If you’ve been reading this blog for awhile, you know I prefer to workout in the morning, as opposed to after work. When I first began a full-time job after college, I tried to workout after work, but I kept skipping my workouts because I was too tired or I’d make alternate plans. I quickly realized that if I was going to get all of my workouts in, I would have to go before work….and that meant really early.

It took a few weeks of training myself, but eventually I found a great routine. The first few mornings were very difficult. I had to be at work by 7:30AM, which meant if I was going to squeeze in an hour long workout, I had to set my alarm for 5AM. Oof. Getting yourself out of bed in the 5 o’clock range is difficult when you know that you don’t have to – it takes a whole lot of willpower.

After a few weeks in my new routine, I actually began to look forward to my morning workouts. It was a great feeling of accomplishment leaving the gym at 6:30AM, having my workout completed before most people were even awake. I loved arriving to work, knowing that my whole evening was free to relax and do things other than go to the gym.

I’ve been able to convert many of my friends to early morning gym-goers and today I want to share 5 tips that will help YOU workout in the morning, too!

Lay out EVERYTHING you need the night before

Every night before I go to bed, I lay out my gym shorts, top, sports bra, socks, sneakers, headphones, iPhone armband, and a filled water bottle. Doing this, can help you get out the door in under 10 minutes!. I find that if I have to dig in my closet for clothes while I am half-awake then I will just make an excuse to  climb back into bed. Heck, I even UNTIE my shoelaces the night before because the less I have to think about in the morning the better!

Go to bed at a reasonable time

If you’re a night owl, this will take some practice. You can’t go to bed at your usual time and then expect to get out of bed two hours earlier than usual. I had to force myself to be IN BED by 9:30PM in order to be asleep by 10PM, allowing myself a solid 7 hours of sleep. Put away your computer and phone and just get some shut-eye! Encourage your partner / roommate / family to do the same. We can all benefit from some more sleep, right!?

Make a mantra

Okay, this may sound totally silly to you. Sometimes when I really don’t want to get out of bed in the morning, I ask myself, “Have you ever regretted a workout?” The answer is always a big fat “NO!” Even if I get in just 20 minutes of cardio, weights, abs, or SOMETHING I feel so much better than having done nothing at all. I know you will feel the same way. Find a mantra that works for you. Whether it’s something about a goal dress size or simply telling yourself not to be lazy, it will work!

Find a workout buddy

Waking up early to workout is so much easier when you have someone else on board. Try to find someone to workout with, whether it is your spouse, boyfriend/girlfriend, roommate, whomever! In college, my workout buddy was my BFF, Emily. Like me, Em prioritizes health, so she was always down to squeeze in a workout despite us both having very busy schedules. There were times we studied flashcards on the elliptical together and other times when we forced ourselves to go to 6AM spin classes (which is basically unheard of in college!). When you know there is another person counting on you to get up, it is a lot more difficult to make excuses. (Thanks, Em! I miss you!)

Prepare breakfast the night before

You MUST eat breakfast if you workout in the morning. Okay, you must eat breakfast REGARDLESS, but especially after your workout. Since mornings are rushed as it is, one of my biggest pieces of advice is to prepare breakfast the night before. I love my overnight oats and overnight steel cut oatmeal as quick and healthy options! The night before I leave out everything I can. If I made overnight steel cut oatmeal, then I even place a bowl and spoon on the kitchen counter. I also make sure that my travel coffee mug is clean and sitting right next to the coffee maker, so I don’t waste a second cleaning or looking for anything.

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