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While I didn’t make a specific New Year’s resolution to get healthy, Reg and I did join a new gym in December and have been re-committed to working out together three times a week. For the last year, I have tried many new workouts from running outside to taking yoga classes, but now that we’re in the middle of winter, I just prefer to wake up an hour early and hit the stairclimber at our local YMCA.
There are many reasons why I prefer exercising in the morning, but the biggest reason is by going first thing in my day, there’s less time for me to talk myself out of going. Even still, maintaining a consistent AM workout routine takes some practice, so I’d like to share some of my favorite tips to get your body moving in the morning:
1. Put your alarm across the room so you have to get out of bed
The easiest way to skip your AM exercise is by hitting “off” on your alarm and not getting out of bed at all. Avoid that sleepy sloth-ness by putting your alarm across the room so you have to get up. As soon as you’re off your mattress, the hardest part is over.
2. Sign up for a class that you can’t cancel
Many classes’ strict cancelation policies can actually keep you from talking yourself out of exercising. Enroll a few days before and use the motivation of not losing $20 to encourage you to show up (ClassPass is great for this). Best of all, a class will force to you to push yourself for a full hour instead of half-heartedly using weights at the gym.
3. Eat a pack of belVita Breakfast Biscuits on the way to the gym
I used to not eat any food before hitting the treadmill, until the one time I got so light-headed I nearly passed out. Now I make sure to grab a quick nibble to munch on on the drive to the gym, like belVita Breakfast Biscuits. belVita Breakfast Biscuits, which I purchased from Target in the new value-sized boxes, provide nutritious steady energy all morning and have no high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, artificial flavors or artificial sweeteners. They are made with a combination of grains that are baked to release energy regularly and continuously to fuel your body throughout your workout, until you have time to grab the rest of your breakfast, like a greek yogurt and a banana. (Reg’s and my favorites were the belVita Bites Chocolate Breakfast Biscuits – SO GOOD.)
4. Build a Spotify playlist to pump you up
While I love listening to podcasts normally, I find having a high-energy playlist helps me work out harder and feel more motivated, especially in the AM. If you don’t want to compile your own, Spotify has some great playlists that other users have made, and they come in every genre from hiphop to electronic.
5. Sleep in your workout clothes
While some people might think this tip is a little extreme, many of my workout clothes are so soft that they actually made great pajamas! Sleeping in your gym clothes just removes one more excuse to not go and also helps you avoid the frigid cold air during the winter. Skip your sports bra if you find sleeping in it is uncomfortable and just throw one on before running out the door.
6. Program your thermostat
One of the hardest things about getting out of bed before the sunrises, especially in the winter, is it’s so cold out! Sleeping in your workout clothes or even pajamas will help, but I also recommend programming your thermostat to make your room a little warmer than the North Pole when you plan to wake up.
7. Make plans with an exercise buddy
Just like signing up for a class, agreeing to meet up with an exercise buddy can make you feel like you can’t just back out of a workout at the last minute. Reg and I hit the gym Monday, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and waking up is so much easier when there’s two of us. Even just agreeing to see a friend at a yoga class will help you stay true to your exercise schedule!
Do you exercise in the mornings or another time? What are your tips for getting out of bed to workout?