out of sleep less painfully than your standard alarm.

How to Power Through the Morning

You’ve made it! You’re out of bed. Now, here’s how to get out the door without starting the day in grouch mode.

“Early in the a.m. your willpower stores are at their highest.”

16. Pare down to-dos.

You’ve already pre-packed your lunch or gym bag, giving you one less thing to worry about before coffee. Look for other ways to streamline your pre-work routine (including taking advantage of your coffee maker’s automatic timer!) so you can spend less time rushing through those early hours, and start enjoying them instead.

RELATED: 15 Gadgets for a Better Night’s Sleep

17. Amp up your productivity.

If you’re a regular snoozer, cutting out that extra nine minutes (or nine minutes times four or five) earns you bonus time each morning. Many creatives swear that early morning is the best time to write or think deeply and creatively about projects. Try taking a page from their book and dedicate even just a few minutes first thing in the a.m. to a project of your choice. You may be surprised at how rewarding it feels to start the day with a few tasks already checked off.

18. Eat a healthy breakfast.

To be your best self, it’s helpful to eat a good breakfast (trust us, morning meetings are better when you’re not hangry). Whole grain carbs plus protein give you a quick hit of energy and keep you going all morning. For an all-in-one solution that you can prep ahead, try these homemade protein bars or overnight oats.

19. Exercise in the morning.

Early in the a.m., your willpower stores are at their highest. By the evening, we get too busy and find too many excuses not to exercise. Plus, morning workouts will give you an extra shot of energy to carry you through the day ahead. Consider it your secret weapon as a newly initiated morning person.

Originally published September 2014. Updated October 2017.

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18 Actually Helpful Tips for Waking Up Early to Work Out

1. Cool down to warm up

“I ride a Citi Bike to the gym to teach — even in the winter. Those single-digit temperatures and that bitter breeze smack me so hard in the face, I don’t even need a cup of coffee!”

—Ryan Wilke, co-founder of Throwback Fitness

2. Set two alarms

“The first one lets me know I have 15 more minutes to sleep, which makes me happy. Then I meditate for 10 minutes, drink an almond milk cappuccino, play music (pretty loud — sorry, neighbors!), and throw on a super-bright Nike outfit.

Caffeine. Clear head. Neon. I’m out the door and ready to take on the day.”

—Holly Rilinger, Nike Master Trainer and creator of LIFTED

3. Pack accordingly and get in bed early

“Every evening I check to see what the morning workout will be and prepare my bag accordingly (not every day is a jump rope day). On weekdays I’m in bed no later than 10:30 p.m., so my 6:30 a.m. alarm doesn’t feel quite so brutal. I’m ready and out the door within 10 minutes.”

—Sandee Shin, CrossFit Virtuosity athlete

4. Flip a switch

“Blinding light as soon as the alarm goes off always makes me realize I don’t want to go back to sleep. Then I turn on some tunes — on days I need extra help I’ll go for Drake or Nikki — and grab my first cup of coffee rather than the covers.”

—Jessi Kneeland, personal trainer and iPEC certified life coach

5. Have breakfast ready and waiting

“When I’m looking at another 5 a.m. wake-up call, I’ll pre-order my favorite smoothie from my go-to smoothie shop to be delivered early the next morning.

Once I hit that send button, I know I have get up early — not just so I can eat it, but to make sure nobody else eats it (which, yes, has almost happened). I even label my alarm to say ‘Get your damn Liquiteria.’”

—Sarah Pope, personal trainer at Crow Hill Crossfit

6. Keep the alarm away from your bed

“I used to have an alarm clock that would purposely vibrate off my nightstand, then shake and roll all over the floor so I had to chase it to shut it off! For me, the hardest part is that initial physical act of getting my body out of bed. It’s all downhill from there!”

—Brian Gallagher, co-founder of Throwback Fitness

7. Prep your playlist

“The more I like my outfit, the more excited I am to put it on! Also, I always have an excellent playlist. For me, music dictates the way and the intensity in which I move.”

