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Making Yourself Into A Morning Exerciser

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Matt Griffith, CSCS

As a fitness professional, I’ve heard every excuse in the book as to why someone can’t commit to a morning workout; “I’m not a morning person”, “Life doesn’t exist before 6am”, “I just can’t before work”.  But even those who plan on making it to an afternoon or evening workout then find themselves in a position where they miss a workout. Something at work makes you stay late, a late invitation to a dinner, or, oops forgot about soccer practice for the kids. Yet, many people seem to be able make it to the gym at 5:30am and still make it to work A-OK. So, what’s the secret? Here are some tips to attempt to make yourself a morning exercise fiend.

Eat right the night before

The foods you eat the evening before an a.m. sweat session will impact how you feel when you hit the gym. Make it a point to eat lean protein, veggies, and healthy fats so you wake up feeling replenished, not tired and gross. Just be sure to finish up at least 90 minutes before you hit the hay. This gives your stomach some time to digest the food so it's not having a partying while you're trying to take a sleeping.

Coax yourself to bed earlier

It'll be easier to get out of bed in the morning if you've logged your expert-recommended 7 to 8 hours, so you need to hack your body's internal wakefulness clock. What does that mean exactly? The body has an internal circadian rhythm that if you do your best not to disrupt, it makes waking up in the morning much easier. Translation: Limit cell phone, computer, and TV use before bedtime so the blue light that they emit doesn't affect your z's.

Find something to look forward to

Excitement will help get you up and out; it can be something as simple as a new playlist. Your body is a highly adaptable machine that responds to the stimulus you present it. If you can self-motivate, which is always the strongest form of motivation, and just get to the gym or start your workout every morning; your body will adapt, making it much easier to routinely break that AM sweat. You could also try snacking on melatonin-rich foods like walnuts and cherries before bed

Have an AM workout buddy

Ask around -- you probably have a friend who either already gets up in the morning to work out, or wants to start doing it. Make plans to meet at the gym or a class, which will hold you accountable. You'll be far less likely to bail when you know someone is waiting for you, and you'll even get the benefit of social interaction, regardless of how quick or sweaty it might be. Even better, hiring a fitness professional that will be waiting for you with a smile and workout you don’t even have to think about.

Set up your morning ahead of time

The less you have to think about when the alarm goes off, the better. Lay out your shoes and clothes in the evening. Have a pre-made pre-exercise snack ready to go and set the coffee pot to start brewing at the same time as your alarm. Once you're out of bed, everything is ready for you.

These are simple things that can make a huge difference when it comes to make a workout time and routine consistent and help you continually crush your fitness goals. Simple changes can bring on the largest rewards!

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