How I Trained Myself To Become A Morning Workout Person
Some people are morning people. I was not one of them, until I had this crazy notion to overhaul my entire life and start working out before going to work—sometimes even before the sun comes up. The reasoning behind this massive life change was simple: Getting to the gym after work had become very complicated, between not knowing exactly when I would leave the office and my motivation steadily on the decline. I needed a change. Here’s how I went from being an actual vampire/creature of the night to that obnoxious person in your Instagram feed posting from a.m. sweat sessions (#SorryNotSorry). It wasn’t an easy transition, but it was so worth it.
As an extremely morning-adverse person, I found out very quickly that one alarm wasn't going to cut it. So I started setting two alarms: one for 5:15am and one for 5:25am. Since hitting snooze only allots you nine minutes, this was basically three alarms.
As my technique became more refined, I added in the SleepCycle app as one of my alarms. It tracks your sleep and wakes you up at the lightest part of your sleep cycle, which seriously reduces grogginess and makes it so much easier to get out of bed.
Waking up earlier means going to bed earlier. But when you're used to staying up late, like I was, that's easier said than done. So I created a routine that would help me unwind—and eventually this began to tell my brain, Hey, it's time to go to bed, calm down now. Every night I climb into bed between 9 and 9:15pm, slather myself in lavender balm, set my alarms, flip my phone upside-down so I'm not tempted to stare at it, and read. It's simple but effective.
Nothing sucks away my will to work out in the morning like the thought of digging through my closet to find workout clothes. Having all my gear ready to go gives me fewer excuses not to get out of bed. As vain as it may be, knowing I have a cute outfit to wear makes the prospect of sweating before 7am seem a whole lot better.
You're supposed to cut down on screen time before you go to bed because the blue light from your electronics can keep you awake. So when I get up for an early morning workout, I schedule in five minutes of scrolling through Instagram or Facebook (but no email, because that stresses me out). It's mindless, but it actually helps me wake up.
My first thought every morning—even now—is that I can't wait to crawl back into bed that night. But instead of letting that be a negative, I think about how I'll feel at the end of the day if I went to my morning workout, and how I'll feel if I skip it. I know I'll feel so much better if I work out, so I keep reminding myself of that until I'm motivated to drag my butt out of bed. Sometimes it takes a lot of repetition, but I get there eventually.
Yeah, yeah, this one can be filed under the no duh category, but if someone is counting on you to show up, the chances you'll actually show up increase by approximately 90 percent (according to my completely unscientific calculations).
Eventually, waking up early became part of my routine rather than this horrible new way I'd come up with to torture myself. Now, most mornings I even wake up before my alarm goes off, which is an actual miracle. That's not to say that I never struggle, but consistency really does make it less horrible.