—Bree Branker, trainer for the FitOn app

8. Wear red and grab a mint

“Most of my workout clothes are red. The color’s known to increase excitement, energy levels, and circulation, and it really works to get me going.Elliot AJ, et al. (2011). Perception of the color red enhances the force and velocity of motor output. DOI: 10.1037/a0022599

I also pop in a peppermint Altoid, which I’ve done ever since my collegiate track and field days. Peppermint can create alertness, which is something I need running through Central Park in the early a.m.Moss M, et al. (2008). Modulation of cognitive performance and mood by aromas of peppermint and ylang-ylang. DOI: 10.1080/00207450601042094

The only thing that I haven’t mastered is remembering my keys, which sometimes makes my workouts a bit longer than originally planned.”

— Jay Cardiello, celebrity trainer

You’ve tried to become one of those morning workout people (gotta love ’em!), but when that dreaded alarm goes off, your body is all, ‘No. Just no.’ And by the time your mind remembers that you totally wouldn’t hate running a marathon or rocking a crazy pack of abs, you’ve already hit snooze four too many times to get to the gym for the intense morning sweat session that you penciled into your schedule the day before.

MORE: How to Become a Morning Workout Person

Jordan Metzl, M.D., a sports medicine physician at New York City’s Hospital for Special Surgery, gets how hard it is to wake up to work out. “It’s a tough habit to get into,” he says. That said: “I’m a huge believer in morning workouts because it starts your metabolic furnace and ensures you’ll actually get that workout in,” says Metzl (who’s run 31 marathons and completed 11 Ironman triathlons).

So what’s the solution? “Employing trickster strategies now can develop sustainable morning workout habits,” he says. Basically, you’ve got to get clever and fake it until you make it. Here’s how:

Dress for Success—the Night Before
Why waste time getting dressed in the morning if you don’t have to? “If I’m going to get up to work out, I want to make sure that time is going to actually exercising,” says Jen Ator, C.S.C.S., Women’s Health’s fitness director. She nixes up to 20 minutes off her morning routine by wearing her workout clothes to bed. Whether you tack that extra time onto your sweat session or your REM cycle, it’s going to pay off majorly—and give you one less reason to pull the covers over your head.

Update Your Buddy System
We all know that nabbing a workout buddy keeps you accountable. Jenn Seracuse, director of FLEX Pilates at FLEX Studios NYC, totally agrees—but suggests that you take that tried-and-true accountability rule one step further: “Ask your trainer, instructor, or workout buddy to tweet at you,” says Seracuse, who loves to tweet things like, “See your beautiful, sweaty face at 6 a.m.!” to her clients. Use this trick and you’ll be held to your workout by the whole Internet. And you know you can’t let down the Internet.

MORE: 3 Surprising Things That Can Mess With Your Morning Workout

Stash Mints in Your Nightstand
Brett Hoebel, founder of Hoebel Fitness and trainer on NBC’s Biggest Loser season 11, suggests grabbing a mint the second your alarm goes off. The sugar in the mint will excite and your brain, and the mint itself will liven up your tongue’s taste buds and nerve endings, says Hoebel. “You can completely fool your body into thinking food is coming,” he says. The gist: You’ll get rid of morning breath and wake up your mind and body for a sweat session.

Tell Your Alarm You Need Some Space
It’s not your alarm, it’s you. And distance makes the heart grow fonder, right? “Turn up the volume and put (your alarm) way across the room,” says Metzl. That way you’ll have to get out of bed to turn it off. “It’s not a new idea, but it’s really helpful,” he says. And when it comes to this trick, Ator is an expert. “Successfully getting up early in the morning to work out is all about removing as many obstacles and excuses as possible,” she says. So at night, she sets her alarm and then puts her running shoes close to the door with her phone resting across the laces. “Even if I’m exhausted and dragging my feet, it always gets me out of the door,” says Ator. Another genius move: “Setting your alarm to an unpleasant ring works wonders,” says Hoebel. “My friends always comment that I have the most obnoxious alarm, but it works.”

