Not a Morning Person? 10 Tips To Make Morning Workouts Stick

Heads up — a morning workout may be way more energizing than that daily cup of joe.

By: Emily Freeman

You’ve heard the hype around morning workouts — more energy, better productivity, happier moods, less body fat, more muscle tone — and yet every morning your snooze button seems to prevail in the battle of sleep versus AM exercise. 

Say goodbye to having to choose between happy hours and your fitness goals. These ten tips are about to change your life so you can reap all the benefits of morning workouts and also leave your evenings open for whatever else fills your soul. Commit to them, and they can turn the tables for even the most die-hard night owls who want to start working out first thing in the morning. 

10 Steps to Become a Morning Exerciser 

#1 Lay Out Your Workout Clothes The Night Before

Laying out your workout clothes the night before is going to make your life SO much easier. Trying to pick out your clothes while stumbling around your room half awake is going to take way more time and mental bandwidth than you want to give first thing in the morning. 

Savor your energy and ditch the struggle. Take five minutes (max) the night before to decide what you’re going to wear (including undies, socks, and shoes) and lay it out so you can see it. This will send a signal to your brain when you first wake up that you made a commitment. 

#2 Set Your Alarm, And Don’t Press Snooze To Help Reset Your Internal Clock

Your first early wakeup call may not feel natural, but it gets easier. No matter what, commit to waking up. Sometimes you have to wake up early first before you can get in the groove of going to bed earlier. 

By waking up earlier, it will help reset your internal clock, so you’ll get sleepy earlier at night and be able to head to bed at a decent hour. 

#3 Put Your Alarm on The Other Side of The Room

This goes hand-in-hand with number two. Putting your phone or alarm clock on the other side of the room forces you out of bed. Once you’re up, you’re way more likely to stay up and crush your workout! (Especially because your clothes are already laid out). 

#4 Prep Your Coffee Machine Before You Hit The Hay 

Some mornings (okay, maybe most), we need an extra boost to get going. But, nothing can cramp your style more than having to assemble your coffee machine before having caffeine. Add grounds (and water if an auto-drip) to your machine the night before, so all you have to do is press “Start” in the AM. Even better if you have one that can run on an automatic timer first thing in the morning. The smell of fresh coffee can get almost anyone out of bed!

#5 Set up a Reward System to Help Motivate Yourself

Whether it’s a delicious and nutritious breakfast, a new pair of workout pants, or being able to sleep in a couple mornings a week, set up a reward system for sticking to your morning workout goals. 

Celebrating small wins produces dopamine and serotonin in your brain. Your brain will start to correlate morning workouts with this amazing feeling of accomplishment and you’ll be hooked in no time. 

#6 Start With Cardio to Get Your Blood Moving

You may be physically awake, but your mind may still be in bed. Let your brain catch up with your body with some mindless cardio to get warmed up and ready to crush your workout. This could be a walk or jog around the block, a quick bike ride, dancing in your living room, or hopping on your favorite piece of cardio equipment for ten to 20 minutes. 

#7 Make Evening Plans That You Don’t Want to Miss

If you have a tendency to say, “I’ll just do it later,” this one’s for you. How many times have you made this promise to yourself and then skipped out on your workout when you got invited to happy hour or felt exhausted after a long day? Purposefully fill your evenings with fun activities or acts of self-care to motivate you to get your workout done in the morning. 

#8 Practice Visualization Before You Go to Bed

Athletes and successful entrepreneurs use visualization to improve their performance and reach their goals quicker. The simple act of visualizing sends signals to your brain, so you interpret the imagery the same as if it actually happened. Over time your brain will label your visualizations as learned behaviors. No joke. 

To get started, before you go to sleep, imagine what it looks and feels like to hear your alarm go off, put on your clothes, brush your teeth, and sip fresh coffee. Then, envision yourself going through your workout — the equipment you’ll use, what exercises will you be doing, how it feels to be strong, and sticking to your commitments. You’ll start to wake up with far more confidence that you can tackle your workout and stick to your promises. 

#9 Plan Out Your Workouts Ahead of Time and Go on Auto-pilot

Having a plan is the best way to set yourself up for success. Take ten minutes on Sundays to write out your workouts for the week, including what days you’ll do cardio or strength. 

You’ll also want to decide which body parts you’ll focus on each day. You can pick out your workouts or decide what exercises to do on Sundays as well, or plan it out the night before. If you enjoy classes, sign up ahead of time to add another layer of accountability. 

#10 Prep a Killer Workout Playlist and Blast Those Tunes 

Nothing gets us motivated to workout like a killer playlist. Science says the same. There’s a connection between your auditory neurons and motor neurons, so when you hear a beat you love, your body wants to respond by moving. Just in time for your morning workout!

Become a Morning Exerciser For Good!

Finding a workout routine you love, one that gets you jumping out of bed in the morning is the quickest way to making morning workouts stick. But every morning may feel different. Follow these ten tips, and you’ll become dedicated to morning workouts no matter what.