“Urghhh, you’re one of those people?” I hear you groan. Yeah I am (sorry about that) but I wasn’t always, I swear!
In fact up until last year the thought of getting up before the crack of dawn to exercise would have me laughing, rolling around the floor saying ‘hellllllll no’. I love sleep. I love bed. Why on earth would I leave them?
When I first joined the gym, I went after work, like a lot of people. But I struggled.
After a hard day at work, the idea of driving through rush-hour traffic to fight for a parking space and then fight for machines at the gym was… well, let’s just say it rarely happened.
When I moved in with Emily, I watched in awe as she got up early and went to the gym before work. Whenever she suggested I work out in the morning I used to say “oh no, I can’t do that, I’m not a morning person.”
But after a while I realised that although I was saying “I can’t”… I had never actually tried.
So how did I know, really? I thought to myself…. maybe, just maybe, if I can get past my aversion to getting up early, I could do this.
And I did. I started setting my alarm, getting up and either doing some strength training at home or going to the gym.
Let’s be serious though – it was hard. It was really bloody hard. But you do get used to it and the benefits for me far outweigh the pain of waking up early. Now, I wouldn’t do it any other way.
Benefits of working out in the morning:
- Less chance of talking yourself out of it – Your alarm’s gone off, you’re awake, this is happening. When I had a whole day of work before the gym it was far too easy to talk myself out of going.
- No traffic – This is a huge plus for someone who doesn’t love driving!
- Loads of parking – What’s that? A space right by the gym entrance? Lovely.
- Quiet gym – No more awkward ‘are you going to be done soon’ side-eye moments.
- Feeling pumped before you get to work – Oh hey there energy and endorphins! Good morning to you too.
- Not having to work out after work – Ahhhhh now this is the best bit. You’ve worked out already, so if you really want, just flop in front of the TV tonight – go on, you deserve it.
I should say at this point that morning exercise isn’t for everyone and I appreciate that a lot of people are fully capable of motivating themselves to get to the gym after work. For me, it just didn’t work. I also know that I am lucky – I live close to my gym so don’t have to get up stupidly early to fit it in before work.
If you can logistically work out in the morning and want to try it – give these tips a go, they may help.
How to become a morning exerciser
- Lay out your gym kit/clothes the night before. This is important! Make life as easy as possible for yourself. Having your gym kit ready to go and in your eye line mentally prepares you, gives you a little motivational boost in the morning and saves you valuable time!
- Have a dressing gown close to hand. It’s cold in the morning in the UK and it’s warm and lovely in bed. Make the transition easier by swaddling yourself in a cosy dressing gown as soon as you roll out of bed.
- Move quickly. The longer you faff, the easier it’ll be to say ‘nah mate’ and go back to bed. Once I’m up I promptly wash my face, brush my teeth, get my gym gear on and go go go!
- Blast some tunes on your way to the gym. This’ll wake you up and get you in the exercising headspace. Bonus points for singing along.
- Eat a decent breakfast after. I personally don’t eat before I exercise, I wait until after and then stuff my face with oats and fruit. I don’t do anything too hardcore at the gym and feel better working out on an empty stomach, this may just be me though. See how you feel and listen to your body.
- Enjoy the morning! There is something quite special about being up before most people, especially when you get to see a nice sunrise.
And there you have it. A few ways you can become one of those annoying perky morning gym-goers.
Yes, you will struggle at first, you will feel exhausted after lunch, you will feel like a zombie – but you will adjust. You will start going to bed earlier and you will feel better for moving your lovely body more.
The key take-away here? Don’t say you ‘can’t’ do something until you’ve tried it.