12 ways to get up and work out in the morning

some days, you just don’t want to get out of bed. this is the perfect week to discuss this, since daylight savings time in the spring means one less hour of sleep and a much darker sky outside your window when your alarm goes off. add in a little bit of rain or an overcast sky, and you’ve got downright miserable conditions for a morning mix.


so what can you do? throughout the past few years, i have gone back and forth – sometimes a morning exerciser, sometimes not so much. the fact is, however, that working out in the morning is USUALLY the best option for me. even if i can complete a workout during my lunch hour, i feel a little more rushed, i’m definitely more limited with my equipment and cardio options and because of the nature of my job … sometimes things come up and i end up not being able to go. all that being said, i’m about to get back on the morning workout wagon, and this time, it will be without dan, which makes it a lot more difficult for me. so, here are my strategies for waking up to work out in the morning. some are old and worn out (aka – you’ve heard them a bunch already), and hopefully some are surprising and might help you.

1. go to bed early. i know it sounds stupid, but some people don’t do it. when i am going to wake up at 5am for a workout, i try to be in bed by 9:30pm the night before. it can take some getting used to, but it’s all part of the fun!

2. put your phone across the room. i use my phone as an alarm, and when it’s easy to just reach over and hit snooze, i am a lot more likely to do that. if it’s across the room, i’m already up.

3. make your alarm a song that pumps you up. my alarm ringtone is “i like to move it, move it.” if that doesn’t make you wanna go to the gym, you are nuts.

4. turn the light on. it’s that simple. if you have your eyes open, if you have light in the room, it’s a heck of a lot harder to go back to sleep. not impossible, but certainly less cozy.

5. have a plan. have a plan for breakfast (the mere thought of eating is always enough to get me out of bed), have a plan for what you’ll wear to the gym, what you’ll do once you get there, etc. if you need to draw stick figures on your workout to remind you of how to do the moves, do it.

6. hang your fitness goals up where you can see them when you open your eyes. make sure you can make a visual connection in your head about your workout will help you accomplish these goals. you might always want to accompany the goals with a motivating picture or quote. how about this one?

“Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.” -Mahatma Gandhi

7. don’t go to the gym. ease into it. start by getting up early and stretching. then move to getting up a little earlier and doing a DVD in your living room. then finish by getting up as early as you need to in order to get a leisurely workout in.

8. remind yourself that it’s time for you. the gym is the best place to be selfish. you don’t have to answer your phone, look at your email, answer questions, make anyone a snack … it’s you-time, and if you appreciate and treasure it, you’ll be more likely to get out of bed for it.

9. reward yourself. if you wake up in the morning, you’ll use that time in the afternoon to … buy a pair of shoes, get a manicure, read your favorite book, get one of those ridiculously expensive teas from teavana. whatever floats your boat, make it a little bit of a tradeoff.

10. establish a routine. even on days when you’re taking a break from the gym, get up early anyway. everyone can always use a little extra time in the morning to get things done or spend more time getting ready.

11. create positive associations. don’t complain about getting up early. pretend like it’s the most awesome thing in the world. after a while, it will feel like it is (i will tell you it feels ABSOLUTELY amazing to start your day with all those endorphins).

12. don’t be too hard on yourself. if you miss one day, it’s no big deal. just pick it up again the next day. it’s what you do MOST of the time that matters. but don’t use that as an excuse not to go.

i got up and went to the gym this morning … did you?

2 thoughts on “12 ways to get up and work out in the morning

  1. These are definitely helpful for working out in the morning. Having a plan is what works for me — if my gym bag is packed, my workout clothes are laid out and ready to go, and my breakfast and lunch is packed for work, how can I not go?

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