Morning Workout Tips for First-Timers


My boss has always done the whole morning workout thing. She comes into work at 7:30 a.m. with 10,000 steps and what seems like a million burpees, squats and push-ups under her belt.

How does she do it? Even if I was able to drag myself out of bed that early, there’s no way I would opt for the gym of all places.

I had a million excuses. It’s too hard to get out of bed. My hair takes too long to dry. I have to work mornings – I won’t have time to get ready.

A few weeks ago, one of my friends asked me to try a High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) class with her one Friday morning at 5:30 a.m. I groaned. There is no way.

But then she said a few things:

  • We’ll go together. Pick me up at 5:15. You’ll be able to get up because you’ll know I’m counting on you to get me.
  • Sleep in your workout clothes. It’s easier if you can just roll out of bed, grab a water bottle and head out the door before you change your mind.
  • Pick your work outfit the night before. Try to avoid having to make even the easiest decisions to save yourself time in the morning.
  • Try an easy up-do. If your hair takes too long to blow-dry after showering, don’t blow-dry.  Find a style, like a bun, that hides wet hair so you only have to spend a few minutes drying the top layer.

And guess what? I did it. I slept in my workout clothes, picked her up at 5:15, took a HIIT class that kicked my butt and was able to get to work early because everything was already set out and ready.

I felt great. Better than great. All that stuff they say about morning workouts is true. I didn’t need my morning coffee and I felt more productive throughout the day.  I didn’t feel guilty about wanting to hang out with friends after work, because I had already gotten my workout in.

I now mix 1-2 morning workouts into my weekly routine as part of my #HealthyMe.  Sometimes it’s just a run or an apartment workout, but it doesn’t matter. Squeezing any type of fitness into your morning makes a huge difference.

Still don’t believe me? Test yourself, just once.  But don’t be surprised when you’re hooked!

Photo Credit: Mark Jensen

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  1. Ah, I remember those early morning workouts and I had the body to prove it. Notice I said ‘had.’ I won’t bore you with why or how I stopped. Instead I’ll tell you I’m an advocate for the morning sweat and this how I made it work:

    I took the earliest bus into work. And I walked to the bus stop about a mile a way to kick off my workout (I’m walker with ped at all times). Packed a few days worth of work clothes and kept them at work so I didn’t have to carry clothes daily. Worked out at the Riverwalk (walk/jog, steps) or exercise room on-site or stairs in garage. Showered and dressed at work with time to eat a simple breakfast before my shift. I wore my hair in locks at the time. Zero fuss with hair.

    Felt energized. Ate better and rarely overate. Zero guilt about getting a good workout. Lost weight and maintained weight loss for 3 years.

    Today, I’m sporting really short hair and carrying extra weight. (Heard of sympathy pregnancy weight? Well, grannies are suspectible, too). A few health challenges and life changes contributed to a change in lifestyle but this happy granny is gearing up for a fantastic summer groove of working it out and working it off, and part of my plan is to resume the morning sweat.

    Roll on, Carly.

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