Give Yourself a Pep Talk
Seracuse actually recommends hitting your old friend, snooze—but instead of then drifting back to sleep, she says to lay still with your eyes closed and your mind in mental preparation mode. Mallory Weggemann, a Paralympic Gold Medalist and world record-holding swimmer, employs the same trick: “I give myself a five- to 10-minute pep talk,” she says, “like, ‘OK, you can do this,’ or, ‘Get you butt out of bed.’ It depends on my mood!” Essentially, you have to convince yourself that you’re pumped for your workout—even if you’re 100 percent lying.

MORE: 6 Secrets to Getting Up for a Morning Workout

9 Ways to Get Motivated for a Morning Workout

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It’s hard enough dragging ourselves to work in the morning, but it’s even harder to get up two hours earlier for a morning workout. But while you may be convinced that those early-risers are complete aliens, it’s actually totally doable to become one of them — and all it takes is a few small steps to officially get in the habit of working out pretty early.

There are plenty of benefits of working out in the morning, although a workout at any time of the day is great, too. When you work out in the morning, you are more alert for your workday, feel more accomplished and less stressed, and can relax when you get home after a long day. Sometimes when we leave our workouts to the night, we are less motivated after that afternoon slump, and putting more pressure on ourselves can make us stressed out. In addition, exercise in the morning boosts our metabolic rate and keeps us burning calories all day long.

Despite the benefits of morning workouts, how exactly do you become someone who can willingly complete them? Read on for nine simple ways to get motivated.

1. Make coffee ASAP when you get up

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If you aren’t a coffee drinker, make tea or chug a cold glass of water to wake your body up. If you smell the roasting pot of coffee while you’re brushing your teeth and getting dressed, you’ll be more likely to want to get up and start your day.

Plus, research show that coffee can boost the number of calories you burn if you consume it pre-workout. A study found that those who drank caffeine before their workout burned 15% more calories for three hours post-workout than non-caffeine drinkers.

Another study conducted by Japanese researchers showed that coffee can improve capillary blood flow, which can in turn boost exercise performance.

2. Work out with a friend

Don’t forget the importance of accountability. If you have a person waiting to meet you at the gym for a run on the treadmill or a group class, you’ll be more likely to go. In addition, you can call them in the morning and receive or give a pep talk if need be. If you have someone who is dreading the workout just as much as you are, at least you’re in it together.

3. Keep your phone across the room and set multiple alarms

Source: iStock

Turn your settings to your most obnoxious alarm, and put it on the opposite corner of the room. Remember to set your alarm about five or so times until you get so annoyed you won’t want to hear it again. This will be harder to snooze because you’ll have to walk up and shut it off. Plus, sometimes the hardest part of a morning workout is getting yourself out of bed. Once you’ve accomplished that, you’re already halfway there.

4. Split up your workout

Try cardio in the morning, strength-training in the afternoon, or vice versa. Splitting up your workout may give you motivation to get up in the morning if you know you don’t have pressure to fit it all in.

Dr. Mike Clark, DPT, and expert in fitness and sports medicine, says that a study conducted by the National Institutes of Health found that short but frequent workouts were just as beneficial as one long workout. In addition, splitting up your workout can give you confidence to complete a routine and motivation to work harder toward your goals.

5. Don’t put pressure on yourself

A study from 2008 at University of Georgia tried to measure whether exercise can treat fatigue. They studied 36 people, half of whom participated in moderate-intensity workouts and the others in low-intensity workouts. Surprisingly, the low-intensity group reported a 65% decrease in fatigue, while the moderate intensity group reported only 49%, showing that low-intensity workouts can also be beneficial for our health.

When you work out in the morning, don’t expect to run a smooth 5K because you’ll be letting yourself down if you don’t reach your goal. Remember that any exercise is better than no exercise at all; this mindset will most likely help you dread getting out of bed.

6. Remember you’ll eat healthier

Source: iStock

OK, so you may not reach for a plate of vegetables following your workout, but studies show that people generally eat less and healthier after exercise because it can reduce our levels of ghrelin, a hormone that increases appetite. The men in the study ate fewer calories in the 24-hour period after their workouts.

