In today’s rushed world, it is often difficult to find time for exercise. It can be even more difficult to make the time early in the morning before work and kids take over your life. Follow a few of the following steps and you will make yourself willing and excited to exercise in the morning.
- Prepare the night before. Set out your workout gear, shoes and music. The morning should require as little thinking as possible, so anything that can be done the night before will make the process run more smoothly. If you are using a workout tape, get it in the VCR or DVD player the night before, and make sure it’s ready to play. If you plan to hit the road for a walk or run, have your shoes and headphones ready. Also have a back-up plan in case of inclement weather.
- Go to bed earlier. If you are getting up earlier, you will need to go to bed earlier. Avoid staying up for Letterman or late night soaps on cable. When your eyes start to droop or you are starting to get tired, it is time to head for bed.
- Have a nighttime routine. Ending your day with a routine and regular bedtime makes sleep easier. If you are sleeping well, facing the morning is that much easier.
- Set the alarm. Since rushing is part of your normal routine, you will need to make extra time to exercise. The easiest way to do this is to get up at least 30 minutes earlier. If starting with a half hour is more than you can imagine, try setting the alarm 15 minutes early for the first few weeks.
- Get up with the alarm. No snoozing. The snooze button is your enemy, so don’t use it.
- Get dressed first thing. Try to get your clothes and shoes on before you are alert. You don’t want time to talk yourself out of your workout.
- If you need to eat first, eat. Some people can’t get a good workout on an empty stomach. Others feel nauseated just thinking of eating first thing. Know which type you are and if you need to eat before your workout, try a breakfast bar or glass of milk. If you aren’t a morning eater, you should still start the day with a glass of ice water. The cold liquid will also get your metabolism working first thing.
- Put a smile on your face. It may be difficult, but smiling can change your mood in an instant. No matter what you feel – grumpy, cranky or irritable – smile to change your attitude. Even if that smile looks like a grimace for the first few days, you’ll be able to turn the mood around once you get into the habit of morning exercise.
- Get into the groove. Morning workouts can be exhilarating if you let them. Play your favorite music or gradually warm up, then get moving. Have fun with your workout.
Exercising early in the morning can be the best time of day for a busy person. The solo time can be the time to put your day into perspective or the time to put on your positive attitude. Get what you can out of the morning by committing to making morning exercise a habit and then getting out and doing it.