We Ask Morning Exercisers How The Hell They Get Out Of Bed

If you're anything like me, getting out of bed in the morning is the hardest part of your day.

Basically, unless there's something concrete I need to be at first thing in the morning, staying in bed until the last minute will always win out.

Obviously, this means morning exercise isn't really a 'thing' that I manage to do. Sure, I've had spurts; a couple of weeks here and there, an exercise class, a run around the neighbourhood, but getting a regular morning exercise schedule that lasts? Never going to happen.

Or is it?

Morning exercise makes SO much sense. It wakes up the mind and the body, gives you clarity before starting your day, means you have extra time in the the evening... In short, it's a no-brainer.

So what to do?

I decided to ask people who I know are morning exercisers what their tricks are for getting out of bed in the morning. Essentially I wanted to find out if they are just weirdo 'morning people' or whether I too can become one of them.

What's a hurdle that would stop me? Drinking too much wine the night before...

Tamar

Tamar is a marketing manager. She works out in the morning 4 times a week and is magnificent. One time I went to an (evening) class with her and I nearly fell off my treadmill trying to keep up.

Do you reckon you're naturally a morning person?
I am. Although sometimes heavily coffee-aided.

Why do you prefer exercising in the morning?
It gives me so much more energy for the day! It wakes me up. It's a mental challenger early on and makes me feel ready for the day. It fits nicely into my schedule and by 10am I've often forgotten I've even worked out. Exercise in the evening doesn't work for me. It means eating super late, not being able to fit in social plans and gives me all day to come up with excuses not to go!

What do you normally do?
I swap between running to work and HIIT classes at 1Rebel. Doing HIIT with a motivational trainer gives me a big endorphin boost and I feel amazing afterwards. Running to work is a lot less fun but it's an efficient way to fit exercise around my schedule.

What is a hurdle that would stop you exercising in the morning and how do you overcome it?
Drinking too much wine the night before. I can't really overcome that.

What is your nighttime ritual to make sure you actually go?
I get my gym kit for the next day ready so I just wake and go without any thought.

How good is the smug feeling afterwards?
Pretty damn smug until I start work and forget all about it.

My morning ritual which wakes me RIGHT up is to dilute a shot of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water and have that before anything else (pro tip: DOWN IT, it's gross).

Nicole

Nicole is the digital marketing manager and a run coach at Frame. She exercises most mornings and lives in very excellent gym kit so she can hop from class to class throughout the day.

Are you naturally a morning person?
Yes and no. I don't spring out of bed but once I'm up, I'm most productive and switched-on first thing.

What are the hurdles that would stop you exercising in the morning and how do you overcome them?
Southern Rail! But I'm moving soon so...haha! I tend to burn the candle at both ends between working out, work and socialising so early mornings are rough, but I always feel better if I just make myself get up and do something.

What is your nighttime ritual to help you in the morning?
No screens past 9pm! I do use my phone as an alarm clock but I am very firm with myself and do not touch it past 9pm. I read almost every night unless I get in late, to really zone out of the day. If I'm buzzing after leading a run club for Frame (always), I also take Viridian's Cherry Night to push me in the right direction.

What is your morning ritual to help get you up?
My morning ritual which wakes me RIGHT up is to dilute a shot of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water and have that before anything else (pro tip: DOWN IT, it's gross). Then I have a quick couple of pieces of sourdough toast with nut butter and a black coffee and I'm good to go.

What's the biggest benefit to exercising in the morning?
The energy it provides for the rest of the day. Also, having the evenings free! My friends are really important to me and everyone's lives are so busy in London that having room for a spontaneous meet-up is often the only way to actually hang out! If I'm not meeting friends, it's also just nice to have a free evening to toss in a load of laundry and have dinner-al-Netflix before the no-screens rule comes into play.

How good is the smug feeling afterwards?
I mean, I won't shut up about it. Ask my long-suffering colleagues!

If you sign up to a gym that is out of the way and a trek to get to you've instantly created a barrier and it ain't going to happen.

Chemmie

Chemmie is a branded content manager. She goes to the gym 4-5 times a week in the morning. Her housemate recently got an email saying that she's in the top 5% of attendees at their gym. Chemmie is now trying for that same email.

Are you naturally a morning person?
Absolutely not. I love sleep and I have always struggled to get out of bed in the morning. Those people who say "I just naturally wake up at 6am, it's SO weird" – that has never been me.

