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By Jenna Wolfe

Working out first thing — before work or family demands pile up — makes it much more likely you’ll actually stick to a morning routine. 

If you are the type of person who hits the snooze button a half dozen times before getting out of bed, I know this can seem impossible. But I promise you: Dragging yourself out of bed is infinitely easier than dragging yourself to a gym after a long day of stressful work. Plus, getting that workout out of the way in the morning means you get to go to happy hour, shopping or whatever you feel like doing in those precious hours between work and bedtime.

Okay. So how do you get to it? You may never fully become an early bird, but these tips will make that morning workout easier to get to. 

Get set the night before. Eliminate decision-making by setting out your workout clothes the night before so you’re not searching for a pair of socks in the morning. Fill your water bottle and keep it in the fridge. The most motivating tip: Set your coffee on a timer so you wake up to the smell of freshly brewed java. Nothing better!

Make it a gradual change. If you usually roll out of bed at 7 a.m., don’t try for a 5:30 a.m. class right away. In fact, forget the class altogether at first. Set your alarm 15 or 20 minutes early (hit the hay that much earlier, too!) and start with a DVD you can do at home. Try that for about a week and then gradually get up earlier until you can make that 5:30 class. 

Shout it from the rooftops…or at least on your social networks. Tell others you’re trying a new workout this week and watch the support come rolling in. Knowing people are rooting for you to succeed can make it all worthwhile.

Be patient! Give yourself time to adjust and you will find yourself looking forward to those morning workouts. 

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