Are you a morning person or a night person when it comes to working out? If you’re reading this article it’s likely because you’re a morning person, or at the very least trying to become one. 50% of all adult Americans have a preference for getting in a morning workout over any other time of day.
Read on for eight ways to develop a successful morning exercise routine.
Why Should You Start Working Out in the Morning?
Why bother losing precious hours of sleep in favor of working out? Waking up early could be the one obstacle between you and your morning workouts. But taking a look at the benefits of working out early in the day might give you the last bit of motivation needed to give it a shot.
Benefits of Morning Workouts
Improve your metabolism
Have more energy throughout the day
Get better sleep
Become more disciplined
Let’s jump into the tips.
1. Develop a Morning Workout that Excites You
Walking three miles on the treadmill isn’t the most exhilarating activity. And it certainly doesn’t inspire motivation when you could spend your morning in bed instead.
If you’re struggling to set a morning exercise routine try something new, like hatha yoga or cross-fit.
The goal is to motivate yourself by scheduling something new or implementing exercises you love doing. Save the workouts you don’t like for when you’ve developed a strong habit of working out early in the day.
2. Complete Your Morning Workout as Soon as You Wake Up
Don’t give yourself time to get distracted by the news or social media. At most, grab some water to keep hydrated.
Working out as soon as you’re awake builds a habit and expectation in your body to get to work immediately.
Think about your morning habits now. Do you reach for your phone to scroll through Twitter? Perhaps you flip on the TV while you lounge on the couch.
The goal is to replace your current habit, already ingrained into your daily routine, with working out.
3. Setup the Night Before
The night before, put out your water bottle, weights, yoga mat, clothes, and whatever else you’ll need to complete your workout the next morning. This is about eliminating barriers and obstacles in your way.
Think about it this way: Are you more likely to get out of bed if you don’t have to hunt down your tennis shoes and your dumbbells?
The answer, more likely than not, is yes. Even if you don’t want to admit it to yourself.
4. Incorporate Static Stretch Movements
It’s early morning and your muscles have been couped up all night. Stretching movements are a great addition to any workout, but we highly recommend you properly stretch in the mornings especially.
If you aren’t sure what static stretch movements to try, begin with a lateral lunge. From there try out different movements to find the ones you prefer.
You’ll notice a major difference in your level of flexibility over time.
You can also do the opposite with explosive movements. Try jump squats for these.
5. You Need a Restful Night of Sleep for a Solid Workout
Getting up early starts with going to bed early. You didn’t really think we’d expect you to go to bed at one in the morning then be ready to jump out of bed and workout only four short hours later, did you?
Consider what time you’d like to be out of bed and working out each morning. Then, once you have a time scheduled, adjust your bedtime accordingly. Make sure you’re getting the recommended eight hours of sleep.
Set the temperature in your house to a comfortable level. You can even set it to begin warming up around the time you wake up to make getting out of your warm, cozy bed less brutal.
Implement alarms or wakeup lights that help you gradually wake up in a natural way. This will help you to not feel as drowsy or sluggish in the mornings. Bonus points if you set your alarm across the room as this will help stir you awake each morning by requiring you to get out of bed to shut it off.
6. Sleep in Your Workout Clothes
If you know there’s only a slim chance of convincing your half-asleep self to crawl out of bed, simply make it easier to get started. This is similar to setting up the night before, except you wake up already setup.
Sleeping in your workout clothes means you’ve eliminated one more barrier between you and your morning workout.
We recommend, however, not sleeping in your gym shoes. Leave those by your bed with a pair of socks for the morning.
7. Set Realistic Expectations
You probably aren’t going to wake up at 3 am the first morning and bust out a one hour, high-intensity workout. Lower your expectations and be kind to yourself.
Start small with the knowledge that you will be able to work your way up to reach more difficult goals.
8. Make it Simple
Morning workouts should be low on reps and time. Try to contain your workouts to the 15 to 30 minutes range. Reps, the number of times you perform each movement, should be low as well.
The goal is to not wear yourself out to the point of exhaustion. Your morning workout should energize and revitalize you for the rest of your day.
Simple and short equate to success in this situation.
Enjoy the Benefits of a Morning Workout
Put these tips into practice and your morning workout routine will be a breeze.
The best part? Once your morning workout is out of the way, it’s over with and you’re out of bed. You can start your day without a hitch.
Plus, if you don’t head to the gym for a more intensive workout later in the day, you’ve already gotten in your exercise and won’t feel guilty for skipping.
Check out our related articles for more workout guidance.