Getting out of bed is not my strong suit. It takes a lot for me to get that morning workout motivation, particularly on days when I’m supposed to work out by myself. Five more minutes turns into half an hour. And it’s even worse when it’s zero-dark-thirty. My brain insists that it’s time to go back to bed.
I’ve tried a bunch of the usual ways to find morning workout motivation. I lay out my workout clothes as part of my nightly routine, set my alarm with motivational messages, and try to tell myself how good that run is going to feel. No dice.
So I crowdsourced for a few tips, and I was not disappointed. Here are the five best ones that other fitness bloggers offered up to help break my snooze button habit.
Limit Screen Time
Tamara Grand, former blogger at Fit Knit Chick, suggested minimizing the use of electronics after dinner. And her tip has science to back it up: Harvard Medical School says that the blue light from screens disrupts our circadian rhythms and makes it difficult to fall asleep.
But sometimes you need your phone after dinner, like for your meditation app or to log your bedtime snack. I’ve set screen time limits on my iPhone to help keep me out of the rabbit hole of cat videos. After 7 p.m., the only apps I can access are text messages, phone calls, and fitness apps like ROMWod.
Get Your Om On
Morgan Shuker of Wildly Fit offered up another tip to help wind down before bed (and get better sleep): meditation. “It works wonders for slowing down the body and brain,” she said.
Wondering what kind of meditation works best? Once again, Harvard Medical School is here to provide advice. Mindfulness meditation – that is, meditation that focuses on your breathing and staying in the present moment – is best for slowing yourself down.
Ease Into Morning Workout Motivation
If you’re starting a new routine, Hyedi Cribben Nelson (formerly of Finding a Balance), recommended getting up 15 minutes earlier, easing your body into the new wakeup time. It’s sort of like building up mileage when you’re training for a race, right?
I’ll add to this: instead of just waking up 15 minutes earlier, have something planned for that time. Maybe it’s some foam rolling and gentle stretching, or maybe it’s a glass of water and journaling. Once you’ve built up to half an hour, start adding in a workout that gets your heart pumping.
Use the End of Daylight Savings Time to Start
Lea Genders of Lea Genders Fitness advised taking advantage of the upcoming end of Daylight Savings Time to start waking up earlier. “I see it as the perfect opportunity to get up an hour early to work out. Since we just changed the clocks back, your body won’t even notice,” she said.
Daylight savings typically ends the Sunday after Halloween. If Sunday is usually your rest day, use the extra hour for a leisurely walk, some gentle yoga, or time with a hobby.
Sleep in a Sports Bra
Want to start the day with your morning workout motivation when the alarm goes off? Jennifer Lauren of The Z Beat suggested sleeping in your sports bra. “It’s not that big of a deal comfort-wise, and when I wake up in the morning, I think, ‘I didn’t go to sleep like this just to hit snooze and skip my workout!'”
Ultimately, it’s hard to rise and shine when all you want to do is burrow back under the blankets, especially in the winter. Use these tips to help you find your morning workout motivation and keep up your fitness even on days when you’d rather sleep in.