Whether you’re a longtime morning exerciser or just trying to get into the habit, figuring out how to make it happen can be a struggle. With so much to do, it can feel like a workout just isn’t on your priority list, even when you know there are major health benefits to working out early. Fortunately, you can retrain your brain to think differently by following these tips that will help you become a morning workout person in 30 days.
Start small. If you’re used to a more intense fitness session in the evening, it’s not going to be easy to transition to an early morning workout, says Sivan Fagan, a personal trainer and founder of Strong with Sivan in Baltimore, MD. “Mornings aren’t the best time to tackle a really strenuous run or a challenging strength training workout,” she notes. Instead, opt for a shorter workout—maybe 20 minutes or less—so you can still reap the benefits of the workout, but also be able to fit it into your morning schedule.
Make it a goal to exercise every day, whether you work out at home or at a gym. A daily goal can provide a sense of urgency and will keep you accountable, and it’s especially important when you’re trying to establish a new habit. It’s helpful to plan out your daily goals the night before, so you know exactly what you want to achieve each morning.
Stick to the same routine each day to give your body a heads-up it’s workout time, says Fagan. Having the same workout each day helps your body adapt to the exercise, which makes it more likely that you’ll actually do it.
Wake up at the same time each day, and try to do your workout around that same time each day. It’s not necessary to wake up at the same time every day, but getting up around the same time will give your routine a regular feel that makes it more likely you’ll stick with it.
Set up your workout clothes and gear the night before, so you’re ready to go first thing in the morning. Also, prepare an energizing breakfast and a drink for after your workout, suggests registered dietitian Jessica Jones, M.S., R.D.N. Doing so will make it easier to skip that extra snooze and get to your workout on time.
Finally, reward yourself for sticking to your new habit! Whether it’s that pair of Lululemon leggings you’ve been eyeing or a punch card to your favorite boutique studio, rewarding yourself for staying true to your new habits is a powerful motivator.
If you can, find a friend or partner to join you in your journey to becoming a morning exerciser. Having a buddy can increase your accountability and make the experience more fun. Plus, they’ll be there to cheer you on when you’re tempted to hit snooze. Just be sure to find a buddy who’s also committed to sticking with their own healthy habits, so it doesn’t turn into a competition.
Milena Estêvão is a YouTuber passionate about sharing her experiences (challenges, successes and motivations) in the fitness activities she is involved in.
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