If you are even considering making the decision to switch to early morning workouts, this is definitely the post for you!
I’ve already talked about how much I love going to the gym first thing in the morning, you can read all about in my post How/Why I go the the Gym at 5AM. Even though I’m a morning person, it wasn’t an easy transition. I used to go to the gym in the evenings, but have noticed myself having a hard time staying motivated throughout the day. I have seen a MASSIVE difference since making this adjustment & I want to share all of my secrets with YOU! Considering the fact that most people cringe at the thought of working out first thing in the morning, I thought I would lay out some of my main tips that helped me make this transition!
Here are my top 3 tips:
Adjust Your Mindset.
In order for you to be able to successfully make this transition, you have to adjust your mindset from how horribly early it is, to all the positive things it can do for your life. In order to even think about making the transition to early morning workouts, there has to be a reason for wanting to do it in the first place. If you truly think this is going to make a difference in your routine then this is the very first step. If you keep telling yourself how absolutely horrible & miserably early it is, you are not going to get very far.
Instead of thinking, “But it’s soooo early!”
Try focusing on the positive things:
“I get my workout done and out of the way before my day starts”
“I don’t have to worry about talking myself out of working out throughout the day”
“It frees up my evenings so I can do other things”
“I don’t have to worry about choosing between working out and hanging out with friends”
“I have more time in the evening to spend with my kids/family”
“The gym is emptier earlier in the morning”
I can think of a laundry list of potential benefits that could replace that one negative thing about waking up for an early morning workout. But, maybe working out later truly does benefit your schedule better, & that’s OK! But, in order to even begin a successful transition, you have to shift your mindset!
Ease into it.
OK, so you’ve shifted your mindset into thinking about all the potential positive benefits of an early morning workout. GREAT! But, now we have to think about the realities of our bodies having to adjust to this change. If your body is used to sleeping until 7:00am and working out at 5pm (or not working out at all), you can’t expect you will be able to be used to this change right away. You need to give your body time to adjust!
When I first made this transition, I was so tired on day 3, I felt drunk at work by 4:00pm and didn’t have the energy to workout for the rest of the week. My body wasn’t used to it yet & I was feeling the effects of not allowing myself to ease into this transition. So, here’s what I did to help get my body adjust:
- Not working out everyday. My goal was 3 early morning workouts a week at first. I did this for only a couple weeks. You have to remember, it takes 3 weeks to form a habit, so after a couple weeks, I started noticing myself gaining more energy & feeling less and less tired throughout the day.
If your schedule allows some flexibility, you can even try starting out doing a couple morning workouts and a couple evening workouts throughout the week. This is also a good idea to start getting your body adjusted to this change, then start dedicating more days to early morning workouts.
- I started out with light workouts. Instead of going right into heavy lifting and intense cardio right away, I started out light (Not that even felt like engaging in a rigorous workout in the beginning). So, I would focus more on stretching, light lifting, elliptical and walking on the treadmill for light cardio. I did that for several weeks until I felt my body get ready to do more challenging workouts. I listened to my body and adjusted as I went along. It’s important to not beat yourself up and get frustrated if you’re not working out as heavily as you’re used to. Give yourself time & your body will catch up! Stressing out about it & forcing your body to engage in activity that it’s not ready for is not going to help, trust me.
Actually get ready for the gym.
When I first started, I would sleep in my workout clothes and set my alarm for 10 minutes before I wanted to leave my house. When I did this, I still felt like a zombie when I got to the gym and didn’t have all that much energy.
Now, I have learned that waking up even earlier and giving my body time to wake up & get ready for the gym has helped SO MUCH. The hardest part is actually getting out of bed. By the time I’m done getting ready for the gym, my body is awake and alert and ready to go. This is what I do:
-Set an alarm on the other side of the room so I HAVE to get out of bed
-Drink 8-16oz of cold water
-Make my bed
-Wash my face with cold water
-Brush my teeth
-Make myself my favorite preworkout snack
-Out the door
Actually getting your body moving & giving it time to wake up is SO HELPFUL! It makes a huge difference not showing up to the gym feeling like a zombie!
There ya go, my top 3 tips for early morning workouts. The most important thing is to do what works best for you. Experiment with a routine. I do early morning workouts Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday. I sleep in on Wednesday’s & go to hot yoga at 7pm. It’s what I have found to work best for me, but that doesn’t mean it will work for anyone else. Like I said, it’s important to make sure you are finding a routine that is best for YOU!
If afternoon/evening workouts make more sense for you, then that’s OK too! Maybe you’re a night owl & would prefer to go to the gym at 10pm, that’s OK too! But, if you truly think early morning workouts would be beneficial to you & your routine, then give my tips a try! This has seriously worked wonders for me and I hope it helps you too!
Please let me know if you found this helpful at all! I would love to hear any and all feedback! 🙂