Author: Christina Stiehl, Content Writer at Noom
I don’t really consider myself a morning person. Although I feel more productive when I wake up earlier and cross some stuff off my to-do list before work, I don’t jump out of bed all chipper and ready to take on the day. I’m someone who presses the snooze button a lot and needs to set several alarms to make sure I get up on time. I’m groggy, cranky, and like to be left alone until my caffeine has fully kicked in. And like I’ve said before, there’s nothing wrong with not being a morning person—everyone has different times of day where they have more energy and feel most productive. I’m so sick of all these personal development coaches and rich CEOs swearing you’re not going to be successful unless you get up before the crack of dawn every morning.
With all that said, I do still prefer to work out in the morning before work. I find that it gets me energized for my day, and I like to get it done before I come up with an excuse throughout the day to skip it. Take it from someone who doesn’t consider herself a morning person—if you want to squeeze in an a.m. workout, it is possible. These are my top tips for making sure I wake up on time to move my body, even if it’s only for 20 minutes, before taking on the rest of the day.
- I wind down in the evenings and go to bed early
The key to making sure I get up on the earlier side is to make sure I go to bed at a reasonable hour. Sleep is a huge priority for me, and I’ll prioritize sleep over a morning workout any day. Since I always make sure to get my 7-8 hours each night, I have a pretty set nighttime routine to make sure I fall asleep on time. After dinner and cleanup, I usually take a bath or a warm shower to decompress and start winding down. Then, I do my skincare routine, which I also find relaxing, and I make some chamomile tea to sip on. Before bed, I read a hardcover book or read on my Kindle—I try not to watch TV or look at my phone (although I would be lying if I said I put away all electronics completely, I try my best). Lastly, I turn my phone notifications off, turn the lights out, and usually drift off to sleep.
- I set several alarms
OK my husband gets super annoyed with this one and it’s probably not recommended by any sleep expert, but I find the only way I’m able to really get out of bed is to have several alarms set. I’m prone to pressing the snooze button, so I set my alarms less than nine minutes (the snooze time) apart. I still usually end up hitting snooze, but eventually, I’m so annoyed by my alarm that I actually get up. Again, not recommended by sleep experts, but it works for me!
- I set my clothes out the night before
To make my morning routine easier, I set out my workout clothes the night before. This isn’t a revolutionary idea, but it really helps to have my outfit already planned out so that I don’t have to dig through my leggings drawer in the morning when I’m still half asleep. After I go to the bathroom and step on the scale, I already know what I’m going to be wearing to the gym and I have my sneakers nearby so that I can lace up and go.
- I play some pump-up songs to wake me up
I’m usually up before my husband so I can’t blast our stereo, but it helps if I pop my earbuds in and play a pump-up song or two to get me in the mood to move my body. I have a playlist I call “Motivation” that’s filled with fun, upbeat songs with a fast BPM to get me in the mood to get my workout on and take on the day.
- I make my own cold brew or down a pre-workout drink before I have time to think about it
I’m a big coffee lover and have been known to frequent coffee shops in the morning to get my cold brew fix (there are so many good coffee spots in NYC!). However, in an effort to save time, money, and single-use plastic, I’ve been making my own cold brew at home. I use a large mason jar with a sieve and grind my own beans the day before. This also saves time in the mornings—all I need to do is pour myself a glass of cold brew and let the caffeine do its thing. If I need an extra boost for a more intense workout, I take a pre-workout supplement that contains caffeine and B12 vitamins for extra energy. I drink that right after I get dressed, and before I’ve had time to think about it, I’m ready to expend some energy at the gym.
- I sign up for morning workout classes
I’m usually more likely to work out if I sign up for a class ahead of time. My gym has classes there, but you can also sign up for classes at a boutique fitness studio or stream live classes to keep you accountable. If I miss a class I signed up for at my gym, I get a “penalty,” and missing three classes means I can’t book a class for a week. Needless to say, this usually keeps me from skipping them. When I’m not at the gym, I have a stationary exercise bike and I like streaming online cycling classes from NuSweat (they have live-streamed cycling, Pilates, strength, and stretch classes). The instructors are great and they always have fun themes and playlists, which makes me excited for my workout. Plus, having a commitment to a live in-person or virtual class helps me show up, and I’m much more likely to stick to it rather than streaming something on demand, which usually leads me to procrastinate or skip it altogether.
- I save my favorite podcasts or TV shows for the gym
On days I’m not signed up for a class, I make sure I stick to my workout by saving my favorite podcast episodes or TV shows for when I hit the gym. When I’m doing cardio on the Stairmaster or treadmill, I can stream TV shows on my iPad or phone to keep me motivated. I tell myself I can only watch certain shows (usually Bravo reality TV shows) when I’m at the gym—temptation bundling like what we talk about in the Noom Weight program. The same goes for my favorite podcast episodes: I save them for when I strength train in the weight room so I have something to look forward to (even if I sometimes look weird laughing out loud listening to funny episodes).
I still don’t consider myself a morning person, but these tips help me get up and go to move my body before my day has officially started. Even if I just lift weights for a few minutes or walk on the treadmill at a moderate pace, moving my body helps me feel awake, energized, and ready to take on the rest of the day. Who knows—maybe if I fake it until I make it long enough, I’ll actually become one of those morning people.
If you’re looking to develop healthier exercise or nutrition habits, learn more about Noom Weight today!