In addition, the release of endorphins after exercise typically diminishes the appetite, and people tend to reach for better portion sizes. By exercising in the morning and starting your day off on a healthy foot, you’ll have a better chance of eating healthy throughout the day.

7. Lay out your clothes the night before

Lay your clothes out in your room, pack your gym bag, and fill your water. This way you can grab everything and go the next morning. Sometimes you don’t have the motivation to wake up an hour, or even 30 minutes, prior to leaving. If you want to make it to that last minute of sleep before you really need to go, this is a great option. Plus, if you ignore your workout clothes the next day, you may feel worse about skipping the gym.

8. Download the Pact app

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Pact is a pretty serious way of getting yourself in shape with the help of a monetary commitment and a community of users trying to achieve healthy goals. This app keeps you accountable — with your own bank account. It uses GPS technology and pictures to keep you honest so you don’t cheat or skip workouts, according to the app’s website.

9. Remember the results

A few morning workouts leave you feeling great, but if you’re really tired one morning, your results may not mean as much to you. Try to remember your results, how good you felt at work afterwards, or how your energy level or sleeping schedule was regulated, and don’t let one tired morning make you forget this.

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Photo: Pond5

Whether you’re an early bird or a ‘wake-up-at-noon’ sort of person, there are times when getting up with the sun to work out can feel far less appealing than burrowing deeper into your bed. That’s why we asked 15 fitness professionals what they do to avoid getting stuck in their sheets when they should be sweating it out. Soak up these creative ways to fight stay-in-bed temptation — and add ‘em to your Pinterest board for when you need extra inspiration.

RELATED: How I Lost 130 Pounds the Healthy Way

15 Ways to Get Out of Bed Every Time

1. Post it for the world to see.
“I hold myself accountable via social media. For example, I’ve made it a goal to do weekly morning swim sessions over the winter, so I post an Instagram shot each week when I’ve completed my morning pool workout. It’s a small thing, but it makes a big difference when it comes to getting out of bed for early morning workouts.” – Jennifer Hellickson, KineticFix.com blogger

RELATED: Burn Fat, Build Muscle: 3 Killer Circuit Training Workouts

2. Blast those alarms.
“I purposefully have my alarm clock timed so that once I hit snooze three times, my iPhone alarm will also go off. Then, once I have both of my alarms blaring at me, I’m forced to go across the room — I keep my iPhone far from the bed — and shut them off. It wakes me up and gets me out of bed every time. – Michael Silverman, PT, MSPT, director of rehabilitation and wellness at Northern Westchester Hospital

RELATED: How This Man Lost 100 Pounds, One Small Change at a Time


3. Unleash the FOMO.
“I picture my competition rise ‘n grinding, too! Or I think of all of those times I couldn’t work out due to injury or illness, and how I would have given anything in those moments to be able to move my bod! That always gets me moving.” – Ellen Wexler, Ironman triathlete and Kona finisher

4. Snap out of it with the right song.
“I like to have a good workout or motivation song play to wake me up. I pick a song that really makes my hair stand up and makes me want to start doing push-ups right there in my PJs.” – Thomas Konefal, DavidBartonGym Astor Place training manager

5. Build a support squad.
“I make my morning workouts by staying accountable to others. If you have a friend who is counting on you, you will be much less likely to cancel. Plus, exercise buddies can make morning workouts so much for fun so that you really look forward to them.” – Bonnie Micheli, co-founder of Shred415

RELATED: Buddy Up: The 3 Minute Ab Workout You Can Do with a Friend

6. Take it one day at a time.
“Instead of trying to become a morning person overnight, I ease into the morning wake-ups by setting my alarm 10 minutes earlier for a week, then another 10 minutes for a week, and so on until I get to my desired wake-up time. It’s still not easy, I don’t always pop out of bed unfazed by the pre-dawn hour, but it definitely helps.” – Sarah Evans, C.P.T., personal trainer and running coach

RELATED: From Sedentary to Hiking Yosemite: How I Got Fit with Daily Burn


7. See it to believe it.
“I do a quick one- to three-minute mediation the night before to prepare my mind to get excited for my morning workout. I visualize the workout, how I’ll feel once I get into it, and the benefits I’ll reap from the workout.” – Christa King, founder of Fitlandia and life coach

