When the alarm clock blares at 5 AM, I cringe and tap the snooze button like everyone else. But I know a morning workout helps me feel my best during the day, despite stiffness and inflammation from rheumatoid arthritis. Nonetheless, swimming, yoga, and circuit training keep me fresh and mobile throughout the day.
Finding energy before workout sessions—especially during cold weather—used to be difficult. Now I have a pretty good routine that gets me to winter exercise classes at the local gym without fail.
1. Prepare Your Clothes
As I’m winding down for the night, I make two stacks of clothes: one for my workout gear and the other for what I’m wearing after I shower and get ready for work. Everything, even down to my jewelry, is in a pile waiting for me as the sun comes up.
If you’re headed out for a brisk morning run or dog walk, keep in mind the warmest outerwear in your workout clothing is layered. Keep a breathable mesh baselayer so sweat doesn’t stick to you, and your outerlayers will trap heat much more easily. Stash your footwear by the door, as well, so you know exactly where it is in the morning.
2. Pack Your Gym Bag
There’s nothing like relaxing after a tough workout in a steamy, hot shower—until you realize you’re out of shampoo or soap. Each time I run low on these gym bag essentials, I tuck the empty container in with my dirty clothes from the gym. When I unpack it in the laundry room at home, I’m reminded to repack my gym bag with more supplies.
If you like to work out solo and listen to music, double check that you have ear buds and a fully charged music player in your bag for the morning. I have a dedicated pair of ear buds in my bag just for gym-only use to keep things simple.
3. Have Breakfast Ready
I don’t like to eat a lot before I exercise, I but I do make sure I have a piece of fresh fruit like a banana, apple, or pear ready to grab before heading out the door.
Sometimes I splurge and make a quick smoothie to sip on as I drive. Consider using frozen fruit, vegan protein powder, oatmeal, and non-dairy milk or fruit juice to create a creamy breakfast. The cool drink helps wake me up and fuel me for my exercise class.
4. Get to Bed Early
Actually turning out the lights and putting down my smartphone or book is probably the most difficult part of preparing for an early morning exercise class. Set a limit on this winding-down time before you climb into bed so you can get in a full eight hours of sleep.
I find I’m more likely to make it to an early morning winter exercise class if I go to bed at the same time each day, too. The longer you stick to a routine, the easier it gets, and the more you begin to look forward to meeting up with friends for a session or a little me-time before tackling the day ahead—even if it does mean getting up before the birds.
How do you find energy before workout routines in the early morning so you actually make it out the door? I’d love to hear your tips in the comments below.
Image source: Angela Tague
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