Hi, guys! Beginning in May of this year, I switched from running at night to running in the morning. This was a huge deal.
I’ll be the first to admit I’m not a morning person. For the first 15-20 minutes I first wake up, I simply don’t want to talk to anyone (except my dog).
So, one of my reasons for switching to a morning workout is because I wanted to see if getting my difficult workout done early in the day would change my feelings about the morning time. After sticking to a morning run for the past 3 months, I am still not a morning person, but I start my day earlier, get more work done earlier and am more pleasant to deal with earlier.
My second reason for switching to a morning workout was for the weather. I had been in Florida where it was so incredibly humid, sticky and warm. If you live in Florida or have visited, then you know what I’m talking about! By April, it got to the point when even if I ran at my typical time of 8 PM, it was still 78-80+ degrees with 90-100% humidity. Needless to say, it was miserable. I became frustrated when my muscles didn’t work well and when I was drenched with sweat within minutes of starting my run.
While the mornings in Florida were still humid, sticky and warm, the temperature was slightly more manageable at 72-75 degrees.
Now, I’m in the mountains for the summer and it’s much cooler, which makes me a happier runner and a happier person in general. I’m still sticking to my morning runs even though the nighttime is cool here as well.
I wanted to share my tips for getting yourself out of bed and into a morning workout routine. Honestly, if I can do it, you can too! You don’t need to get up at the crack of dawn. Depending on my schedule, I’ll usually get up between 6:30 and 7 AM.
How To Get Your Butt Out of Bed For a Morning Workout
1. Use a sleep app on your phone. This ensures you’ll wake up at a good place in your circadian rhythm. When you’re woken up out of a deep REM sleep, you’ll feel much more lethargic. Sleep app recommendations: Sleep, Sleep Cycle, Sleep Genius, Pzizz
2. Pick your workout clothes the night before and lay them out on your dresser or floor. This includes socks, shoes and any hair ties you’ll need! Also, make sure your phone is fully charged when you go to sleep. There’s nothing worse than trying to go for a run in the morning only to realize your phone with all of your music and podcasts is below 20% battery. Another quick tip: check the weather before heading to bed. This will make picking out your clothes easier and you’ll be prepared for any potential rain.
3. Make your bed immediately after getting up. This one may be the most important for me. If I leave my bed undone, it’ll make me want to jump back in. Plus, I don’t like to leave a mess because I’m OCD and I’ll worry about that mess when I’m out running.
4. Stick to a routine. It’ll make things easier and more streamlined so you don’t waste time in the morning. For me, the longer it takes to get dressed and out the door, the less likely I want to go. My routine includes making my bed, taking my dog out for a quick bathroom trip, putting in my contacts, brushing my teeth, getting dressed and stretching briefly.
5. Remember what you feel like on days you don’t work out. Most mornings, I just don’t want to get out of bed. I want to happily go back to dreaming away so that I can voluntarily roll out of bed a couple of hours later.
To make myself get up, I tell myself that I’m much more productive and happier during the day when I run first thing. I also tend to eat healthier and I can take a nap later if I want. Even on mornings when my body feels heavy and tired, I always feel better once I’m standing up and am going through my morning routine.
6. Find something you look forward to listening to while working out. There are so many options these days! Bluetooth headphones are a great investment, too. Some days, I listen to music, particularly if I’ve added new songs to my playlist. But recently, I’ve been listening to political podcasts (like The Lead with Jake Tapper) because I was a Politics major in college and genuinely enjoy staying updated on the news. There are plenty of other podcasts out there, though! You can even listen to a TV show or listen to a book using an app like Audible.
7. WINTER TIP: If it’s cold outside, turn on a heater or use a blowdryer to warm yourself up while getting ready. One of my favorite tips is to put workout clothes into the dryer for just a few minutes in the morning (if you have a dryer in your house/apartment). While I put in my contacts and take out my dog, I’ll let my clothes warm up and by the time I’m ready to get dressed, everything is nice and cozy!
8. Work out with a friend who is a morning person. This tip is for those who prefer to work out with another person. Personally, I like to exercise alone, but I completely understand that it’s much more fun to go to the gym or go for a run with a friend or family member! It also keeps you accountable.
9. Stretch. There’s been mixed feelings about whether stretching prior to a workout actually helps, but I stretch for just a few minutes before starting my run. I focus on my quads and calves because I’ve been having trouble with those muscles recently. Find just a couple of stretches that work for you. I also enjoy taking a few minutes just to relax and breathe on the floor before working out.
10. Eat an hour earlier and start your nighttime routine 30 minutes to 1 hour earlier than usual (if possible). I know this may not be the easiest for some of you, but if you start heading to bed at least a half hour before you typically would, you’ll feel less pressured to fall asleep with the early morning ahead. I’m the type of person who obsesses over how many sleep hours I have until waking up so physically getting into bed earlier at night makes me feel less stressed about falling asleep.
11. RUNNING TIP: Whether your choice of exercise is running outdoors or running on the treadmill, utilize running apps to get a more accurate distance/calorie count. I use both Charity Miles and Runkeeper simultaneously. Charity Miles gives 25 cents to the charity of your choice for every mile you run. Runkeeper keeps a thorough record of your run with statistics like altitude climbed and minutes per mile and allows you to share your runs with friends and family. I love them both!
12. Reward yourself! You should be proud of yourself for getting up early and working out! Make your favorite cup of coffee, spend some time playing with your dog or stop for a juice/smoothie. I also totally wouldn’t object to *a bit* of online shopping. For example, you could buy yourself a little something after a week or two of working out in the morning.
Let me know if you guys have any tips of your own when it comes to staying motivated for morning workouts! You should be proud of yourselves for keeping up with a workout at any time of day! I hope these tips help to inspire your workouts!
Running in the morning alleviates some of my anxiety throughout the day, makes me eat healthier and encourages me to be more productive. Thanks so much for stopping by the blog!