What exercise do you do in the morning?
Classes! I don't have the mental capacity or will to train myself so early.

What are the hurdles that would stop you going in the morning and how do you deal with them?
Actually getting myself out of bed is pretty crucial. A lot of mornings it's a mental battle of "should I, shouldn't I"? But there are a few things that help me. One is knowing that 100% I will not regret going when I am done. Also, my gym buddy; my housemate and I go to the same gym which means we hold each other accountable. If I hear her door open I know there's no excuse.

Also, I am super lucky in that my gym is literally a two-minute walk from my flat so there's no rigmarole getting there. Plus I can go home to get ready after. If you don't have one by your flat, sign up to one by your work. Basically, if you sign up to a gym that is out of the way and a trek to get to you've instantly created a barrier and it ain't going to happen.

What is your nighttime ritual?
I've realised that I need far less sleep than I thought I did. I've noticed how I actually feel really groggy if I lie in. Sickening, right? I aim to be asleep by 11.30pm for a 6.15am wake-up, which seems to suit me perfectly.

And how do you actually get out of bed?
I always use Sleep Cycle so that it wakes me up at the lightest part of my sleep which is much nicer. I always set two alarms just in case. When that second one goes off I know it's time. There's also the obvious setting your clothes out the night before. I don't eat before I work out so I'm just off.

I'm not a fan of making it up as I go because I can easily get distracted and bored and give in when it feels tough.

Shakira

Shakira Akabusi is a personal trainer, adidas run captain and creator of #StrongLikeMum which aims to help mums get back into exercise. She's also mum to 2-year-old Rio, who, as can be seen on her Instagram, is often a helping hand when it comes to Shakira working out.

Are you naturally a morning person?
Yes! I love mornings. It's when I have most of my energy. I get up and drink a glass of water straightaway to kickstart my metabolism.

What exercise do you tend to go for?
I run if I can but I'm also a big fan of HIIT training because it can be done anywhere and in a short space of time. I often work out with my son in the garden and that's really fun because he's at the age now where he's trying to mimic my movements.

What are the hurdles that would stop you exercising in the mornings and how do you overcome them?
If I've had a bad night's sleep I can sometimes feel tired and unmotivated. I can be tempted at these times to stay indoors but I have found that by getting outdoors and getting some fresh air and moving my body, I actually gain more energy and feel more positive.

What is your morning ritual to help get you up and going?
I work out a lot at home so it's mainly about making sure I have a plan. I'm not a fan of making it up as I go because I can easily get distracted and bored and give in when it feels tough. If I have set out a goal and some plans I feel much more focussed and driven.

ClassPass fines you if you don't attend or cancel too late which is annoying but also a good motivator

Natalie

Natalie is a news writer. She works out around three times a week in the mornings. She's also determined to add a few early-morning runs into the mix before the half marathon she's meant to be running in a few months' time. Sadly, these are less appealing than the upbeat vibes and camaraderie of a group class.

Are you naturally a morning person?
I don't usually find it a struggle to get up in the morning (unless I've had little to no sleep), so I suppose so.

Do you prefer exercising in the morning and why?
100% yes. I'm at my most positive, alert and energised in the AM so I like to take advantage of this and achieve something ASAP in the day. Morning exercise usually means sacrificing sleep, though – even though I'm an early riser, I often struggle to shut down and go to bed – so I do it a few times a week at most.

What are the hurdles that would stop you exercising in the morning and how do you overcome them?
Not having had enough sleep or having work I need to get done first thing. After a lack of sleep, I'll just bite the bullet and attend the class and hope it perks me up for the day (ClassPass fines you if you don't attend or cancel too late, which is annoying but also a good motivator). If I've got work to do I'll reschedule it to another day/time.

What is your morning ritual to help get you up and to the gym?
Laying my stuff out the night before so it's ready to go and having a coffee while I'm getting ready to leave. Without caffeine to look forward to I'd struggle to make it out of bed. I'll also listen to upbeat music or a podcast to get my head in the exercise #zone.

Biggest benefit of exercising in the morning?
I like leaving the house early – the air feels fresher somehow (just me?) and things are quieter. It boosts my mood, I like knowing I've already achieved something when I get to the office and most importantly, it means I have evenings free to do whatever the heck I want without the gym looming over me.

How good is the smug feeling afterwards?
It's 11/10 and gets addictive after a few early sessions.