Exercise benefits, such as weight control, sleeping better, improving mood and reducing the risk of diseases and health conditions, such as stroke, high cholesterol, arthritis and certain cancers, might not be enough motivation to get in an early morning workout. If you’re not a morning person, you might have to make small adjustments to your lifestyle to help motivate you to get up and work up a sweat.
1. Schedule a set time each morning for your workout so it becomes routine. Write your exercise sessions on your calendar as if they’re important appointments that you can’t reschedule or miss. According to the University of Virginia Health System, regular morning exercise sessions can more easily form a habit than exercise habits later in the day.
2. Exercise with a friend so your workout becomes more of a social engagement, which might make waking up early less difficult. Knowing that your friend is waiting for you, obligates you to show up. Alternatively, schedule morning exercise sessions with a personal trainer. He’ll hold you accountable so you can get your money’s worth.
3. Sleep seven to nine hours each night as recommended by the National Sleep Foundation. Getting enough sleep and feeling fully rested can make it easier to wake up early for exercise. Go to bed and wake up at the same times each day and develop a bedtime routine, such as reading a book or taking a bath, to unwind before going to sleep.
4. Incorporate exercise that you enjoy into your workout routine. If exercise is fun, it might be easier to wake up at the crack of dawn and you’ll look forward to it. Try different types of exercise to find out what you like — yoga, group sports, swimming, bike riding and aerobics and dance classes are all options.
5. Set realistic goals and reward yourself for achieving them. A realistic goal might be to start exercising for 30 minutes on three mornings per week. At the end of each week, reward yourself — get a massage, buy new workout clothes or see a movie. The extra incentive helps keep you motivated to workout early in the morning.