8. Cue up coffee cravings.
“I pre-set my coffee maker to go off 10 minutes before I want to get going. It slowly wakes me up with the delicious smell of brewing coffee, which entices me out of bed before my alarm can even go off. Then I swig down a cup of java before hitting my workout! Perfect way to get energized and maximize a morning sweat session.” – Megan Landrum, R.D., C.P.T., personal trainer and co-founder of Zest Nutrition

9. Set up for success.
“I get everything ready the night before so I can sleep in as long as possible and still make it to the gym. The night before, I write out a rough idea of what I am doing training-wise, get my coffee ready to go, select my music, and set out my clothes. I find that if I need to make a bunch of decisions first thing in the morning, the odds of me getting to the gym plummet.” – Mike T. Nelson, Ph.D., C.S.C.S., exercise physiologist

RELATED: The 5-Minute Back Workout You Can Do Without Weights

10. Turn in on time.
“If I’m going to get up early, I know I need to go to bed that much earlier. It isn’t realistic to expect myself to pop out of bed and have an energetic and productive workout after five hours of sleep.” – Grant Weeditz, C.S.C.S., trainer Anatomy at 1220


11. Think about the good day ahead.
“I think about how it’s a new day and a new opportunity to get better. And how mad I’ll be later if I don’t do it.” – Melissa Christensen, Ironman triathlete

12. Set your eye on the prize.
“I set rewards for myself. For instance, I’ll tell myself that if I hit all of my morning workouts, then come Sunday I’ll buy that item of clothing I’ve had my eyes on or those headphones I saw someone in the gym wearing and loved.” – Nick Hounslow, personality on E!’s Hollywood Cycle

RELATED: How Eating Clean Helped This Mom Lose More Than 30 Pounds

13. Keep the peace.
“My husband kicking me saying, ‘Your alarm keeps going off and is going to wake the kids’ will get me out of bed every time.” – Jessica Peltier, Pilates, TRX, and BootyBarre instructor

14. Set a scary goal.
“I am not a morning person by any means. On most days I’m a ‘snooze three times before I get out of bed’ guy, unless I have something to train for. Training for a fight keeps me motivated to get out of bed early. There’s no better motivation than the guarantee of literally getting your butt kicked if you aren’t prepared. That said, not everyone wants to fight. Luckily, events like a 5K or 10K, a triathlon, or a mud race also work.” – Thomas Konefal, DavidBartonGym Astor Place training manager

RELATED: 5 Better Ways to Sculpt a Stronger Butt

15. Fork over the cash.
“I sign up for a class that requires payment, so I’m less likely to want to skip it. I also might let the instructor know that I’m coming so someone else expects me to show up.” –Nikki Naab-Levy, Pilates and group fitness instructor

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Get up and Get Fit: Tricks to get you motivated for your morning workout

Don’t press snooze…It’s time to get up and get motivated! 2016 is here and it’s time to work towards that New Year resolution you promised to stick too!

Do you want to get in shape, lose weight, build muscle or eat healthier? Getting motivated is the first step toward achieving your New Year resolution goal.

It’s not impossible and you really can do it! I am here to help you get motivated. Here are some Tips and Tricks to help get you motivated for your morning workout!

Set Your Goals

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Setting your goals is key to the start of any weight loss process. Goals are important because they give us a sense of direction and motivation. If we are on the right track to accomplishing our goals, we feel a sense of achievement. Once we make our goals, we feel more confident; we know that if we put our mind to it we can achieve it (Plus, were happy with our killer body too!).

Go to Sleep Earlier

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Having trouble waking up in the morning? Just go to sleep earlier! Working out in the morning is a great way to jump start your day. Just go to sleep a little earlier, set your alarm a little earlier, and hit the gym in the morning. Start your day feeling refreshed and at ease.

