Morning Workouts: Tips for Getting Your Butt Out of Bed

I’m naturally a morning person, but becoming a morning exerciser was no easy task! The first few mornings of waking up early were really hard, but the more I forced myself to do it, the easier it became. Even now it’s not always that pleasant””especially when it’s cold and dark outside in the winter””but it’s a great way to start the day and now it’s part of my morning routine. Here’s what helps me break a sweat before sunrise.

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Mentally prepare. When I am getting ready for bed the night before, I tell myself that skipping the gym is not an option. I remind myself that hitting snooze on my alarm clock cuts into valuable exercise time, which pushes me to get out of bed the instant it goes off. Refuse to snooze!!

Start on Monday. For me, weekends are all about sleeping in, so I start Monday morning with a bright and early workout. A quality sweat session starts my week off on the right foot and gives me momentum for the rest of my morning workouts.

Buy a lamp. My bedside lamp is my go-to tool for getting out of bed. As soon as I shut off my alarm clock, I immediately turn on my bedside lamp, which is a short distance from my pillow. Even just a little light gets me moving.

Bribe yourself out of bed. On the mornings that I really struggle to get out of bed, I bribe myself with thoughts of my favorite things. For instance, a pre-workout snack, a cup of coffee, reading emails, watching TV, or doing a few minutes of gentle yoga get me ready for a workout.

Focus on how it feels. When I am lying in bed debating whether to get up or not, I remind myself how accomplished I feel after a workout. I also remind myself how it feels when I skip a workout. I’m not sure which thought ultimately gets me out of bed, but I never regret a workout!

Prepare everything. I lay out everything I will need for the next morning, including clothing, sneakers, iPod, Garmin, magazines, pre-workout snack, car keys, gym membership ID, etc. Having everything ready to go requires a lot less thought in the morning, so it’s easy for me to just do it!

Map it out. The night before a workout, I take a few minutes to map out my workout. I try to be as specific as possible. For instance: 20-minute run on treadmill, 15 minutes on elliptical, 20 minutes strength training (free weights, upper body).

Just get out of bed. Some mornings, I really just don’t have the motivation to exercise. On these mornings, I force myself out of bed and wake myself up with some light activity, like checking my email, watching the news, stretching, or eating a snack. Even just 15 minutes of milling around my apartment will get me ready for a workout.

Do something you like! Exercise that is not enjoyable will not get you out of bed. The gym isn’t for everyone, so if you like hiking or biking or swimming (you get the idea), make it part of your morning plan.

Allow for mistakes. When I miss a workout, I don’t get down on myself. The next day, I just make sure that I don’t skip my workout.

65 Comments

  1. These are wonderful tips! I’m more of a late afternoon workout person, and morning workouts seem like such an impossibility to me… :S

    Wei-Wei

  2. I’m glad you posted this. I have such a sense of accomplishment after working out in the morning. For me, it’s the way to go! Then you have your time after work to yourself or your family.

  3. Good key points. I’m actually having a hard time getting out of bed this past few weeks because my body got used to sleep in morning for the last 2 years I’ve stayed in my company.

  4. I’m glad that morning work outs work for a lot of people, but they just don’t work for me. I am just NOT a morning person, and if I have to choose between working out and sleeping an extra hour, guess what – sleep is going to win hands down!

    So, I work out during my lunch break. Works great for me! 🙂

  5. This is so useful! Getting out of bed to exercise is always hard for me, but these tips will help!
    Thanks!

  6. Out of all the posts I read, this is the most upbeat, fun, and actually motivating read on getting out of bed!! Thank you… Now I’m off to the gym 😛

  7. I set two alarms, one for 4:05 and the second for 4:20. The first meant to prewarn me that in 15 minutes I’ll be needing to get up and the second one means that I have to get up. I consider myself a morning person, but on days when I have a hard time getting up I typically get up to go to the bathroom and by the time I’m done I’ve convinced myself I need to get a work out in. My usual motivation is knowing that if I don’t work out NOW, I’ll have to work out after work and I will not be happy about that later on.

  8. This is exactly what I am posting about on Monday! If you are mentally and physically prepared to get up and go, it makes it so much easier! I will make sure to link back to this post! I also find that putting the alarm clock AWAY from the bed is ideal to make you get up.

  9. I love the lamp idea… I might even take it a step further and get a timer for it to turn on for me! Lol! Also, laying out everything so it is ready to go would also be a big help.
    Thanks for the tips!

  10. These are great tips, its even better than any coffee! Your tips has helped me get out of bed with the right attitude and disposition. Thanks for posting 🙂

  11. What works for me is waking up early and doing something FIRST that needs to be done but isn’t so intimidating, like preparing my lunch for the day or folding laundry. By the time the small chore is done, I feel more awake and am much more likely to go for a run or to the gym.

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