The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends adults should get at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise and participate in strength training exercise at least 2 days a week. This recommendation is just for general health benefits, but weight loss efforts may take more than this amount of exercise.
Unfortunately, most Americans do not get the recommended amount of exercise per week as suggested by the CDC. In fact, according to CBS News (1), about 80% of Americans don’t get the recommended amount of weekly exercise.
Everyone can have many excuses for not exercising enough; we have hectic schedules, long work days, too tired, etc.
Exercise at any time of day is beneficial. However, exercising in the morning can be an easy way to fit it in. It can also set your day up so you have more energy and may even help you make healthier choices throughout the day.
A 2014 study (2) concluded people who exercise in the morning are more likely to follow through with it than people who intend to exercise in the afternoon or evening.
Even if you don’t consider yourself a morning person, you can fight the excuses not to exercise to get the benefits of exercising in the morning.
It will take some time and dedication to start exercising in the morning, but the benefits are worth it.
#1 – Shift your bedtime
It can be hard to get up and start exercising in the morning if you go to bed late. Whatever the reason for going to bed late, if you want to be serious about exercising in the morning, shift your bedtime to earlier.
Going to bed earlier will make it easier to get up earlier to fit in your exercise routine.
Getting up earlier for exercise is a sacrifice, but it can be the most practical way to fit it in your day for many people.
Plus, getting more sleep is beneficial because it could help with weight regulation and help with mental focus throughout the day.
In addition, a 2015 study (3) found an association between people who go to bed later and sleep less and repetitive negative thinking.
This suggests people who go to bed later and sleep less may be more likely to be prone to negative thinking patterns. Going to bed earlier and exercising in the morning could be helpful for reducing repetitive negative thinking.
#2 – Don’t press the snooze button
Once the alarm goes off, it’s tempting to keep hitting the snooze button to sleep longer. However, the more time you allow yourself to lay in bed, the more you can convince yourself you don’t need to get up and exercise.
Instead of hitting the alarm button, jump out of bed first thing when your alarm goes off. This can help get you up before you can convince yourself to stay in bed.
Get up before your brain can tell you otherwise to keep sleeping.
#3 – Have a workout partner
If you are trying to get up to exercise in the morning, it can be easy to find excuses to not go through with it if you’re exercising by yourself. No one else will know if you skip.
However, if you are meeting a friend, work colleague, personal trainer, etc., getting up and following through with working out can be easier.
If you are meeting someone, that can put added emphasis on following through with your workout plan.
#4 – Do exercise you enjoy
You will easily find excuses to not exercise in the morning if you are trying to wake up to do a workout routine you hate. There are many varieties to exercise, and you should enjoy your workout.
You don’t have to go to the gym or you don’t have to go for a jog. Find something you are excited to do.
Whether it’s dancing, an aerobics class or swimming, get creative. Also, try adding variety to your workouts so you don’t get bored.
Even top level athletes don’t always feel like working out. There will be days you don’t feel like exercising, and you just have to get up anyway.
If you’re doing something you enjoy, it will be easier to get out of bed.
However, keep in mind, some days you just have to get out of bed regardless how you feel.
#5 – See your goals
When you first wake up, you may ask yourself why you are doing this. Why do you need to get up now? It’s important with any change in behavior that you remember why you are changing your routine. What are you trying to accomplish? Are you trying to lose weight, get healthier or finally be able to accomplish your goal for running a race?
Write your goals down so you can see them every morning. This will remind you why you should follow through with making time in the morning to exercise.
This should also help you fight any excuses that come up for why you “can’t” exercise this morning.
Any change in your routine can be hard, and excuses can be easy to come by when you try to change. Most Americans don’t get the recommended amount if exercise, and the lack of time in people’s daily schedules can be a big reason why people don’t get enough exercise.
Exercising in the morning can be an easy way to get it in and done before the day gets busy.
To help you fight excuses for sleeping longer, first shift your bedtime. If you stay up late, you are just making it harder for yourself to get up early enough to fit in exercise before the start to your day.
Also, when your alarm goes off, don’t hit snooze. Get up before you can convince yourself to keep sleeping.
If you are meeting someone for a workout, you’ll be more likely to follow through with it. Find someone you can meet up with to exercise together so you’ll be less likely to have an excuse to not go.
Doing something you enjoy is important; if you’re trying to get up to do exercise you don’t enjoy you’ll be more likely to find excuses.
Lastly, remind yourself of why you are getting up to exercise. See your goals as a daily reminder for your commitment to reach your goal.