You don’t have to be in the 5AM club to realize the benefit of a morning workout routine
Are you a morning workout person? As the saying goes, if you can own your morning, you’ll own your life (at least that’s what the book says). I’ve done some experimenting with shifting the times I give myself for my exercise routine. I’m not always a 100%, but once I figured out strategies to help me actually accomplish it, I found some awesome hacks to forming new habits and leaning less on having to be “motivated” to wake up and workout.
In short, I’ve made my morning workouts work. And I’m convinced anyone can, too!
In my current season of life, scheduling a morning workout definitely works best to keep me on track and stay consistent. I also find I have a lot fewer excuses if I just bite the bullet and get it done before leaving the house. After work, if I can squeeze in another one (usually with my co-worker-workout-buddies) I consider it a bonus.
But the real win is when I’m able bust it out before anything else in my busy day threatens to derail my progress.
Health benefits of morning workouts
The positive side effects of a morning workout routine are many.
First of all, there’s the “after-burn” effect.
More scientifically, this is known as EPOC, or excess post-exercise oxygen consumption. After exercise, especially after a good HIIT workout, our metabolism remains revved so we can continue to burn calories even when at complete rest.
A morning workout also cultivates consistency.
Putting your daily workout on the calendar and making it non-negotiable may not seem easy to do at first, especially in the early hours of your day. But after repeating it each day for a couple of weeks, you’ll be surprised at how habit-forming it becomes over time.
It helps you sleep better and start your day refreshed
After a few weeks of your new early riser routine, you’ll begin to notice your body clock start to shift. You’ll probably find you are less inclined to stay up late to scroll through social media or binge on Netflix. You’ll likely sleep more soundly and be ready to start your day with intention. Plus, after your early morning workout, you’ll be ready to take on the day with more energy and focus.
And heck, this study even found it may help you crave food less!
If your health is important, you’ll make time for it
I can almost hear you now… you’re not a “morning person”.
I hear you because I was you. And I totally get it.
Still, if you can hang with me on this, maybe you’ll see it might not be a difficult as you think. I know before I starting working out in the mornings, my exercise was hit or miss at best. If you haven’t been all that stellar at showing up for yourself to exercise consistently, maybe switching it up to the AM is just what you need. If no other strategies have worked up until now, your doctor would agree it’s worth it for your health to try something new. A morning workout routine might be just what you need.
My top tips for hacking into a successful morning workout
OK, so we get that creating a morning workout routine has a ton of benefits. But we also know it’s easier said than done. In this post I’m going to share with you my top tips that help me actually wake up – and actually DO my morning workout (as opposed to giving into that voice in my head telling me to hit the snooze button one. more. time). I might not always get it done at 5AM, but more often than not, I come pretty darn close.
So if you’re not an early riser, but never seem to have enough hours in the day to squeeze in a workout, then these morning workout tips are for you. I’d love for you to test them out yourself and let me know in the comments how you do!
Morning Workout Tip #1: Move your phone away from your bed
The phone (or whatever you use for your alarm) does not need to be right next to your head for you to hear it. Force yourself to stand up, walk over to it, and turn it off. Then don’t go sit down to check your email or scroll through your social media. Get up, and get going!
Morning Workout Tip #2: Sleep in your workout clothes
This may seem silly, but sleeping in your workout clothes was game changing for me. For one, it saves time, and two, it eliminates excuses. With your workout clothes already on (at least until this new routine becomes a habit), all you have to do it just roll out of bed, put on your shoes (they should be on the floor right next to you), put your hair in a messy bun, and go!
Morning Workout Tip #3: Block enough time
Don’t sabotage yourself before you even start. Block off enough time for you to get it all in, even if it means going to sleep a little earlier.
My current workout program is 20-30 minutes long each morning, so I know I need enough time to get that taken care of. Before that, I allow about 10-15 minutes of quiet time to read my devotional (here’s a great book if you’re looking for one).
Not only that, I need to make sure I have time afterward to stretch, eat, shower, and get ready for my work day. Scheduling all the tasks that need to get done is vital so you aren’t rushing around.
Because if you’re anything like me, when there “isn’t enough time”, the workout is often the first to get taken off the to do list.
Morning Workout Tip #4: Chug some water (and a good quality pre-workout)
Trying to drink at least half your body weight in ounces is the current recommendation for how much water we should be drinking. By taking your first swig before your workout, you are getting a good head start on this. Your body has gone at least 6-8 hours without a drink, so you’ll also giving it some important hydration. This fires up your metabolism, helps your body flush out toxins, and gives your brain fuel, too!
Now if you really want to kill two birds with one stone, that hydration you fuel your body with can be in the form of a high quality pre-workout drink. This will serve to hydrate you AND help give you the energy you need to crush your workout. The pre-workout I use is plant-based and doesn’t make me jittery, which is what you want in a pre-workout. Plus, I love the taste (kind of like lemonade). If you want to try it, you can order though my affiliate link here.
Morning Workout Tip #5: Have the gym come to you
Anyone else out there have a gym membership you never use? Would you believe mine was purchased in 1996? It’s a long story, but I got a SUPER sweet deal, so I pay basically nothing for it. I think it’s like $50 per YEAR or something like that…
That said, I do NOT go to the gym for my morning workouts. Instead, I bring the gym to ME. :)
Don’t get me wrong, at that price, I’ll probably never cancel (just like my original AT&T unlimited data plan haha..). But when I calculate the extra time and energy I would need to get my tired butt out of bed in the morning, pack a gym bag, drive to the gym, and then workout, go back home and get ready for work, it’s soooo not happening for me. Trust me, I’ve tried, and I didn’t last long.
Squeezing in the extra time wasn’t working, and I found my excuses overruled my determination too many times.
My solution? Home workouts! Now my commute is as only as far as my living room. Plus, all I need is my laptop, or my Apple TV. I can log on to my program (in the membership portal for my online program there are literally over 1,000 workouts to choose from) and I follow the schedule that tells me exactly which workout I’m doing for the day. A professional trainer also shows me the proper form and I can modify the moves if I need to. Everything’s done in 30 minutes to an hour, and I can get on with my day.
This one hack has changed my morning workout game for life!
BONUS TIP: Find a workout accountability buddy!
While I’ve had pretty great success with all the hacks I’ve laid out here, even the best of plans are just a bit easier when we build in a system of accountability and support. This has been proven in study after study, and it’s very true for me, too! I belong to a monthly challenge group run by a fellow coach, and together we keep each other, and the other members of the group, accountable to the goals WE say we are striving for.
If you can find an accountability partner to workout with, either virtually or in person, this is a huge support that will exponentially skyrocket your results.
If you don’t have anyone, I’d love to get you in a group with our next round of “Fit club” challengers. It’s a lot of fun and totally supportive! If you think you might be interested in hearing more, fill out my fit club interest form, and let’s chat!
Ready to rock your morning workout?
Using these tips I’ve created my go-to hacks for assuring I get my workouts accomplished. After a lot of trial and error, I’ve found it’s a system that works for me. Will it work for you? Only you can answer that one. But what I do know is the best time of day to exercise is the time that you’ll actually do it.
Waking up at 5AM isn’t easy at times. Sometimes for me, it’s 4:45, and sometimes it’s 6:00. And yes, I still need support from my accountability buddies to get it done. The bottom line is, we all need to find the time for taking better care of our health, and we can all find at least 30 minutes to get it done.
So go grab your calendar, your workout clothes, set your alarm, and give these morning workout tips a try. And don’t forget to come back and let me know how it goes! I believe you can do it!