Published May 27, 2013
Even if you're an early bird, getting up before the sun rises to go sweat your butt off can be seriously daunting. The good news: It's possible to become a morning workout person (with relatively little pain). Just follow these steps
Pack a Bag
Every night when you get home from work, put your dirty gym clothes in the hamper and set aside a crisp, new exercise outfit. Having to dig through your dressers drawers at 6 a.m. is no fun. It's much easier to have an outfit ready to go, so you don't have to fully wake up before you get dressed.
Force Yourself Out of Bed
Move your alarm clock across the room. That way you can't sleepily snooze-button your way through your morning sweat session. By forcing yourself to jump out of bed to silence the dreaded buzzer, you're forcing yourself to wake up quicker. And once you're already up... might as well go work out, right?
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Have a Light Snack
Eating a full meal in the morning before your workout can make you feel sick. Instead, try something light (half a pita, a banana, etc) before your workout (so you're not starving), and then another light snack after.
Skip the Booze
Sure, a glass of wine (or two) at dinner can be a great way to unwind, but even small amount of alcohol can make you sluggish in the morning. If you do end up having a drink with friends the night before, just make sure to drink extra water before you go to bed. Otherwise, you could be dehydrated during your routine.
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Go to Sleep Early
Once you start getting in to the routine of waking up early, you will automatically start going to bed earlier. In the beginning, however, you will need a little coaxing. Try this: Celestial Seasonings' Sleepytime Extra tea as bedtime drink. It contains valerian, trusted as a natural sleep aid since the days of the Greeks and Romans because of its mild sedative properties.
After the initial two months of keeping up a morning workout routine, it can be easy to slip up and "forget" to go to the gym for a week. Something that will keep you motivated? Making friends at the gym who will help you stick to your routine. Set regular gym dates with a friend, or get to know another gym-goer who you know will be looking for you in the mornings—works like a charm.
More: How to Motivate Yourself to Work Out
Plan Your Routine
Here's something that'll make early-morning gym-going much easier: Make a plan the night before. Either sign up for a spin class, or have your entire exercise routine mapped out. Bring any of our printable workout guide for inspiration. They guarantee a super intense workout—and visible results, fast!