For some of us, the only time we have to exercise is in the early morning.
Problem is, morning workouts aren’t always the easiest—especially if you’re tired or have a hard time getting going first thing.
But exercise is so important and good for us that we need to make it work. People who exercise have a lower risk of disease, more energy, and typically find it easier to maintain a healthy weight.
Here are 7 helpful tips to help you learn how to wake up early to workout.
1. Get to Bed Earlier
It sounds like simple advice, but it really forms the foundation of any early workout routine. The earlier you go to bed, the easier it is to get up.
All of us have a different schedule, so the exact time you need to go to bed is up to you. But staying up an extra two hours to watch television or scroll through social media is only going to make it harder for you to get going tomorrow.
Try going to sleep 30 minutes earlier and see how you feel for a few weeks. If this is manageable, you can add more time in as you adjust to your new sleep schedule.
2. Avoid Screens Before Bed
It’s not just about how early you go to bed. What you do before you sleep goes a long way towards you feeling rested and ready to go. A nighttime routine could be a valuable practice for your health and fitness goals.
And the easiest strategy to implement with the most benefits? Reducing screen time before bed. Using phones or computers before bed exposes you to blue light, which can disrupt your body’s natural sleep rhythms and make it harder to fall asleep.
Avoid screens for 60 minutes before bed. Use that time to read or spend it with loved ones.
Anything else you can do to promote restful sleep right before you lay down is good, too. Limit work or anything stress-causing, stretch, or even try taking a sleep supplement. (These SugarBear sleep vitamins are pretty great.)
3. Set Your Workout Clothes Out
Logistics can get in the way of your early morning workout. One of the simplest tips for waking up early to exercise is to lay your clothes out so there’s less for you to do in the morning.
Putting out your favorite outfit could also motivate you to be ready when the alarm goes off. You can take this step further, too—put your headphones, water bottle, and any other gear you need out so it’s ready to go.
4. Turn the Light on
It might seem like a rude awakening at first, but turning the light on is a good way to get your day started.
Light sends signals to your brain that it’s time to start producing chemicals for wakefulness. The moment your eye senses light, the brain starts producing cortisol and other hormones to help you get going. (It also puts a stop to rest-promoting hormones, like melatonin.)
If you can force yourself to sit there for a minute or two with the lights on, you most likely will feel alert and ready to get up.
5. Put Your Alarm Across the Room
Here’s a proven tactic fitness enthusiasts love. If you’re wondering how to wake up early to workout, simply put your alarm clock (or phone) somewhere that forces you to get out of bed. In the bathroom, in the hallway, or just across the room are all perfect locations.
This forces you to get out of bed and turn the alarm off. By the time you get over there and click “Stop,” you might be inspired to simply get the day going anyway.
(Combine this with the light tip from above, and it might feel like there’s no choice but to get out of bed.)
6. Set the Coffee Pot Timer
Who doesn’t love the smell of a fresh pot of coffee in the morning? Luckily, you can use this to your advantage to get your exercise in, too.
Try setting the pot to brew ten minutes before your alarm goes off. When the alarm goes off, you’ll be greeted by the smell of fresh, invigorating coffee.
A little coffee before you work out can actually do some good, too. Coffee is a natural thermogenic, meaning it burns extra calories.
Caffeine is also a natural appetite suppressant. If you get hungry in the morning, this could help tide you over until after your workout.
You can even try moving the coffee pot to your bedroom or bathroom, depending on the size of your home. (It’s actually pretty awesome.)
7. Have Clear Goals
There are numerous little tips and tactics you can apply to get your butt out of bed before the sun comes up. But at the end of the day, knowing why you’re getting up matters.
Spend some time establishing fitness and health goals. Why is exercise valuable? Why is it worth getting up that early to work out?
At least one study found that people who set goals are 14 percent more likely to achieve them.
Connecting your actions to deeper meanings could make it much easier to get out of bed. For example, maybe you want to stay healthy and be able to play with your kids as they age. And maybe that could be your inspiration for exercising.
How to Wake up Early to Workout
There are many keys to how to wake up early to workout. From starting the night before with a solid nighttime routine to turning on the light, putting your alarm clock across the room, or even brewing fresh coffee, there are a number of options available to you.
Ultimately, though, knowing why you’re getting up is essential. Building a fitness routine in the early morning hours is definitely challenging. But if it’s for a good reason, and you’re clear on what it is, you’ll have a much easier time.
For more tips on living a healthy lifestyle, visit our blog!