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I Hated Morning Exercise. Then I Found This 20-Second, Two-Cent Fix

Go to the gym? Chances were slim.  I’ve since discovered this fitness hack that sticks my a.m. habit like Krazy Glue. What a game changer!

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Keisha Okafor
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What motivates you to stick to a fitness routine? Share your thoughts in the comments below. 

Some people are motivated to work out first thing in the morning. Some people, not so much. I have long been the G.O.A.T. of Team Not-So-Much.

Morning exercise for the win

Of course, fitting in a regular workout at any time of day has big benefits. But getting that sweat and deep breathing in first thing offers amazing benefits:

  • Burn more belly fat. Morning exercise—for women but not men, researchers found—may enhance total and abdominal fat loss, reduce blood pressure, and increase lower body muscle power, according to a 2022 study published in the journal Frontiers in Physiology.
  • Avoid interruptions. You put off exercise at the start of a busy day. The day gets even busier and then…well, maybe tomorrow. Scratch this one off your to-do list first and smile all day.
  • Stay cooler. First-thing workouts help us avoid the heat of the day as we head into the warmer months.
  • Enjoy a rosier outlook. Get the mood-boosting benefits of endorphins.
  • Put “monkey mind” back in the cage. Have you heard this Buddhism-associated term for thoughts that jump around, make a horrible noise and probably fling poo? A part of our brains called the Default Mode Network is the reason for the ruckus. Exercise helps quiet that down, according to the American Institute of Stress.
  • Support sustained sleep. Japanese researchers studied older adults who performed step aerobics sessions during mornings versus evenings. Their 2017 findings, published in the journal Sleep Medicine, found that “acute morning exercise can improve nocturnal sleep quality in individuals with difficulty initiating sleep, especially during the later part of the night.”

There are benefits related to managing blood sugar, blood pressure and other vital signs too. Consult your health care provider about what kind of fitness activity is appropriate for you.

So, here’s how I get my butt out of the bed and onto the yoga mat morning after morning

Recently, I was headed to the pharmacy for a prescription refill and decided, since I was out, to go to the gym too. This wasn’t in the morning. It was late afternoon. But I’d been thinking about how much happier, calmer and more energized I feel on the infrequent days I get exercise in before work.

Movement is medicine, isn’t it?

I grabbed the empty prescription bottle off the nightstand. About to toss it in the can, I spotted a roll of masking tape I had lying around and had a better idea. I covered the pharmacy label with the masking tape. I went and got a Sharpie, then I wrote “Rx: One a.m. yoga flow” on the bottle. I put my new “medication” back on the nightstand. This took me like twenty seconds and cost maybe a couple pennies worth of tape.

Now, I’ve got endless excuses for skipping exercise in the morning, but what excuse do I have for taking one medication when I wake up, then leaving a second prescription vial untouched? You’ve read about habit stacking, right?

So, I’m not “working out” in the morning –just taking meds. And how much time does that take? Notice the “dose” on the vial was only one yoga flow. It’s a few poses I hold for 10 seconds each and they take me less than ten minutes. Later in the day, I might take a walk, go to the fitness center or even do more yoga. But this small measure of morning movement makes a big difference.

I keep the yoga mat near the bed. I just shake off the covers, go pee, take the pill from vial number one with a little water. Then I open the “yoga” vial, do the poses in my PJs, sip some more water and close that second container. It ain’t crazy if it works, Hon.

Try habit stacking with your favorite exercise or another habit you’d like to maintain!


What motivates you to stick to a fitness routine? Share your thoughts in the comments below. 

Follow Article Topics: Health