I’ve been waking up early for years, but waking up early to workout has been one of the best new habits I’ve been implementing.
I know a lot of people want to wake up earlier, but most can’t commit to it.
You don’t have to work out at 5 am like I do, but what if you could have your workout finished before you start your day??
I have some tips that will help you to wake up early and get in a workout.
Why wake up early to workout?
1. Start your day for you
Most people wake up to get ready for work. If they have work at 8 they’ll wake up at 7 to give themselves enough time to get ready, eat breakfast, and commute to their job.
I wake up for me.
I wake up well before I need to start work so I can do things that improve my health and wellbeing. This has always been the case, even before I was going to the gym in the morning.
Personally, I believe my life is more important than my job. You should feel the same way. So why would you want to wake up just to prepare for work? That will quickly lead to stress and unhappiness.
An earlier start to your day gives you time to do things that create a better life (such as working out). Overall, this helps me to feel happier, less stressed, and more grounded.
2. An amazing start to your day
Have you ever heard of ‘The hard thing’ rule? Well basically it just means to do at least one hard thing every day.
You know what’s hard?
Waking up early.
You know what’s harder?
Waking up early and going to workout.
You literally start your day with 2 VERY hard things that most people can’t do. This builds serious confidence, discipline, and trust in yourself.
Every time you wake up early and workout you’re starting your day off in an amazing way AND proving to yourself that you can do hard things.
3. You get your workout done
It’s such a great feeling to end the work day and know that your workout is already done for the day.
Now your afternoon/evening is open for working on your side hustle, taking a long walk, relaxing, reading, preparing a good dinner, etc.
Working out at the end of the day leads to more resistance and consumes more time.
You’re more likely to skip a workout because you’re exhausted from work or have other responsibilities to tend to.
You also have to worry about eating a pre-workout meal, changing your clothes, allowing your food to digest, more traffic, etc.
4. Boost of energy
No matter what time of day you workout you typically feel energized after.
That feeling first thing in the morning can’t be beat.
It feels amazing to get your body moving and blood flowing. You start your day with endorphins which creates a ripple effect throughout the day.
5. You beat the crowd
The gym is significantly less crowded at 5 AM versus 5/6 PM.
All the equipment you need is open and obviously just less people to deal with.
This is a huge pro because it allows you to complete your workout faster and just focus on what you are doing.
The night before
Waking up early really does start the night before. There are things you can do to make it easier on yourself.
Lay out your outfit
Pick out your workout clothes and lay them out.
This eliminates the need to make multiple decisions in the morning and will create less resistance.
When you wake up and see your clothes, they serve as a reminder to just get changed and push through.
Have a nighttime routine
A nighttime routine should consist of several things that allow you to wind down before bed.
-stopping work at a certain time
-relaxing (self-massage, taking a shower/bath, reading, meditating, journaling, etc.)
-drinking a nighttime tea (chamomile, mint, or Calm drink)
Getting into “bed time” mode will help you to get to bed on time and sleep better throughout the night.
Go to bed early
It’s a no brainer but going to bed early will make it easier for you to wake up early.
There’s no need for you to be watching TV/Netflix or scrolling through Instagram until midnight. You’ll regret it in the morning.
Personally, I am in bed around 9 pm and asleep by 9:30/10 pm so I can wake up at 4:30 am. I have enough time in my day to do what I need to do and this gives me enough time to sleep as well.
Put your alarm across the room
This is one of the most important tips.
If you’re sleeping right next to your alarm, you’re going to make it easier to hit snooze and/or dismiss it.
Place your alarm across the room so that you have to stand up and walk to shut it off.
I know you can shut off your alarm and walk right back to bed, but this gives you time to process what you are trying to do.
After shutting off your alarm, take a moment to think about why you are doing this and how you will feel if you get back in bed.
You may think it’s no big deal to hit the snooze button, but it’s HUGE. You’re building bad habits of procrastination and poor discipline.
Take your goals seriously and push through.
In the morning
Create a transition period
After waking up I use the restroom and brush my retainers. After that I like to have some time to transition from asleep to awake.
For me this means meditation.
I meditate for 10 minutes so I can ground myself with my goals, intentions, and gratitude. This also gives me a little bit of time to wake up and stretch.
For you this may be stretching, drinking some water, making some coffee, reading, journaling, etc.
I think this is an important step because it helps you to get into the right mindset as well.
Manage your thoughts (and focus on gratitude)
Leading off the last tip, your morning mindset and thoughts are very important for the rest of your day.
When you wake up you may feel VERY negative.
I tend to think negative thoughts about life and all of it is just stemming from being tired.
Which is why I actively remind myself that I am just tired and think about how I’ll feel in just a few minutes.
While I get ready I’ll sometimes put on motivational talks to pump positivity into my brain. It’s very inspiring and makes me feel excited/proud of what I’m doing.
Check out the playlist ‘Motivational Speeches’ on Spotify.
This is also a good time to practice gratitude. Even though it’s early and you’re tired, you’re alive and have another beautiful day to experience.
Your body is functioning and you have the ability to move, get ready, workout, etc.
I know there are people out there who would kill to wake up early and workout, so I don’t take that for granted.
Wash your face
Wash or splash your face with cool water.
It sucks in the moment but it’s very refreshing and will help to wake you up and clear up any gunk from overnight.
Have your workout planned
To eliminate even MORE decisions throughout the morning, plan your workout in advance.
Of course if you’re going to a workout class or just doing cardio, you’re all set. But if you want to lift/workout on your own it’s best to plan things out ahead of time.
You can then just worry about showing up and following your plan!
Create a workout split and then find videos/articles to build your own plan OR you could follow a program created by someone else.
Properly warm up
Early in the morning your body will naturally not be as strong or flexible.
It’s even more important for you to properly warm up your body before actually working out.
No matter what day it is I start with 5 minutes on the treadmill. This gets my blood flowing.
I’ll then stretch/warm-up the body parts I plan on training for several minutes.
How to Make Exercise a Habit
How to *Happily* Wake Up Early
Working out in the morning isn’t for everyone, but I suggest you give it a try.
I have found it to be very beneficial, productive, and rewarding.
I love that I am improving my health and my overall life first thing in the morning.
Leila, thank you so much for this. I fell off my routine a few weeks after lockdown started. You have just reminded me of all the reasons why I started working out and actually enjoyed my morning workouts. It’s time to get off my ass and make myself happy again!
Love it!! I hope your journey has been going well.
I’m creating a morning routine challenge at the moment so be on the lookout for that 😊
Thank you for your comment!