How to Get Energy to Exercise in the Mornings


Morning exercise can be difficult despite your best intentions. What sounds like a good idea at bedtime may not seem so great when the alarm goes off bright and early. Hitting the snooze button can seem far more appealing than working out, especially when it's cold and dark outside. However, according to fitness trainer Lisa Johnson, one of the major benefits of exercising in the morning is that it actually gets done before your day sidetracks you. You just have to get out of bed first.

Tips

1. Lay everything out the night before. Put your workout clothes, including socks and underwear, in a stack beside your bed. Fill your water bottle and put it in the fridge so it's nice and cold. Charge up your MP3 player and keep your headphones beside it. If you shower at the gym, pack your gym bag with soap, shampoo, a change of clothes and all the other essentials you need. Place it by the front door so it's ready to grab when you leave.

2. Ask a friend to work out with you. Better yet, have your friend call and confirm. Keep your phone beside your bed so the call wakes you up if the alarm doesn't. A standing exercise date with someone you look forward to seeing is a powerful motivator.

3. Write yourself a note and put it next to your alarm so you're forced to look at it before going back to bed. List the reasons you want to work out and add a motivational quote. Write new notes frequently to keep yourself inspired and accountable.

4. Warm up as soon as you get out of bed. If you live alone, blast some energy-pumping music and do some jumping jacks or jog in place. Lay out a yoga mat the night before and do some deep stretching as soon as you roll out of bed. Just five or 10 minutes is all you need to warm up your body and charge up your energy.

5. Post your plans to your social networks. State online that you intend to work out the next morning and ask your friends to ask you if you did it. Nobody wants to see all the encouraging comments and admit they slacked.

6. Eat an energy-boosting breakfast 1 to 2 hours before working out. MayoClinic.com recommends whole grains, fruit, juice and low-fat dairy products. Try a cup of whole-grain cereal with a sliced banana and low-fat milk, or have a chopped apple with nut butter, sprinkled with wheat germ.

7. Trade coffee for a green smoothie with a scoop of protein powder. While the caffeine gives you a jolt, a smoothie gives you lasting energy and plenty of vitamins and fiber. Toss a handful of kale, a handful of spinach, a handful of chopped fruit and a splash of orange or apple juice into a blender. Pour the smoothie into a cup, stir in the protein powder, and sip it on your way to the gym.