Eat a Healthy Breakfast

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Eating a healthy breakfast is sure to motivate you for your morning workout! I mean, eating healthy and working out for your health…they just go hand and hand. So, why bother doing one without the other? Wake up and eat your nutritious breakfast, then head to the gym for a great start to a healthy day.

Put Your Workout Clothes Together the Night Before

Putting your workout clothes together before you go to bed is a great way to motivate you in the morning. Just make sure your clothes are in eyes reach! Seeing them when you open your eyes will be the motivation you need to get out of bed and start your day off right!

Download a Fitness App

Photo Modified: Flickr / Jason Howie / CC BY 4.0

Fitness apps are great workout motivation. Wake up in the morning and begin your day with a clean slate. Log in your workouts, track your progress and keep record of your daily food intake. Some great fitness apps include, Argus (free), Sworkit (free), Headspace ($12.95/month) and Fitmo ($8.77/month).

Get a Workout Buddy

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Having a fitness buddy will be just the morning workout motivation you need! You will have to schedule your gym sessions ahead of time, forcing you to be accountable. This means, always showing up! Your fitness buddy will promote healthy competition; he/she will push you harder than you would ever push yourself.

Sign up for a Morning Fitness Class

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Leave your stress at the door! Take morning fitness classes. Once you commit yourself to a morning fitness class there is no backing out! Sign up for fitness classes in the morning to give yourself a natural energy boost for the day to come. Leave class relaxed and stress free.

Reward Yourself

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As you create your goals, create specific benchmarks. Every time you reach one of those benchmarks, reward yourself! Some reward examples may include, a weekend getaway, buying yourself something special, or making the time to do something meaningful to you. *You could also try putting $1 in a jar. At every benchmark point you add $1, once you have met your ultimate goal you remove the money and spend it on whatever your hear desires.

Think Positive

Positive thinking is key to a motivational morning workout. You will never want to get out of the bed and go to the gym when you’re thinking “ugh I don’t want to do this.” Try waking up, taking a deep breath, and thinking “this morning workout is going to be a great start to my day!”

Track Your Results

Photo Modified: Flickr / Dr. Abdullah Naser / CC BY 4.0

That feeling when you start seeing results… it’s amazing! Keeping track of your results is the motivation you need to get yourself up, out of bed, and out to the gym. Once you start seeing results, you will find yourself more motivated in accomplishing your ultimate goal.

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7 Benefits of Morning Exercise, Plus 5 Tricks To Actually Love It (even if you hate mornings!)

I was once a die-hard evening workout person. A 9 to 5 job work schedule coupled with a disdain for working out in the morning any time before 7am left me with no choice. Work, eat, exercise, sleep was my daily routine.

However, as I’ve gotten older a lot has changed. Most importantly, I’ve grown to love working out in the morning and now find that my energy and exercise motivation is highest before 9am. The thought of exercise sessions in the evening makes me feel tired and even a little restless (I’d prefer to get my workout finished early in the day so that it’s not on my mind).

This is not just personal preference either. There are many reasons why getting up and moving your body first thing in the morning is a must.

If you’re not a morning person then I just ask that you read this with an open mind. Maybe it sounds impossible for you to actually enjoy a wake-up-workout-out start to your day, but I once thought that too and now I can’t imagine life any other way.

Why Morning Exercise Kicks Butt

An early morning workout offers numerous benefits, both to your health and to your daily schedule, that exercising at other times of the day just can’t provide. Yes, you will have be disciplined to wake up early. And yes, you have to be focused on achieving an effective workout, not just go through the paces in a zombie-like state. It just takes a little time and practice before morning exercise becomes your habit.

Need some convincing? Let’s take a closer look at some of the benefits of exercising early in the morning.

1. Morning Workouts Enhance Your Metabolism

Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumptions (EPOC) is a buzz word in the fitness industry. Basically it means that your body burns more calories after your workout, even when you’re sitting at a desk or driving in your car. One study showed that participants burned an extra 190 calories in the 14 hours after exercise when compared to those who didn’t exercise at all!

The purple section of the graph shows how oxygen consumption (and calorie-burning) takes time to return to normal after your workout.

