Get up and go! 7 Tips for working out even when it’s dark out

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We all live very busy lives and sometimes it seems impossible to find even an extra 30 minutes to schedule in a work out. I understand.  Unfortunately the reality is that sometimes you just have to roll yourself out of bed at 5:30 AM, tie up your fitness shoes, and get that work out in. Fitting in a workout before other things take over your day is the best way to make that workout happen!  

Get up and go - 7 Tips for working out even when it's dark out

Waking up early is not without its own challenges, resetting our internal clocks isn’t easy.  Here are some tips that will help you wake up for that workout even when it’s still dark out.

Tip 1:  Pick a realistic time to wake up
Waking up two hours before you normally do is not sustainable.   While it’s tempting to set your alarm clock for 4:30am so you can have a workout and shower done by 6:00am that may not be realistic or sustainable. Pick a time that allows you to get a proper amount of sleep and still enough time for a solid workout. If you pick a time that you can never stick with then you will find it very difficult to create a routine and habit around that.

Tip 2: Get a good night’s sleep
This tip goes hand in hand with tip 1.  We need a good 7-9 hours of sleep to be at our best, so if your wake up time for your workout is an hour earlier than normal, go to bed an hour earlier than normal.  Trying to survive with less sleep will make that wake up time more of a struggle.

Tip 3: Bypass the snooze button
As soon as your alarm goes off, jump out of bed. Besides annoying your partner, fragmented snoozing leaves you feeling more tired, so it’s best to just get out of bed.

Tip 4: Plan out your exercise
Not having a plan will waste the precious time you have in the morning, especially when you’re still groggy from the extra early alarm.  Even a little exercise is better than no exercise so do what you can. The point is to know what those exercises are going to be.  Plan out what exercise you’re going to do.  Will you do the 10 minute no-crunch core workout?  An exercise band strength workout?  Go for a walk or follow an exercise video?  Having a plan will help you to get up, get exercising and follow through.

Tip 5: Lay out your clothes and exercise equipment the night before
This is an important step. There’s nothing worse than waking up early, then not being able to find the exercise clothes, or equipment you had planned on using.  As soon as you get up put your clothes (and shoes) on.  This tells your mind that you’re getting ready for a fantastic workout.  

Tip 6: Workout with a friend
Setting up a morning workout date with a friend will increase the likelihood that you’ll get up to exercise.  You wouldn’t stand your friend up and having some company makes the workout that much more enjoyable.  You could meet for a morning walk together, or do a strength workout in each other’s living rooms.

Tip 7: Reward yourself for getting up and working out
While getting up and starting your day with a workout is a reward in itself, it’s always nice to earn a nice treat for being good to yourself.  Anything followed by a reward will be repeated.  After your workout take a quiet 20 minutes to yourself to enjoy watching the news and sipping your coffee in peace before the day takes over.  

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I bet you that you can become a morning person by following these 7 tips, you can do it! Your body and mind will thank you for starting your day off right.

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Get up and go - 7 Tips for working out even when it's dark out

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  1. Janelle @ Run With No Regrets says:

    This is really great advice! You really have to plan ahead to make sure you get in that AM workout. I’ve been wanting to start running before work but need to make a concrete schedule to stay accountable! I always feel great getting it out of the way early!

  2. Abby Land says:

    I am THE WORST about teh snooze button. I love when I know I have a friend waiting on me because then I have to get up.

  3. Annmarie Licatese says:

    Awesome tips- laying out clothes beforehand is huge for me!

  4. Confessions of a Mother Runner says:

    I am so not an early morning workout person but I am so impressed with those that are

  5. Carla Birnberg says:

    It may be sad but it is most definitely true. I often try to get moving before my brain is fully awake. That way by the time it wakes up I am almost done and so glad to be… Almost done 🙂