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12 Days of Fitness: Day 10 – 10 Ways to Kickstart a Morning Workout

December 20, 2016 0 Comments

(This is Part 10 of a 12 part series to provide you with some useful health and fitness info over the holiday season)

As we head into a New Year, people will often make a plan to exercise more or start exercising which often means having to do something they have never been successful to accomplish before, such as exercising first thing in the morning. I’ll be the first to admit, I am not a morning exerciser. When it’s called upon or necessary, I can do it but it’s built into my daily schedule for later in the day. For some, it may in fact be the only best time for them to do it. There are many advantages to exercising first thing in the morning and if it’s something you’re willing to do and give it a try, here are some tips to create that new habit.

  1. Set a Goal. It’s cliché but if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Every Sunday night, create your workout schedule for the coming week. Tell yourself, for example, “This week, I’m getting up at 6 a.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, and doing something for 30 minutes.” Schedule your morning workout just as you would an appointment. You’re more likely to follow your morning workout routine if you write it down. If you don’t make it, write a note in your calendar to explain why. Later, you can analyze your exercise excuses and look for ways to overcome them.
  2. Prepare the Night Before. To follow through on a morning workout routine, it helps to lay out your exercise clothes and equipment the night before. That way you don’t waste any time getting dressed and ready for your workout. One possible disadvantage of exercise in the morning is that your time may be limited — overcome this limitation by having a set routine and not wasting time looking for your sneakers or your weights.
  3. Create a Morning Workout Playlist. Music is a good motivator, especially in the morning, If you have a great playlist, it can be enough to get you out of bed in the morning. Research has shown that listening to music when you exercise can produce positive thoughts and help offset fatigue.
  4. Move Your Alarm Clock. Instead of sleeping with the alarm next to your bed, move it to the other side of the room. That way, you’ll have to get up and get out of bed to shut it off. Once you’re up, it’s that much easier to get dressed in your workout clothes, and head out the door for a brisk walk around the neighborhood or to the gym for a morning workout routine. If you use an alarm that plays music, set it to a song from your workout playlist to help get you in the mood for exercise.
  5. Make a Date. Having a workout buddy or coach is a great motivator. Make plans to meet your exercise partner at the gym at a certain hour. You’re less likely to poop out if you know someone is waiting for you.
  6. Make Friends. If you don’t have an exercise buddy yet, chances are you will make one after a few weeks of sticking to a morning workout routine at your gym. You’ll become familiar with the regulars who also exercise there that time of day. It does inspire you to get up and move because you know they’re there and will wonder where you are if you miss a day or two, It’s a social factor that can help motivate you in the morning.
  7. Let People Know. The more people know of your intentions, the more support you’re likely to get, perhaps even pick up a workout buddy along the way. It adds another level of accountability to keeping you honest with your plan.
  8. Do Not Allow Work to Get in the Way of Working Out. Resist the temptation to log on, check emails, messages, etc. that will most certainly derail you from getting your workout in. News flash – everything is still going to be there when you’re done your workout and chances are you’ll be better able to handle any situation that is awaiting for you once you return from your workout.
  9. Make It Simple. No one is going to move mountains in a day. Start by first getting into the habit of waking up and going to the gym, downstairs, or outside. Plan to do a small workout (15-20 minutes). Make that a pattern and then look to expand upon/add more to the workout. Don’t put any unrealistic deadlines on yourself. Make this a journey, not a sprint.
  10. Reward Yourself. Give yourself a target achievement of after so many days of getting up to exercise (now it’s habit), treat yourself to a massage, new outfit, gear, etc. But the greatest reward you can give yourself is that once the morning workout is complete, you are done for the day. Any additional physical activity is bonus and there won’t be any excuse about not being able to work out because it’s already done.

See you tomorrow for Day 11 of the 12 Days of Fitness

Til next time, train smart, eat well, and be better


Just in case, here’s what you might have missed:

Day 1 – Why Not Eating Enough Won’t Help You Lose Weight
Day 2 – 5 Ways You’re Self-Sabotaging Your Workouts
Day 3 – 10 Fitness Fibs You Tell Yourself
Day 4 – Never Diet Again!
Day 5 – Benefits of Exercising in Winter – Outdoors!
Day 6 – Understanding Your Metabolism
Day 7 – The Most Addictive (And Least Addictive) Foods
Day 8 – The 10 Biggest Lies of the Weight Loss Industry
Day 9 – Are You a Closet Eater?


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About the Author:

Jeff Harrison is a fitness coach based in Pottstown, PA. He received a BS in Exercise and Sport Science from Penn State University and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), NSCA Certified Personal Trainer (NSCA-CPT) and ACE Advanced Health and Fitness Specialist (ACE-AHFS). Jeff's articles have been published in peer-reviewed journals as well as consumer oriented websites and magazines.

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