There are so many advantages to getting up early in the morning to exercise. Unfortunately, there is one big disadvantage that outweighs everything else: getting out of bed early in the morning.two-female-running-beach

I used to be a pro at getting my run done before the rest of the world was moving, but these days I’m better at hitting the snooze button. I try to remind myself of the advantages of an a.m. runnning routine:

  • Getting my work out done. If I try to squeeze it in during the day, I may not even get to exercise at all!
  • I have more energy throughout my day. I’m more productive.
  • I’m happier during the day.
  • I eat healthier throughout the day.

Those are just my reasons. There are real health benefits, too. Working out in the morning can jump start your metabolism and even help improve sleep (sure doesn’t feel like it when you drag yourself out of bed at 5 a.m., though, am I right?).

Becoming a morning runner requires a bit of a lifestyle change. For one thing, you can’t be up watching TV or checking your work e-mail on your laptop till midnight every night and then expect to be able to get up 5-6 hours later and exercise. That’s not even healthy. Your body needs sleep. So what are some other things that could help sleepyheads get out of bed and get moving?

Here are some of my tips, and some helpful advice from an article on Competitor, “Rise and Run: How to Become a Morning Runner,” by Linzay Logan:

6 Tips to Becoming a Morning Runner

  1. Start small. Start setting your alarm clock for 20-30 minutes earlier than you have been waking up. Keep setting it earlier and earlier until you’ve reached your desired wake-up time.
  2. Natural light. If it is light out, open your curtains right away to help your body wake up. If it’s winter or doesn’t get light out when you need to get up, try a light box.
  3. Go to bed earlier. (Try the same “start small” exercise for getting up earlier to help you go to bed earlier.)
  4. Plan ahead. Get out your workout clothes the night ahead and lay them out so that all you have to do is get dressed in the morning. Untie your shoes and set them next to your clothes. Also, put out any accessories you might need (your running watch, your exercise DVD, your keys, etc.).
  5. Don’t think. Don’t let your brain think about your workout when you get up. Just rise and get dressed.
  6. Redirect. If you do start to think about it, think about how fantastic you feel after a work out (energized, happy, hungry, etc.).

Think you can do it? Try getting up early just 1 or 2 days a week at first. If you’re successful, add more days! Are you a morning runner or exerciser? Share your tips in the comments below!