At the beginning of the summer I committed to an 8-week workout program that involved attending three 6:00 am classes each week. The program is over now, and although I’ve missed a few days here and there because of summer holidays, I’m still getting out of bed at 5:15 am, three mornings (most) weeks and getting to the gym.
What I learned in the 8-week program was:
- While I may not love going to the gym, I do love the way I feel afterwards.
- When I start my day with a workout, it’s easier for me to eat healthier throughout the day and avoid alcohol at night.
- Working out before the rest of my house is awake is the best chance I have of making it happen. The life of a perimenopausal woman is beyond busy!
There are many mornings, however, when I haven’t had a great night’s sleep (hello perimenopause) and my motivation and self discipline are running low.
Some days I lay in bed reminding myself of all the benefits working out will have for my perimenopausal body:
- Building muscle mass – which helps to counter my slowing metabolism and protects my bones,
- Improving my mental health – by releasing endorphins and serotonin to help reduce my stress and anxiety,
- Improving my sleep – and I can use all the help I can get with this one,
But most of the time, these benefits do very little to motivate my tired ass out of bed.
The good news is that over the last 10 weeks, I have figured out a few sure-fire tricks to get me moving in the morning (even after a really bad sleep). And they’re guaranteed to help you too!
5 tricks guaranteed to get your butt out of bed and to the gym:
1. Drink water throughout the night so you have to pee in the morning.
Every time you wake up from a night sweat, racing mind, or snoring husband, take a sip of water. You’re up anyway, so make the most of it. By the time your alarm goes off in the morning, your bladder will be near bursting and getting out of bed will be that much easier.
2. Put your feet on the floor right away.
Getting your feet on the floor is always the trickiest bit of the morning. So give Mel Robbins’ 5 Second Rule a try. Your alarm goes off and you simply count down ‘5, 4, 3, 2, 1’ and then flip out of bed and put your feet on the floor, before your brain can come up with an excuse. After that, the rest of your morning gym routine will be on auto-pilot.
3. Prepare Ahead of Time.
Make your morning routine as easy as possible:
- Put gym clothes out the night before, or even better, sleep in them. Then you can tell yourself, ‘I’m already dressed, I may as well go.’
- Program your coffee maker to be ready when you wake. There’s nothing better than the smell of fresh brew in the morning, and you can enjoy it on the way to the gym.
- Have your water bottle pre-filled and waiting at the door beside your sneakers.
The less you have to think about at this ungodly hour, the better.
4. Wallow in your misery.
You’re likely alone in the car, so go ahead and feel your feelings. It’s ok to not be excited about losing that extra hour of sleep. Or the thought of exerting more energy than you feel you have. Turn on some loud, angry music and let it fill your soul. If you’re really hating your workout once you’re there, you can always leave. But I bet you won’t.
5. Hang in there and get over the hump.
It’s not always going to be easy to get your butt out of bed, but once you’re in the habit of waking up and going to the gym, it almost becomes automatic. And our brains love to do pre-programmed things because they take less thought and energy.
Here’s how my gym journey went:
- First week: awake, resentful about getting out of bed, drank coffee, had to literally ‘jedi-mind force’ myself out the door, hated every single second of my workout.
- Second week: awake, still resentful, drank coffee on the way to the gym with some loud music pumping, about half way through the workout I realized that I wasn’t hating it. And by the end I was feeling awake, alert and powerful.
- Third week: awake, mildly annoyed about leaving my bed, drank my coffee and listened to my jams on the way to gym, mildly dreading the workout but energized by the end of the warm up.
- Fourth week: awake, didn’t even think about how I was feeling as I put my feet on the floor, drank my coffee and listened to my jams in the car, arrived at the gym energized and ready to workout.
- Fifth week and beyond: awake, energized, drank my coffee and sang along to my tunes in the car, found myself looking forward to working out (or at least how good I was going to feel at the end).
Now, the truth is that I don’t feel this way every day. I’m only human after all.
But I’m happy to report that for the most part, I look forward to my gym time first thing in the morning. I was actually craving it after taking a week and a half off for a cottage vacation.
And, if I can do it, so can you. I promise, these tricks work.
Have any other tricks that help you pop out of bed in the morning? Don’t be shy, please share them with our community. We’re always looking for new tricks to help us live our best lives.