Trust me, I get it: I used to think that a 7 a.m. workout was double torture (a.m. + workout = seriously?) But then I joined a running group that met at that hour. By yanking myself out of bed, I discovered a few tricks for making those morning workouts actually happen:
1. Know that 'morning person' and 'morning exerciser' have very little to do with each other.
Nobody said that people who work out in the mornings are naturally larks. They groan when the alarm clock goes off just as much as anyone else does. They just get up anyway. Don't wait around to magically become a morning person before you try an a.m. workout.
2. Don't rethink your decision every morning.
The nail in the coffin of many a workout has been that little "should I or shouldn't I?" thought you have right after the alarm goes off. You already made the "I'm doing this" decision when you set out your stuff last night. Asking yourself to rethink that every morning is just a waste of energy.
3. Give it time.
Honestly, the first day you get up to work out, you'll probably feel like a million bucks. Go you! You'll swear you have more energy and you cruise on it… until maybe 4 p.m. that afternoon. Or 4 p.m. the next day. It can take a while for your body to regulate to the new hours, but let it adjust before you decide mornings aren't for you. One draggy afternoon doesn't mean you "just can't do" morning workouts. (Plus, uh, ever been sleepy in the afternoon without working out in the morning? Yep, me too.) Eventually you'll cruise on that morning workout energy all day long.
4. Work your system.
Don't wait until morning to make any decisions — even ridiculously little ones. Wondering if the bobby pin looks cuter near the ponytail or right at eye level just puts more time between you and the workout — which steals your forward momentum. All you should have to do when you get up is execute, execute, execute. No glitches = a better chance you won't get distracted by something else (including bed) and end up bagging the gym.
5. Look at what you're getting.
A first-person view of the amazing sunrise. Emptier streets. Cooler, fresher air on summer mornings. And let's not forget about the satisfaction of being finished with your workout by the time everyone else is just crawling out of bed.