People look at me in shock and horror when I tell them that I rise to workout at 5 a.m. every day but Sunday (it’s the day of rest after all). Why do I get these horrified looks and grumbled “good for you” responses? Because while everyone may love the idea of rising before the sun to workout, they can’t really imagine pulling themselves away from the warm comfort of their beds.

Trust me, some days it’s a real struggle. When I closed at work the night before and had a long day at school, all I want to do is hit snooze the next morning. But at this point, morning exercise is a habit. My body — much to my dismay — often wakes naturally around 4:50 a.m. I always roll back over to cherish those last few minutes, but I can’t remember the last day I skipped a morning workout and let myself sleep past that 5 a.m. alarm. I would feel so lost during my day if I did. I wouldn’t have the energy and confidence to complete the day’s tasks.

So what’s the point of all this? The point is that you can wake up at 5 a.m. to workout. I know, your jaw just dropped, but pull it back up. At first, you’ll be cold, tired and probably want to die. But then, you’ll start to feel empowered and excited. You’ll roll into the office or class with that big “I already worked out today” grin on your face.

Even better, you won’t have to worry about fitting in your workout later. When you get stuck late at work, invited to an impromptu evening outing, or realize that your big paper is due tomorrow, you won’t have to push off your workout until the next evening.

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If you’re already working out in the evening, consider the benefits of a morning workout. Researchers have found that it takes 21 days to make something a habit. So for the next 21 days, groan at your 5 a.m. alarm, but pretty soon your body might be waking itself up at 4:50 a.m. Happy exercising!

Check back next week for tips on how to make your morning workout more efficient.

Already working out in the morning? What benefits do you notice? What tips do you have to offer someone who wants to get up and workout but can’t find the motivation?

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