Fitting exercise into an already hectic schedule isn’t easy. This is especially true for people who aren’t particularly eager early birds.
It can be hard enough just waking up and getting the kids off to school (if you have them) and still arrive at work on time, let alone having to squeeze in a morning workout on top of it. However, there are a few minor changes you can make that will help you rise just a little earlier so you can use that time to fulfill your daily exercise requirement.
Go to bed prepared to work out
If you find it difficult to motivate yourself in the morning, preparing the night before may be a good idea. Some people are more likely to exercise if they lay out their workout clothes before going to bed. This way they serve as a visible reminder that you’re up earlier than usual so you can get in that workout.
If this doesn’t help you stick to your goals, try wearing your workout clothes to bed. This way you’ll be dressed for the workout and ready to go as soon as you wake up.
Buy clothes specifically for your workouts
Most people throw on any comfortable clothes they have laying around for their workouts. While this is convenient and saves money, it doesn’t do much for your self-esteem and it certainly doesn’t build up excitement about the activity. Alternatively, try investing in a new pair of yoga pants or a colorful sports bra. Add new running shoes as well.
There’s no reason you can’t be stylish while engaging in the physical activity of your choice. In fact, it could make you feel more eager to hit the gym or engage in other physical activities.
Build a motivational playlist
If you start listening to upbeat, motivational music as soon as you awaken, you’ll be more interested in burning off energy in the early morning. You can start by downloading digital music from one of the various platforms available. Select music that’s upbeat, either in tempo or with inspirational lyrics. While you should probably veer away from music that’s tense and angry, any songs that make you feel good about yourself should be added to the mix.
Make sure you’re getting enough sleep
If you try squeezing in a morning workout without adjusting your bedtime, you’re probably going to be cutting into your sleep time. This means you won’t be getting seven to eight hours of sleep, which will leave you feeling fatigued and lacking the energy you need to motivate yourself.
If you’re really serious about making time for a workout, it’s going to mean going to bed earlier. While that may not seem very appealing, you’ll just have to make this sacrifice if you want to enjoy good morning workouts.
Don’t take days off
For the first month at least, you should try to stick to your schedule, even on your days off. Yes, this means getting up just as early on days when you don’t have to rush off to work, but it will give your body a chance to adjust to the new schedule. Every morning engage in some form of physical activity so you can also adjust to the workouts. Over time, it won’t even seem like a sacrifice to get up early on your days off and you’ll benefit from having that much more free time.
Mix it up
If you hit the gym every day, it’s going to feel more like a chore and that’s going to cause you to lose interest. Instead, hit the gym maybe two or three days a week and find other activities you enjoy on the remaining four days. Go swimming one day, go bicycling in a nearby park another day, or maybe try to organize a basketball game one day a week. There’s no reason you have to keep doing the same thing every day. Fitness experts always recommend engaging in a variety of activities because it helps you use more muscle groups.
Work out with a friend
Working out with a friend can keep you motivated in two ways. First, you’ll realize you have someone waiting for you so you’ll be less likely to skip the workout. Otherwise, you might be tempted to sleep in. Secondly, you won’t feel as isolated or alone if you have someone to communicate with throughout the workout.
Just make sure your friend is equally as invested in fitness or you might waste all of your time socializing. As long as you both keep your fitness goals in mind, this type of companionship can make your workouts more enjoyable, which means you’ll look forward to them each morning.
Indulge your competitive spirit
It’s easy to feel competitive when you’re engaged in team sports. If this is the case, challenge yourself to work harder to beat an opponent. But even if you don’t participate in team sports, you can still challenge yourself.
Set new goals for yourself and strive to obtain them with each new workout. As you do reach a goal, set another one that you can work towards. Challenging yourself to run faster, lift more weight or swim more laps will help you improve your workouts. It’ll also keep you motivated when it comes to maintaining your morning schedule.
Each workout should be followed by a reward of some kind. While you don’t want to overindulge and defeat all you accomplished with the workout, a sweet treat can help you feel better. Choose something high in protein to help your body build muscle. A homemade smoothie or yogurt parfait are excellent choices, but you can broaden your menu choices with a little light research. Your treat should be something enjoyable, but also something that will help your body recover from the workout.
As you get started, it will be difficult to get yourself up earlier and commit to working out. While these tips will help you motivate yourself, you’ll still have to make a few sacrifices. Over time, your body and mind will adjust, so you’ll just accept this as your new lifestyle.