This works perfectly with a morning exercise routine. Get up, get moving, pump up your metabolism and then start eating. Whenever you eat your body can do 1 of 3 things with the calories you take in.

  1. It can use it as a source of energy
  2. It can use it to replenish your body
  3. It can store it for later (i.e. fat!)

What do you think happens when you eat after exercise? Yup – you are replenishing your body. What happens when you eat later in the day while your metabolism is still rocking from your morning workout? You guessed it – you are replenishing your body and providing calories to meet your higher metabolic needs. You do not get this benefit when you exercise later in the day.

2. A Good Morning Workout Routine Will Help Cultivate Consistency

Working out in the morning ensures that you don’t interrupt your workout schedule with other daily items that can seem more pressing. For example, if you exercise in the evening you run the risk of being late from work, feeling overloaded with errands that must be done, or saddled with other unexpected to-do items. There goes your workout.

First thing in the morning is the time of day when you’re least-likely to have something “just come up”. This is the time to establish consistent exercise.

Other times you may simply feel too tired to exercise by the end of a long day. But, in the morning there is nothing to distract you from getting down to business. Exercise will be your first priority and it will get done.

3. Morning Exercise Improves Your Physical and Mental Energy

Engaging in morning workouts is your all-natural cup of coffee. Wake up your body and prepare your mind.

Movement can be a tremendous source of energy, something many of need when we start our day. But beyond that, morning exercise has been shown to improve focus and mental abilities all day long. Not only will you feel awake and have more energy after your workout, but your mind will be ready to take on whatever tasks you have lined up that day.

Some research has measured the effectiveness of exercise to “wake up” the mind, and the results show that it does a better job than coffee!

A quick stint of exercise has been shown more effective than a cup of coffee in promoting cognitive abilities.

4. Early Morning Workouts Help You Develop Strong Self-Discipline

I don’t think anyone will argue with me when I say that waking up early in the morning to exercise enhances your personal discipline. Just like any habit, developing the discipline to get up and exercise in the morning only gets easier with time.

Perhaps more importantly, this discipline is likely to spill over into other areas of your life. After all, if you’re going to such lengths to exercise each morning, pairing that work with healthier eating, as an example, only makes sense.

5. A Morning Exercise Routine Will Help You Get Better Sleep

Waking up early in the morning to exercise will in turn help you sleep better. Your body will enjoy a healthy sense of fatigue at the end of the day and will be ready to sleep. Say goodbye to the tossing and turning that comes when your body is restless!

I’m not making this up either. A recent study had participants exercise at 7am, 1pm, or 7pm 3 days per week. Guess who got the deepest, longest sleeps? Yeah – it was those who were doing the 7am workout sessions!

Morning exercise not only improves the length of sleep you will enjoy, but also your quality of sleep by promoting deeper sleep cycles.

Evening exercise can actually have the opposite effect. Exercise is a form of stress, and your body reacts to stress by releasing hormones including adrenaline. Would you take a shot of adrenaline and then expect to fall asleep soon after? (I didn’t think so)

6. Morning Exercise Allows You to Reach Your Fitness Goals Faster

As mentioned earlier, waking up early in the morning to exercise places a high priority on physical fitness. Whether you are aware of it or not, committing to something (in this case morning exercise) that requires sacrifice (in this case sleeping in) creates a compelling argument in your mind that says, “it better be worth it!”

Nobody wants to wake up early every morning to exercise if they aren’t going to see results. The sacrifice required will subconsciously prompt you to work harder, look for other ways to support your exercise results, and help you commit to the process over a longer period of time (hopefully for life!). A goal-oriented mindset is fostered by the sacrificial habit of morning exercise.

7. Exercise In the Morning and Love Your Life!

Do I even need to argue this one? You have created a strong habit of morning exercise, your metabolism is flowing, your body is looking and feeling better, you’re sleeping well at night, and your mind is as sharp as ever. Are you enjoying your new life yet?

Exercise has been touted as a cure for just about anything that ails you. Frequent colds? Exercise. Poor digestion? Exercise. Feel depressed? Exercise.

