Oh, how I hate to get up in the morning…

Irving Berlin was on to something. Does getting up in the morning make you consider fratricide? Are you struggling to get your early morning workouts done?

During spring and summer getting in your 6am workout is easy. The sun rises by 5:00, the birds are singing, and there’s a warm breeze. What’s not to love? Bring on the push-ups!

Then late August and early September arrive, bringing early morning darkness back, and by mid-October the light of day isn’t shining until well after 7am. Ugh!I-WISH-I-WOULD-HAVE-SLEPT-IN

But wait! Hope, in the form of Standard time, arrives and the sun starts to show her face by 6:15 in the morning. Of course, it’s dark by 4:45 in the afternoon…

THEN, just when you thought it was safe to go back to 6am squats, the early morning darkness slowly creeps back, and the days get shorter and shorter, until the arrival of the Winter Solstice when the days start to S-L-O-W-L-Y get longer. On the other hand, it’s cold as Elsa’s castle, so the gradual lengthening of daylight hours is of little consolation.

So, you’ll just workout at night after work, right? Riiiight…

Nope, probably not, and you’ll see why below. The truth is, in spite of the fact that we all have different Circadian rhythms, most of us can benefit from working out in the early morning, and here’s why:

1. Git ‘er done – It’s most likely that if you work a typical 9-5 (or 8-4 or 8-6) that you don’t have a lot going on the early morning. Getting into an early morning routine before your workday, whether that workday involves going to an office miles away or one a few steps from your bedroom, means that you’re free from workout saboteurs:

  • Errands (I’ll just run a quick errand and then I’ll hop on the treadmill)
  • The boss who asks you to “do just one quick thing before you go”
  • The spouse who doesn’t leave work on time (EVER) and arrives home an hour after expected meaning that
    you can’t go to your evening workout
  • Kids – way too many ways these l’il darlins’ interfere with your workout plans

Whatever your particular saboteur is, an early morning workout while the rest of the world is sleeping means there’s a better chance of getting your workout done.

2. You’ve got the power! Willpower that is. We all have a finite amount of willpower and every time we exercise our willpower we’re depleting that reserve. Didn’t go bat-s crazy on your kids after they acted like little maniacs in the supermarket? Willpower. Didn’t strangle your boss after she changed her mind for the 6th time on that project you’re working on? Willpower. Didn’t eat those chocolate chip cookies on your kitchen counter? Willpower.

As you go through your day you’re constantly chipping away at your willpower, so by the time 7pm rolls around, the will to workout is gone. You’re less likely to skip out on your workouts when you’re willpower is high, and that’s early in the morning.

3. Freedom! We all know that sometimes working out can be a drag, especially when left to the end of the day. An early morning workout means that you’ve checked a major “To Do” off your list. No workout hangin’ over your head! BONUS: more time for those errands once you leave work.

So now we’ve got the “why”, but you’re still wondering “how do I motivate myself to do early morning workouts when it’s cold and dark outside and my bed is SO comfy?” On the other hand maybe you’re just not a morning person, but you want to become one. Well, I’ve got you covered with next week’s post on strategies to get you to that workout.