There are many duties in our busy lives that we find vital to complete during the day. Various tasks may include going to work, taking care of kids, and ensuring a healthy dinner is on the table after a long day. Sometimes finding time to exercise seems close to impossible. Working out after work; “forget it”. Taking time to exercise during a lunch break; “hello, it’s called a break for a reason.” However, working out in the morning leaves few excuses, and opens up the rest of your day for other plans.
I have found waking up a little earlier is the most convenient and beneficial way for me to sneak in my daily workout. While I was on the swim team in college, morning practices were my best friend. Although they were mandatory, I carried the consistency of waking up early into my daily life today. Morning exercise increases my productivity, energy level, and my overall mood. After a morning workout is complete, I feel like I can tackle the day headfirst.
Starting a new habit doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time, patience, discipline, and focus. But it is so worth the reward. Below are a few tips to train your mind and body to start a morning exercise routine. Remember to choose an exercise you enjoy, whether that’s swimming, walking, yoga, or Zumba.
- Set a goal
Set a specific goal for yourself. A short-term goal, such as exercising 3 mornings this week, makes it easier to take it day by day. Setting a short-term goal of creating a new workout habit is the most beneficial way to achieving it.
- Lay exercise clothes out the night before
Prepping the night before for your morning exercise will ensure that you are not wasting time in the morning. It will make it easier to start your exercise when you aren’t looking for your sneakers or gear!
- Move your alarm clock
Do you have a hard time waking up in the morning? Do you sometimes turn your alarm clock off and fall back asleep? Rather than keeping your alarm clock next to you while you sleep, move it to the other side of your bedroom. After you are up moving to turn off your alarm, it is harder to go back to bed and easier to start getting ready for your workout.
- Find a buddy
Having a workout buddy is known to be one of the most effective ways to keep you accountable. Call a friend, a neighbor, or family member and ask them to join you in your exercise. It is a lot easier to keep yourself accountable when someone else is relying on you.
Be patient. It takes time to overcome habits with new ones. Don’t be too hard to on yourself if you don’t make it to one of your morning exercises. Stay flexible and plan the rest of your day accordingly. For example, my child woke up sick and I missed my morning swim. So instead, I’ll plan to take a 15 minute walk at lunch and 15 minute walk in the evening.
- Consistency and focus
Staying consistent and focused on your goal is key to success. It may be hard at the beginning to wake up earlier than normal, but your body will begin getting used to it and it will soon become the norm. Celebrate your success along the way as you reach your goal. Each small step deserves to be celebrated.