Exercise is a trigger that release endorphins, our built-in happiness drug. Here is an excellent video that highlights a few of the ways that establishing your regular exercise routine will make your life more enjoyable.

So, while it might not seem enjoyable to get out of the bed to exercise, you can be sure that it is worth it. Aside from all the benefits that come with being healthier, your brain is literally going to its “happy place” when you exercise. Why not start your day off that way?

But I Hate Morning Exercise!

The benefits of morning workouts are pretty evident, but that doesn’t necessarily make it easy to become a morning exercise person if, well, you hate waking up in the morning. If it’s incredibly tough to drag yourself out of bed to do your morning workout, then try establishing a few “rules” that will help make the adjustment more likely to succeed:

Rule #1: Put Your Alarm Far Away

If you can reach your alarm clock while lying in bed then it’s too close!

If you have a hard time waking up in the morning, set a loud alarm and place it all the way on the other side of the room. A gentle buzz from a cell phone beside your bed won’t cut it. Force yourself to get up.

Rule #2: Keep Moving

Don’t go to the shower and don’t sit down for breakfast (or to check your email). Get a small bite to eat, put on your exercise clothes (which you laid out the night before), and get moving!

Rule #3: Give Yourself Something To Look Forward To

If you’re going to get up and do a workout you hate, you can only expect this morning routine to last for so long. Make sure that your morning workout is something you look forward to. Set your favorite TV show playing as you hit the stationary bike, put on your favorite running playlist, or turn on that audiobook you’re trying to make it through.

Need a “wake-up playlist”? Start with this one…

Rule #4: Don’t Skip The Warmup

You don’t need to spend 20 minutes stretching to get flexible, but you do need to limber up those muscles that are stiff from a night of sleep. Make sure to spend at least 5 or 10 minutes warming up with light movements before you ramp up the intensity.

Rule #5: Keep It Short

Who has 2 hours to spend exercising in the morning?

Not too many people, but nearly everyone can find 30 to 40 minutes if exercise is a priority. Whatever you do, make it short so that you have plenty of time to shower, eat breakfast, and get to work on time.

Final Point: Get Your Morning Exercise Nutrition On Point

One common complaint about morning exercise is the lack of clarity surrounding nutrition. Eat before your workout? Eat after? What to eat? Here are some morning exercise nutrition reminders to help sort it all out:

Eat Small Before Your Workout

Eat a small quantity of high-carbohydrate, moderate-protein, low-fat foods before your workout. A small apple, half of a banana, or even a little yogurt as your pre-exercise meal should be enough to fuel you without bogging you down.

Drink, Drink, Drink

Drink 1 cup of water as soon as you wake up, then keep drinking while you exercise.

Your body is dehydrated after sleeping all night. Drink 1 glass of water (250ml) before you begin your workout, and another glass for every 20 minutes you spend exercising. Sports drinks are only necessary if your workout is going to very intense or long in duration (i.e. 2 hours+), which we’ve already established is not the goal for most morning workouts.

Experiment

Experiment to see what you can stomach for various kinds of exercise. If you discover that you can’t stomach food at all, simply be sure to eat a little bit extra the night before (not a feast, just a little snack before bed). See what types of food, quantities, and timing provides you with the best energy for your workout without causing upset stomach.

Now You Can Feast

Eat immediately after your workout to refuel your body and prepare you for your day.

Lots of early morning exercisers complain of a ravenous appetite by mid-morning. If your post-workout breakfast never satisfies you, you’re not eating the right foods. A proper post-workout morning meal supplies ample amounts of calories, carbohydrates, protein, and some healthy fat.

Here’s my go-to green smoothie that is packed with all of the nutrients you need post-exercise. Again, some experimentation may required to find a balanced meal that works for you.

A Morning Exercise Challenge For You…

If you’re not a morning exerciser and you think you might be missing out, then I have a challenge for you…

Grab your calendar and schedule what time and what type of exercise you’re going to do in the mornings for the next week. If you can make it through one week of morning exercise then you can do it again (and do it – put it in the calendar!). Then do it again for the following week…and again…

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