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5 Ways to Stick to Your Morning Workout

08/24/2015 05:27 EDT | Updated 08/24/2016 05:59 EDT
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young fitness woman runner tying shoelaces on trail

So you've committed to morning workouts. Good for you! Exercising first thing in the morning boosts energy and productivity for the rest of the day, and you're less likely to talk yourself out of it than a sweat session scheduled after work.

But as the days start to get shorter, the air gets colder and you start waking up in the dark, it can get harder and harder to get out of bed.

One of the things my clients say makes it hardest to get to their morning exercise session: wanting to stay in bed and snuggle their significant other, their pet, even their pillow! So what can you do to prevent the morning snuggle struggle?

Here are my top tips and some of my favourite tools to keep you morning warriors motivated!

1. Sound the Alarm

Set multiple alarm clocks and put them far enough away from your bed that you have to get up and walk over to them. Put gym clothes and your running shoes next to the alarm clock so you'll be reminded of your good intentions. Once you get your gear on you're almost there! Oh, and no snoozing. Now that your sleep has been disturbed, getting a few extra minutes won't help you feel more rested -- it may even make you more groggy for work.

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Photo courtesy of Jess J on Flickr

2. You Can't Sleep if You're Dancing

Make your alarm your favourite song that you just have to dance to. For me, it's Chris Brown's ironically-named "Don't Wake Me Up." Another great idea -- on your phone, record yourself listing all the reasons why working out is important to you. Set that as your ringtone. You won't want to let that amazing person down!

3. Mirror Messages

Write that same list of reasons why working out is a priority to you on a piece of paper and tape it to your bathroom mirror. When you get up for your morning pee you'll need to think twice about crawling back under the blankets. If you're trying to lose weight, you can also download an app called Visualize You that uses a picture of you and then shows you what you might look like at your goal weight. How's that for motivating! Put that picture somewhere you'll see it daily.

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Image courtesy of Arya Ziai on Flickr

4. Put Your Money Where Your Sneakers Are

If you have a significant other or a roommate, make a pact with them to encourage you to get out of bed. You can agree on a script for a gentle reminder they can use to give you the nudge you need. Even better -- put money on it. Every time you go back to bed, you have to give them 20 bucks or take over a chore like cleaning the bathroom. Set the stakes high and make sure they hold you to it!

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Photo credit: Carissa Rogers via Flickr

5. There Are Apps for That!

There are great apps you can download that help you stick to your goals. Pact has you set nutrition or fitness goals and then takes money out of your bank account if you don't do them. If you have a competitive streak, try signing up for a weight loss competition on Diet Bet. Or try Fitocracy, an app that turns working out into a video game!

If you aren't much of a techie tell yourself you get a non-food treat of some kind only if you do your workout that day. For example, you can only read trashy magazines or watch your favourite shows if you're on the treadmill. No workout, no rewards!

How do you stick to your morning workout routine? Tweet me @80twentyrule.

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