3 Morning Exercise Ideas & How to Make Them Stick!

A woman walks down a park path in workout clothes with a towel over her shoulders

Energize your day with a morning exercise routine.

Maybe one of your new year’s resolutions was to start exercising more. Or maybe you’re looking to take advantage of the first part of your day. Then you might want to give a morning workout routine a try.

Mornings are an ideal time to workout because, let’s be honest, you’re usually too tired and sluggish to do anything that requires too much cognitive effort :).  A morning workout, however, is the perfect activity for when you’re still in that groggy, half-asleep state. You can ease into your workout, get the blood flowing, and feel more energized by the end.

If you’re trying to create a fitness routine and make it a regular habit, a morning workout will ensure that you get it done first thing. It’s such a great feeling to start your day with a huge sense of accomplishment. 

And that’s not all. Here are even more reasons to start exercising in the morning, including the physical, emotional, and mental benefits. 

Benefits of a morning exercise routine

  • Boosts your brain power. Aerobic exercise has been shown to increase the regions in your brain responsible for learning and memory
  • Improves your mood. Thanks to the endorphins and burst of feel-good hormones you get from a workout, exercise can elevate your mood and help you combat stress and anxiety.
  • Increases your productivity. Exercise can help you focus and concentrate better, improving your productivity in the long run.
  • Improves your sleep. Exercising in the morning can help regulate your circadian rhythm, which is your body’s way of signaling when it’s time to go to sleep.

How to stick to your morning exercise routine

Put it on your calendar. This is especially important if you’re trying to develop a regular workout routine. Scheduling gives you accountability. When you put it in your schedule, you’ll honor it like a real commitment. So schedule your morning workouts by putting them on your Google calendar or in your planner

Prep for your morning workout the night before. It’s so easy to make excuses for skipping a workout in the morning, especially when you’d rather stay in bed. So make your morning exercise goals airtight by setting out everything you need the night before. Your workout clothes, shoes, weights, resistance band, gym bag, etc. If you’re heading to the gym, place your gym bag by the door. If you’re doing yoga, set up your mat and blocks. Your morning self will thank you for preparing ahead of time. 

Keep a fitness log. Another way to help you stick to your morning exercise routine is to maintain a fitness log. Record data like your number of reps, distance, duration, etc. This will help you stay informed of your progress and motivate you to keep going for more. You can even have fun with it by using washi tape or colorful markers to mark your progress and milestones. 

Make a list of exercises you like and dislike. You’re more likely to stick with a workout if it’s something you actually enjoy doing or if it challenges you in a good way. So if you hate doing burpees, don’t force yourself to do them. But if you love group activities, then find a morning workout with a social aspect to it, like a dance class or running group. The more realistic you are about your needs, the easier it will be to maintain your fitness goals. 

1. Morning exercise idea: Dance it out

Dancing around is not only super fun but it’s good for your heart health as well. Dancing is an aerobic activity that gets the heart pumping and the blood flowing to your muscles and brain. So if you’re feeling sluggish in the morning, dancing will definitely have you feeling alert in no time.

And if you’re someone who loves the extra motivation that group classes can provide, then dancing is a terrific option for a morning workout. 

You can sign up for a morning dance class or participate in a virtual class. Or if you’re short on time or trying to be budget conscious, you can still get the benefits of dancing by putting on your favorite Spotify playlist and dancing around in your room. 

2. Morning exercise idea: Gentle stretches and soothing mantras

Whether you’re looking to relieve your muscles from sitting at a desk all day or would rather start your day with a gentle workout over a vigorous one, then make stretching your morning workout routine.

Stretching gets the blood flowing, which your body will appreciate after sleeping in the same position all night. It will also help relieve any tension or stiffness and prepare your body for the day ahead.

If you’d like to add a mindfulness component to your morning stretches, you can recite an inspiring mantra or quote to help you center your mind. With a morning stretch routine, you can shut down any internal clutter, harness your focus,and set your intention for the day.

You can find stretches you can do at home here and ideas for inspiring quotes here

3. Morning exercise idea: An invigorating HIIT workout

Short on time? Then choose a High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workout for your morning exercise routine. 

HIIT is a workout in which you do a series of exercises for a short, intense period (think squats, burpees, lunges, jumping jacks, etc) with short pauses of rest and recovery in between. An HIIT workout is an ideal morning workout as it maximizes the time you have while also providing the full benefits of a longer workout.

If you’re interested in gleaning the benefits of a high intensity workout but don’t necessarily want to jump around right out of bed, this HIIT workout doesn’t involve burpees or mountain climbers. 

You can mix up your exercise routine by doing stretches one morning, a dance workout the next, and an HIIT or strength training workout the following day. This way you won’t get bored easily and you’ll also give your muscle groups a chance to recover. 

And for healthy and delicious breakfast ideas, checkout our guide here.

Written by JiJi Lee

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