How to become a morning exerciser

How To Become An Early Morning Exerciser

I’ve got a dirty confession I need to make to all of you…

I’m a night owl.

Worse than that, I used to hate getting up in the morning. To me, there’s nothing better than going to bed in the wee hours and hitting snooze all morning long.

But that’s not a very good plan for exercising.

MORE: How to Become a Morning Workout Person


Well, research has shown time and time again that morning exercisers stick to their routines much more than others.

Plus, natural light early in the day boosts your mood and can help you lose weight. (Try getting natural light on a run at dawn – it’s invigorating!)

Plus, there’s evidence that working out at night harms your sleep.

Here are some tips on how to get started and stick with exercising!

All those reasons and more are great motivation at becoming a morning workout person. If you need another reason, know that it’s a lot easier to come up with an excuse to skip a workout later in the day (because things always come up) than it is to skip a morning workout (where the only obstacle is your snooze button).

I did it, and you can too. Here’s how:

Take Baby Steps

Don’t start all at once. If you try to bite off too much at the beginning, you’re going to fail.

That’s why it’s best to slowly shift the hours you’re asleep. Go to bed earlier and earlier each night, and wake up earlier in the morning.

MORE: Everything You Need to Make a Morning Workout Happen

Lay Off The Caffeine

This next step is optional, but it really helped me – try to quit drinking coffee, if you do. It was super hard for me to do, but it really helped – I find it much easier to fall asleep at night now, and I don’t need a cup as soon as I get out of bed.

You can lower your coffee intake, then switch to decaf, then turn it off entirely. Yes, you can! I believe in you!

MORE: Early Morning Exercise Tips from Portland Fitness Pros

Build Your Routine

My apartment building comes with access to a gym, which made things a lot easier – but if you can find an easy way to work out at home or have a gym within easy reach, even better!

Start off with a longer than usual warmup to shake the sleep off your body, and take it easy at first.

Try to go after a solid 30 minute workout, rather than working out at the level you used to in the afternoon. Pretty soon, you’ll get back to your typical workout marks.

Working out in the morning is good, but avoid these 6 terrible exercises!

Watch Your Diet

Another thing to consider in the morning is what you’re eating. I found out that breakfast was crucial for me or I would peter out of energy about halfway through my workout.

The problem was, trying to eat an entire bowl of oatmeal or its equivalent in fruit found me getting nauseous during the workout.

So what’s the solution? Well, it’s going to be different for every person. Now I eat a few strawberries and drink a glass of water before each workout, and that’s enough to get me through.

After the workout, make sure to eat your protein – luckily enough, breakfast has many excellent (and delicious) protein options.

Try adding kettlebells to your routine!

And after switching over to the mornings, I can honestly say that I don’t miss working out in the afternoon or at night at all. Sure, sometimes I want to sleep in rather than work out, but I feel the difference for the entire rest of the day.

I don’t miss nearly as many workouts anymore, and it’s super easy to fall asleep at night.

Plus, the feeling of satisfaction that comes from getting your workout done first thing lasts all day. It’s a beautiful feeling.

In summary…

How To Become An Early Morning Exerciser

  1. Take baby steps
  2. Lay off the caffeine
  3. Build your routine
  4. Watch your diet

how to become an early morning exerciser

22 comments… add one
  • Phebe C. June 26, 2015, 2:24 pm

    It might be hard to get into that groove, but once you do, your body is going to thank you for it! I workout in the morning so I know I got mine in for the day and if I can do another one later, I am “money ahead” at that point.

  • Carlotta Manning June 22, 2015, 6:21 pm

    Great tips! I love to exercise in the morning and always encourage others to do the same if they can.

  • Monica T. June 22, 2015, 4:50 pm

    I love this website. The information is so fresh and motivating for me. Thanks!

  • Justine Willceus June 22, 2015, 4:25 pm

    You did a great job with motivation in this post. I think I might try and do this for the next few weeks and see how I feel.

  • Mary N. June 22, 2015, 3:49 pm

    I love to exercise in the morning. I only workout about 30 minutes and when I am done, my body feels great, my mind is up and I realize I do not have to workout later in the day.

  • Dyarama Lucy June 22, 2015, 1:20 pm

    These are pretty good tips. I found that waking up in the morning at the same time for a couple of days in a row makes a difference for me. Once you are in that routine, the rest is just filling time.

  • Terry Matthews June 22, 2015, 12:27 pm

    Very good tips. Getting up early is not easy at first, but once you get into a routine, it is much easier.

  • Jacqualine June 22, 2015, 12:16 pm

    Getting up in the morning is not an easy task for a lot of people. In most cases, it has to do with diet and things like that. Once you clean out the “dirt” in your diet, you will find that you are going to sleep better, etc. At that time, it might be easier to try and exercise in the AM.

  • Monica R. June 19, 2015, 12:30 pm

    Mornings are not my thing. I have read through this post and it has given me SOME motivation. I might give it a try, it has to feel good being done with your workout so you can enjoy the rest of your day.

  • non-Morning Person June 16, 2015, 6:16 pm

    It is too hard for me to get up just to exercise. I think it is in my genes that way :) Instead, I do my workout right after work, before I even get home. Works the best and I can still get that great morning sleep.

  • Maria Klausman June 16, 2015, 3:42 pm

    The experts have talked about using the morning exercises as a spring board to your day. I have tried it out and it was not working for me very well, but I am willing to give it a go again. These tips should send me down the right path.

  • V. Steele June 14, 2015, 3:51 pm

    These are very good tips, but it still takes the right kind of person to pop up out of bed and get going like this in the morning before you start your normal day.

  • M. Noland June 14, 2015, 3:40 pm

    Many exercising in the morning is bad enough and now I should get rid of caffeine? LOL, that is going to take more time and energy than I think it will be worth.

  • Afternoon Girl June 10, 2015, 7:27 pm

    Not a morning person here. I can understand why some of these will work, but why do I have to workout in the morning?

  • G. Justins June 10, 2015, 7:16 pm

    It took me about one week to come up with a “normal” routine. Once I was able to get up at 7AM without any issues, I felt pretty good about myself! Thanks for the tips!

  • Jackie Hansen June 9, 2015, 9:33 am

    Getting away from the caffeine in the morning is going to be the toughest test for me. It has been many years now and I am sure that my mind and body are craving it each day. I am willing to give it a try!

  • G. Hemper June 7, 2015, 11:13 am

    No caffeine? That is not going to happen LOL.

    • K. Volcom June 9, 2015, 9:49 am

      It might seem like a huge step, but it will be for the better, trust me! Good luck!

      • Polly R. June 16, 2015, 4:14 pm

        I agree. It is a hard step to take, but once you are over the hump, your body will thank you!

  • Haley Stucky June 7, 2015, 11:01 am

    One of the hardest things for me to do from the start was get up and get going in the morning hours. I have never worked out in the AM, but it was suggested that I try it. Good tips here to get started!

  • K. Jones June 7, 2015, 10:34 am

    I like the baby steps tip. There is no way that you can expect a beginner to jump right into a major, 60 minute routine. It might take some time, but if you can build your routine up, you are going to see results very quickly.

  • Marsha I. June 7, 2015, 10:17 am

    I wish that I could wake up earlier. In the winter months it is not that fun getting up to a cold house and it hard to get moving when the sun isnt around for much of the day, but in the summer, I would love to take full advantage of the sunny hours.

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