Prioritizing exercise in your busy life is never easy. I’ve found that when I wait until later in the day to work out, its all too easy to start scrolling on my phone or lying down for “just a few minutes” as an hour passes by.
With my new work from home schedule during the pandemic, I’ve made a point of getting up early every morning to work out. Some days its a long run, some days its just light yoga. It’s not always easy to drag myself out of bed, but it starts the day on the right foot and guarantees that I get my workout in each day.
I thought I would share some of my top tips for getting into the habit of early morning workouts!
- Start easy. If you’re not used to intense exercise in the morning, start with an easier workout like a yoga session. This will still get you in the routine of getting up to work out, without overdoing it the first few mornings.
- Training your body clock. The most important part of early morning workouts is to get your body used it. Make sure you go to sleep early enough so that when your alarm goes off, you have had a good night of sleep and are ready to wake up.
- Eat something. If you’re doing a more intense workout or going for a run, you really should eat something to give your body energy. I’ve found that I can’t drink a lot of coffee before an intense workout, so I just have 1/2 a cup and alternate with water. I also have a simple breakfast like toast or some granola. This could be hard for your body at first, so ease into it!
- Get up right away. I give myself 5 minutes to look at my phone when my alarm first goes off, and force myself to stick to that limit. If I don’t, its all too easy to start scrolling and keep snoozing away.
- Prepare the night before. There’s nothing worse than digging through a drawer at 5am looking for your workout clothes. Help yourself by laying things out the night before. I even do this with breakfast, my water bottle, my Garmin watch, and my headphones. It helps me not forget anything when I’m heading out early!
- Stick to a schedule. My alarm goes off at 5:00am, I make myself get out of bed at 5:05, and I want to be in my car on the way to my running trail at 5:40. I know exactly the steps of drinking, eating, bathroom, dressing, and grabbing what I need each morning. It becomes autopilot when you just start doing it every day. As I said before, on the days I don’t run, I still stick to this schedule and just do yoga or a workout at home.
- Stay safe. If you are running outside really early, be sure to take safety precautions. I drive to a really popular running and biking trail so that there are plenty of other people around at that time. I also tell people my schedule so they know when and where I will be running.
- Know when to give yourself a break. Even though your routine may be on autopilot, its important to listen to your body. There is probably one day a month that my body is just tired and I make the call to skip my workout. I might just switch days around in my running schedule, or run later in the day, depending on how I feel. Obviously, you don’t want to quit every time you don’t feel 100%, but its important not to push yourself when your body really needs a break.