Finding 30 minutes to an hour, everyday, to work out can be a challenge for everyone. One of the easiest ways to knock it out is by working out first thing in the morning—as soon as you get out of bed. It definitely can challenging to become a morning fitness person, and a lot of people struggle to find the energy at 6 or 7 a.m., if you put your mind to it, you can make it happen.
To make things a little easier for you, we’ve compiled nine useful tips to help you finally make that morning workout habit happen!
1. Get enough sleep.
The first step to becoming a morning workout person starts the night before. “Make sure you’re getting seven to nine hours of quality, uninterrupted sleep or you’ll lag during your workout,” explains fitness and nutrition expert, JJ Virgin, and author of the book, The Virgin Diet: Drop 7 Foods, Lose 7 Pounds, Just 7 Days. Set a bedtime and stick with it.
2. Wake up at the same time every day.
Try to get yourself on a regular schedule, this will make waking up early every day a little bit easier. Maybe you go to bed at 11 p.m. and wake up at 6 a.m.—whatever you do, try to stick to these times. And remember, don’t hit the snooze button!
3. Don’t overthink it.
“A lot of people do well with morning workouts,” Virgin says. “The best way is to just dive right in there: Don’t over-think it. Just get yourself to the gym. Tell yourself you will JUST go to the gym, that’s it.”
4. Pick out your clothes the night before.
Some people sleep in their gym clothes, but you don’t have to resort to extremes. Instead decide what you’re going to wear to the gym at night, and put it in the bathroom. That way, after you finish brushing your teeth, all that is left to do is throw on your clothes.
5. Boost your energy with a little caffeine.
“I always like to have a little cup of Bulletproof Upgraded coffee before my morning workout,” says Virgin. “It makes things just a little more pleasant.” If you don’t love coffee, try green tea to boost your energy.
6. Fuel your morning workout the right way.
“I advise people to eat within an hour of waking up and the ideal way to do that is with a protein shake,” advises Virgin. “Blend non-soy, non-dairy protein powder with avocado, leafy greens, frozen raspberries, freshly ground flaxseed, and unsweetened coconut or almond milk. It’s fast, easy, and keeps you full and focused for hours.”
7. Keep a stash of workouts in your gym bag.
Sure, sometimes you can create a workout routine on the fly, but other times you might get to the gym and feel totally clueless. For these instances, keep a few workouts (like a HIIT circuit or a tabata routine) jotted down in your gym bag. That way you’ll always have a back-up plan.
8. Listen to your body.
If you don’t feel like running don’t, and if you don’t feel like doing crunches one day, you don’t have to. Tune into your body and plan your routine accordingly. If you still feel exhausted when you get to the gym, find a short yoga sequence and just do that. You don’t always have to leave in a sweaty mess.
9. Thank your body.
At the end of your workout, thank your body for what it did and how it supports you. Congratulate it on a job well done, and smile—now you’re ready to start your day!