I’ve heard it a million times… “Oh, well of course you worked out this morning, you’re a morning person”. It’s true. I am. I’m an early morning person and an early-to-bed person too. Not sure which came first, but it hasn’t always been this way.
Ask college-aged Ash what I’m doing at 5 AM, and she would say something along the lines of leaving stumbling home from a night out or shoving Taco Bell in my face before passing out. Ah, the good old days.
Now, 5 AM is much more of a wake-up time to me than a bed-time to me, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Becoming a morning person isn’t natural for everyone, but below are a few things that make it easier for me to wake up early and get my butt to the gym before I start my day:
- Go to bed early. When you’re becoming a morning person, you’ll be tempted to just try going to bed at 9 PM rather than your normal midnight bedtime. But think about it – that’s 3 whole hours earlier than you’re used to, so what ends up happening? You lay in bed, tossing and turning until you’re so frustrated you can’t stop counting down the minutes until you have to get up. Result? You get just as much sleep as normal and try to wake up earlier. Of course you’re going to feel tired. Instead, try going to bed 30 minutes earlier than normal the first night, another 30 minutes earlier the next night, and maybe 15 minutes earlier the next. Easing yourself into it will make it easier for your body to adjust and fall sleep faster.
- Sleep with your blinds open! Really, how much harder is it to get out of bed when your alarm goes off and it’s completely dark in your room? So easy to snooze once. And then snooze again.. and hey, maybe just one more time. Nothing wakes you up better than natural sunlight creeping into your room and once you see the sun, you’ll feel energized and not even consider the snooze button an option.
- Schedule your classes ahead of time, and if you can, pay for them ahead of time. That way, you’re losing money if you miss the class. You’ll be less tempted to skip out if you’ve already paid. (And who wants to lose $30 for missing a super-fun SoulCycle class?!)
- The single best piece of advice: be prepared for the morning. Nothing can slow you down more in the morning that being disorganized. What will make your morning go smoother – rushing around to try to find a clean workout top, matching socks, some presentable yoga pants, SOMETHING to put your water in and your keys in the morning or having you workout clothes, water bottle, morning snack and keys laid out for you ready to go? Of course the latter.
- Pick workouts you like for the mornings. You’ll dread it less. If you absolutely hate running, don’t try to force yourself into it first thing in the morning! Pick something you do like, like pilates or yoga to start and then ease into the more aggressive workouts.
- OR, plan to do your morning sweat sesh with a friend. When you know your friend will be making it to class (or at least having the same morning struggles as you), it will be harder to ditch out.
- Stick with it. If you wake up late a few days and still get a little workout in, consider that a success. Keep trying!
- BONUS suggestion: Ok, say you’ve tried all of that but you’re still able to hit the snooze and sleep through your workouts. One surefire way to get yourself out of bed and to your AM workout….sleep in your workout clothes for the first few nights. It sounds silly, but think about it: you sleep in your clothes so all you have to do is jump out of bed and get moving. If you miss your workout, you have the reminder of missing your goal when you’re taking your workout clothes off in the morning – which will give you a double boost of inspiration to try again!
Anyone can become a morning workout person, trust me. Just take it little by little, try one or all of these recommendations, and you’ll be the peppy morning person post-workout in the office as fast as you can say “ew but I hate burpees!”
And if all else fails, I will call you in the morning and scream at you to wake up – out of love, of course 🙂