6 Relatively Doable Tips for Becoming a Morning Workout Person
For most of my life, I have not been an “active” person. I took dance lessons growing up, but I also once passed out after running a mile in high school. And when I had my teenager metabolism, I could totally get away with doing nothing. But now that I’m well into my twenties, I have to actually work out on a regular basis. I tried working out after work, but ya girl loves a happy hour.
So, I became a morning workout person. And it’s made a huge impact on my life. I’m more consistent with my workouts and I can still meet friends for drinks after work. If you’re looking for a realistic way to start your day with a workout, I’ve got your back.
1. Find a Workout That Works for You
First things first, you have to find a workout that makes waking up in the morning worth it. If you aren’t motivated, you aren’t going to go. If you have yet to find that workout, shop around. Test out going for a run. Wanna work on your zen? Try a yoga class. Maybe you need some moral support; try a group exercise class. Or you might just want to join a gym and try a little bit of everything.
I fall under the “needing moral support” category. I started taking Jazzercise classes more than four years ago and became certified to become a Jazzercise instructor almost two years ago. For me, it was exactly what I was looking for in a workout. High-intensity cardio dance routines mixed with strength training, and a group of women (none of whom wear leotards or legwarmers, contrary to popular belief) to hold me accountable.
When I found a workout I loved, I found it easier to actually go.
2. Prep the Night Before
If there’s one thing I know about myself, it’s that I love to sleep. I want to stay in my bed as long as possible. On the mornings I teach a Jazzercise class, I pretty much roll out of bed, throw my workout clothes on, and I’m out the door in 10 minutes. In order to stay in my bed as long as I can, I do all of my prep the night before.
When I say I have everything prepped the night before, I mean everything. My prep routine goes something like this: I make sure my clothes and shoes for the next day are packed in my bag along with my makeup bag. I actually have a second designated makeup bag just for working out (and have finally found a home for all of my free mascara samples), which makes it much easier to grab and go. I fill my water bottle and pack my post-workout snack. The last thing I do is lay out my workout clothes and shoes for the next morning.
My brain does not fully function right after I wake up, so I don’t want to worry about anything in the morning. Throwing on clothes I’ve already picked out and grabbing a bag I’ve already packed requires much less brain power.
3. Find a Time That Works for YOU
It took me a while to find my workout time sweet spot. I was always too tired or too busy after work to commit to taking a class. So I tried 5:30 a.m. classes. I would crawl out of my bed before 5 a.m. and was practically falling asleep at my desk by lunch. But guess what? Working out in the morning doesn’t have to mean waking up at the crack of dawn. Now, I teach a class at 7:30 a.m. two days a week. It’s early enough that I have time to get ready for work after working out, but not so early that I’m already tired as soon as I wake up.
Maybe you find that you love working out at the crack of dawn (more power to you). Try a few different times in the morning for your workout to see how it fits into your schedule and energy levels.
4. Streamline Your Post-Workout Routine
Getting ready for the day after a workout is probably the most difficult part of being a morning workout person. I have about 20-25 minutes to get ready after class before I need to get to work. My makeup bag (remember, I’ve got a designated one just for my gym bag) has all of the things I need to get ready. Here are some things to keep in mind as you get ready after your morning workout:
Cleanse. Get rid of all of that sweat and grime you’ve built up during your workout. I use Sephora Collection coconut cleansing wipes to refresh my face and Bath & Body Works moisture lock balm on my body.
I always use just a little bit of dry shampoo to refresh my hair (Batiste for the win!). It helps soak up any sweat and adds a good level of texture. Brush it out, throw your hair into your best work pony or bun, and you’re good to go.
Keep it light. On the days I work out, I keep my makeup routine very simple—eyeshadow, eyeliner, mascara. If I use any foundation at all, it’s usually a lighter tinted moisturizer. It helps me cut down on time and helps my face keep that “just cleansed” feeling.
5. Follow a Curve
Be strategic about your workout. Don’t end when you’re in the most intense part of your workout when you’ve got your highest heart rate. Give yourself time to cool down—and add in some cool down time to your workout. When I teach Jazzercise, our workouts follow a perceived exertion chart—affectionately known as “following the curve.” What this means is that we start with a warm-up and move up to our highest intensity and heartrate in the middle of our workout. We finish with around 20 minutes of strength (hey, weights!) and then a final stretch/cooldown.
You don’t have to go to a Jazzercise class to follow the curve (but you should); you can follow a curve in your own workout. Work up to your highest intensity of cardio and finish with your strength and stretching. This gives your body time to cool down, your heart rate time to get back into a normal range, and, if you’re like me, gives your face time to look less like a tomato.
6. Keep Yourself Accountable
I’ve already said this, but if you don’t enjoy your workout, you won’t go. Make yourself have some accountability. For me, the women in my Jazzercise classes hold me accountable (and also the fact that I have to be there because I’m the teacher). Maybe a group class won’t hold you accountable. Let yourself have a fun way to keep you accountable. It could be saving your favorite show to watch on the treadmill or listening to your favorite podcast while you run. Or maybe you need a little Starbucks treat once you finish your workout.
It’s okay to want to enjoy your workout—in fact, you should. And if you want to become the type of person who works out in the morning but doesn’t have to wake up at 4:30 a.m. to do so, then let’s be friends.
Last modified on February 15th, 2019