If you only have enough energy to plop yourself on the couch by the time evening rolls around, morning workouts may be your only option. Here's a little motivation for you: Research has shown that morning exercisers tend to work out harder and longer than afternoon or evening exercisers, which means more calories burned. If you're not a get-up-and-go kind of morning person, here are some ways to prep for morning workouts the night before, so you can wake up at the last possible moment and work out!
1. Skip the morning scavenger hunt. Don't give up on the morning run because you can't find your sock or sneaker or sports bra. Prepping the night before only takes a few minutes and helps avoid wasted time frantically searching for the essentials. Do a load of laundry if you need to, and then lay out your outfit so when you wake up, you can slip it on and go. Some
extremely tired devoted morning exercisers even wear part of their outfit to bed!
2. Gear up. Charge your iPod, put your yoga mat or armband by the door, put your fave fitness video in the DVD player, or lay your dumbbells next to the TV.
3. Eat right. Since working out on an empty stomach isn't great for your metabolism or your energy levels, premake a little morning snack and keep it in the fridge so you can quickly grab it to nosh on while getting ready. Half a slice of whole-wheat toast with peanut butter, apple slices with cheese, and ingredients for a small smoothie are the perfect pre-workout snack. If eating before a workout is not an option, make sure you fill up on breakfast afterward.
4. Early to bed. Be sure to hit the hay early so you're well rested, and set your alarm to wake up to your favorite peppy song. If you tend to hit the snooze button way too many times, try putting your alarm clock on the other side of the room.
5. Pencil it in. Text or call a friend to set up a fitness date. If you decide on a time to meet in the a.m., you'll feel obligated to go, even if your mind and body tell you otherwise.
6. Get psyched! Check the schedule at your gym or studio, and choose an exciting and inspirational class to look forward to. A 6 a.m. Zumba class with your favorite instructor or sunrise yoga in a heated studio is sure to pull you out of bed. Or if music moves you, create a new workout playlist to motivate.
7. Post-workout treat. Plan a special breakfast to eat after your workout as a reward for your efforts. You'll get through your workout a little faster knowing there's a hot cup of coffee and homemade oatmeal pumpkin spice bread waiting for you at home.