Rise and grind—for real this time.
Rob and Julia Campbell / Stocksy
Half the battle of a morning workout is the part where you have to, y’know, wake up. Even though an A.M. sweat is an amazing way to get your day off to a healthy start, it can be tough to remember your fitness goals when you’re still half asleep and that snooze button is just oh so tempting.
I know this struggle all too well—even though I love the feeling of working out first thing in the morning (it’s the only thing I’ve found that gives me all day energy and a positive ‘tude), I am also the ~queen~ of sleeping through my alarm. I’ve mastered the art of turning off my alarm without having any recollection of it.
Even though I find myself adulting these days, it’s still a major challenge. But since my morning workout is so important to me, I’ve had to get creative with ways to get #UpNOut. And once I am actually up (and out), I never regret it. Here are some of the things I’ve had success with (and a few I’ll definitely try):
1. Set your workout gear next to your bed the night before.
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Setting your workout clothes out next to your bed is a great way to streamline your morning, and it serves as a visual reminder to get going. When your running shoes are practically staring at you from the floor, it’s hard to say no. I’ve even tried getting dressed while still in my warm bed, and the struggle of it is typically enough to wake my brain up. Wiggling into a pair of tight yoga pants under the covers is just challenging as it sounds.
2. Book a non-refundable workout class.
If you’ve put your hard-earned $$ into a workout class, chances are, you’re going to make sure you get to it—personally, I think my subconscious holds me accountable when I’ve signed up and paid for an indoor cycling or reformer Pilates session. (It’s a lot like a money-shredding alarm clock, but maybe a little less aggressive.) Or, make a workout date with a friend or book a personal training session—whatever it is that motivates you to get a move on.
3. Pre-program your coffee maker to start brewing before your alarm goes off.
There’s something about the smell of coffee that gives you a boost, so if the sound of your alarm doesn’t quite do it for you, maybe that coffee aroma will. Relocate your coffee pot to your bedroom and pre-program it to start brewing before your first alarm, or if your machine doesn’t have that feature, get it set up the night before by putting in your grinds or popping a new K-cup into your Keurig for easier access. (Sort of like the Michael Scott approach of waking up to bacon on The Office—without as much injury potential.)
4. Go to sleep earlier.
Yeah, yeah. “Go to bed earlier.” Problem is, that’s so much easier said than done. But if you’re not getting enough sleep, waking up can be extra brutal, so it’s worth a shot. Keri Gans, M.S. R.D., author of The Small Change Diet, once gave me an awesome tip for getting more sleep: Try scaling back your typical bedtime by just 15 minutes every night until you’re up to seven or eight hours total. Slow and steady wins the A.M. race.