How to wake up early to workout

I have always been a morning person, and my morning person I mean up before the sun type of morning person. I always feel more productive and in control when I wake up early and I’ve been doing it for as long as I can remember. My favorite way to start each morning is with a run, a strength workout, or sometimes both! It is such a habit for me at this point that I don’t really even think about it — whether or not I wake up early to workout is never a question. Below I’m sharing about how to wake up early to workout — you, too, can be a morning person if you want to be!

Benefits of Morning Exercise

In the past I have found that the longer I wait to workout, the less feel like doing it. Once I get all settled into my day, I don’t feel like going to change and get all sweaty and then have to shower and get ready all over again. If I don’t get my workout in first thing, it becomes much easier to put it off or not do it at all. There are a number of reasons why I prefer to exercise in the morning:

  • It gives me an energy boost for the day
  • It starts my day off in a productive way
  • I don’t have to plan my meals around my sessions
  • I don’t procrastinate getting my workout done
  • I don’t have to shower and get ready twice
  • I feel better when I start my day with a workout vs. on days I don’t
  • It makes me feel a sense of pride and accomplishment that will stick with me all day

I think the biggest benefit I get from exercising first thing in the morning is my last point above — the sense of accomplishment I get from it. I always feel good after working out and this carries on to the rest of my day. If you’re an afternoon or evening exerciser and that works for you — great! If the desire is there, then anyone can become a person who wakes up early to workout. The first step is to commit to doing so. Below I share 8 tips to help you get your workout done first thing in the morning.

Wake up early to workout

Set out your workout clothes the night before

That way you won’t have to fuss around trying to locate them in the morning or waste time trying to figure out what to wear.

Set your alarm clock across the room

If your alarm clock is across the room then you will actually have to get out of bed to shut it off. Once you’re out of bed (and are consequently very cold), you’ll be more likely to stay up than if you can reach over and shut your alarm off while you’re still half asleep.

Have a plan

If you go to bed with the simple intention to workout or go for a run in the morning, but don’t know the specific details as to what your workout is or where and how far you’re going to run, you’ll end up wasting precious time trying to figure it out…while you’re tired. Having a specific plan is key and without one you’re much more likely to waste time trying to figure it out, procrastinate, or end up going back to sleep.

Find an accountability partner or meet up with a friend

online running coach for new runnersYou’ll be much more likely to wake up early and get moving if you know that you have a friend or family member doing the same thing. Running friends are the best! Even if you don’t actually do your workout or run together, you can still check in afterwards or hold your workout buddy accountable.

Hire a personal trainer

Schedule your training sessions for the early morning to help get yourself out of bed and to your session. You’re financially invested in your training and that will be a bit of added motivation to get out the door.

Sign up for a workout class

I LOVE group fitness classes! I started going to them a few years ago when I had moved to a new state and didn’t know anyone. I ended up meeting some really great friends in class and enjoyed the classes so much that I became an instructor and now teach 5 classes per week. The sense of community you can get from group fitness is really motivating — you won’t want to skip class once you’re signed up (especially if there is an added fee for the class)! There are SO MANY different types of group classes to try — test a few out and see what sticks for you.

Find an activity that you enjoy doing

Don’t force yourself to do exercises  that you don’t enjoy just because you feel like you “should.” Maybe you love boxing — find a boxing gym! If you love running, run. If you can’t stand spinning, then you’re not going to be excited to wake up for a 5am spin class. The point is, find out what types of movement you enjoy! If you enjoy your workouts, you’re going to be a lot more willing to wake up early for them and to stick to a consistent training schedule.

Go to sleep early

This one is SO important. Wanting to wake up early doesn’t mean that you don’t need sleep. If you are constantly getting too little sleep, it’s going to be near impossible to maintain a long-term habit of waking up early.


Are you someone who prefers morning workouts or evening workouts?!
*This post was repurposed and adapted from my old running blog, HappyJoRuns.