“Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people don’t kill their husbands. They just don’t.”
-Elle Woods, as portrayed by Reese Witherspoon in the movie Legally Blonde.
Other than the obvious not-killing-those-you-love-in-a-fit-of-rage, I wanted to start with a few benefits of exercising, especially as a way to start your day.
- Start your day with endorphins. As mentioned above, endorphins make you happy. While I’ve had some hard workouts in my life, I’ve never walked away from a workout feeling worse than when I started. Every single time, I feel better than when I began. Even if the workout started at 4:30 am, I walk away with a smile. Moving your body does that to you. Can you honestly say that you’ve done a workout that hasn’t left you feeling better than when you started? I can’t.
- Start your day with one thing off of your to-do list. Productivity is like a snowball that grows with momentum. If you start your day with one thing accomplished, you are more likely to keep that productivity train chugging along.
- Fill your own cup first. Have you heard the analogy about “filling your cup” and how it’s difficult to “pour” into others if you’re “empty”? Working out in the morning is one way to invest in yourself and your well-being, therefore filling your cup. This is the same concept as taking your oxygen mask on an airplane first before you help anybody else with theirs. You may be tempted to feel selfish for putting yourself first, but this actually helps you to serve others better. If you’re empty, you cannot pour into others in the multiple roles in your life. Whether you’re a mom, daughter, sister, friend, teacher, or all of the above or whoever you identify as, you’re going to be a much better _______ because you fill your cup first.
- Feel strong, confident, and powerful. Much of the attention on fitness revolves around losing pounds or reaching a certain aesthetic goal. I call BS. We should be focusing on how exercising our body and getting our sweat on makes us feel. Working out and establishing a fitness routine will make you feel stronger, more confident, and downright powerful. For me, I love being able to do one more rep or another ten seconds of a move I struggled with before. That makes me feel strong. I love being able to walk with my head up high because I know I’m bettering myself. That makes me feel confident. I love being able to flex my muscles and do things with my body I never thought possible. That makes me feel powerful.
- Be healthier. Exercise is good for your body and mind. Working out is about so much more than physical looks. Those are just the cherry on top of the delicious vegan sundae. Exercise is good for your six pack and booty goals, but also for your overall health. Exercise is related to reduced stress and anxiety, better sleep, a boosted immune system, increased energy, improved mood, and increased cognitive function and productivity. It also contributes to heart health, muscle and bone strength, and it has anti-aging effects. If reasons 1-4 weren’t good enough to get you up and moving, knowing this should be the kick in the pants you need to exercise. Your body and mind will thank you.
These seven tips are what I have found work for me. I hope you can take a few or all of these and add them to your routine to make your morning workouts go smoothly.
- Have your workout attire ready to go.
Set out your workout clothes the night before. Alternatively, if you sleep in clothes, go one step further and sleep in your workout attire. This gives you one less thing to think about when your alarm goes off and puts you one step closer to your end goal of getting that morning workout. So far, so good.
- Find exercise that gets you excited.
You may not be excited every day, but you shouldn’t be dreading your workouts every day. That just isn’t going to work for you in the long run. I’ve been there, so you can take my word. I used to spend hours and hours on the treadmill, but it was so boring to me and I couldn’t stick to it for more than a week at a time. For some people, that works. Others need different options. For me personally, my workouts do not include driving to the gym. I instead workout from the comfort of my home where I can stream my workouts and not have to worry about parking or anybody else being on “my machine”. I also don’t have to worry about gym hours, inclement weather, or hidden fees. I stream my workouts through what I jokingly call “Netflex“. I have options to do yoga, weight lifting, HIIT, mixed martial arts, bootcamp style, dance, and more! It’s all about finding what you enjoy and what keeps you coming back for more. If you’re dreading it day in and day out, it’s time to try something else.If you’d like to try a free trial of the programs I used to get my results, you can! The three month plan comes with a 14-day free trial that you can simply cancel if it isn’t your thing. Zero strings attached.
- Set your alarm with a song that PUMPS. YOU. UP.
My current alarm is “…ready for it?” by T-Swizzle. There is something about that song that gets me dancing, even if the alarm hits at 4:30. You can choose whatever song tickles your fancy. Change it every month or so if the magic starts to wear off. I will say that this little trick may not work if you share a room with a significant other/sibling/roommate/etc. You’re going to want a song that starts slowly and/or softly and builds.Here are some other songs I would recommend to get you up and moving.
- “Walking on Sunshine” by Katrina & the Waves
- “Pocketful of Sunshine” by Natasha Bedingfield
- “Confident” by Demi Lovato
- “Love Myself” by Hailee Steinfeld
- “Hold On” by Alabama Shakes (This one works especially well if your name is Brittney, as mine is)
- “Happy” by Pharrell Williams
- “The Middle” by Jimmy Eat World
- “Here it Goes Again” by OK Go
- Move your alarm away from the bed.
Regardless of if you use your phone or an old school clock, if you know you’ll be tempted to hit snooze, put that alarm on the other side of the room so you actually have to get out of bed to shut it off. If you’re a light enough sleeper that you can hear it in another room, that’s also an option. I sometimes will put mine in our workout space/office so that I have to walk all the way there to turn it off. Then my clothes are waiting for me and it’s easier get going.
- Preworkout. Preworkout. Preworkout.
One of my favorite parts of my morning routine is my all natural preworkout. It tastes like lemonade and gives me energy to sharpen my focus and improve my performance. It doesn’t make me feel jittery or hyper like other preworkouts do. I can say without a doubt that my stamina has increased since I have started drinking this consistently. Because my preworkout is all natural, I feel great about what I’m putting into my body. Bonus: it tastes delicious. If you are following me on Instagram, you see me referring to my preworkout as unicorn juice because this stuff is magic. You don’t have to just believe me. You can try it for yourself with either a
10-pack sampler or 30-serving tub. Email or Facebook message me for 25% off discount and I’ll hook you up!
- Just do it.
I know it’s easier said than done, but make working out a non-negotiable. It becomes habit and gets easier. Working out in the morning used to be a struggle for me, and it still is from time to time, but I don’t give myself enough time to talk myself out of it. I just get it done and get a move on with my day. The more you do it, the more you’ll crave that burst of energy that exercising in the morning gives you.
- Find accountability.
Find somebody or a group of somebodies to keep you accountable. Having somebody to answer to, somebody who will check in on you if you don’t show up, will keep you from slacking and making excuses. I run monthly accountability groups for this reason. These groups keep me showing up too!
I hope you can take some or all of these tips and start your day off doing something for you! Let me know in the comments below if you’re going to start implementing any of these tips OR if you have other tips that help you get a move on when you wake up.