When do you exercise? Are you a crack-of-dawn sweater or do you prefer burning the late night oil? Would you ever think about switching? For me, my exercise time really depends on the season. In the summertime when it is light enough outside to go for a run at 5:30 a.m., then I am up at dawn throwing on my sneakers. However, I do find it to be a challenge to get myself out of bed when it is cold and dark – even if I am working out inside. I am sure that there are a few of you who are nodding your heads (and some who are thinking, “Why would you ever forfeit an extra hour of sleep just to work out?”). For those of
you us who struggle to get up in the morning, here are a few tips to help you get out of bed.
- Lay out your gear the night before. By setting out what you will need, it will not only reduce the time that it takes for you to get ready, but then you also won’t have the excuse that you don’t want to wake your partner/roommate when you are going searching for everything in the dark.
- Put your workout on your calendar. By putting it down on your calendar, you are making a concrete plan to work out in the morning. You are also making yourself accountable. Think of bad you will feel if you had a missed workout glaring back at you all day.
- Find a buddy. Making a date with a friend to go to the gym or go for a run early in the morning makes you accountable as well. You may think that it will be hard to find a friend willing to get up early. Trust me, everyone has a friend that is bright-eyed by 4 a.m. I know that Jess even has a friend who is willing to get up and run with her at 6 a.m. in 6 degree temps on the friend’s day off! (Now that is true dedication…can we all borrow this friend?)
- Pay for it. If you pay to take a morning class or pay for an early morning personal training session, you will be more likely to go. Laying in bed for an extra half an hour instead of working out will seem like a waste when compared to the amount of money you will be losing by not attending the class/session.
- Make it a habit. The rule of thumb goes: It takes 32 days to make a habit and 64 to break it. Stay on it for 32 days and bet you won’t even notice how early you are getting up each day.
- Make it about you. Use this early morning workout as “me” time. Make the workout something that you enjoy and add to it other things you enjoy. Listen to your favorite music. Watch your favorite TV programs. Gather your thoughts and prepare for the day. Think about the good you are doing for yourself by getting up and working out.
- Use your imagination. Get into your own head to make the workout happen. Whether you need to find motivation by imaging what your body will look like after sticking to a workout, regimen or you need to envision the end of the day and coming home to relaxing on the couch or grabbing drinks with friends instead of working out at night, do it.
- Reward yourself. As is the case with any good workout, give yourself something to look forward to at the end. Find something small to reward yourself with during the hard mornings.
Whatever you need to do to get out of bed in the morning, do it. Go beyond a simple alarm that can easily be turned off. Try out some of these tips so that you have no choice but to work out. Your body and your mind will thank you for it. And think of all the fun things you can now plan for the evenings, which were normally taken up by a workout and subsequent shower and primp time if you planned to go out.