Do you spring out of bed, touch your toes and throw on your running gear before your alarm’s even piped up? Or are you more likely to burrow further into your duvet with every touch of the snooze?
We have a confession to make. We mostly fall into the latter category. But despite our deepest desires to stay firmly glued to our mattresses, we’ve managed to find ways to do better in the mornings. We even get a good morning exercise class in before work.
Now we’re here to share with you, fellow snooze button slappers, our tips for morning motivation.
We’re not expecting you to be pounding the pavement before breakfast. We’re not telling you to be in a high octane HIIT class by 7:30am. But we think morning stretches, a glimpse of sunlight and a slight heart rate bump can set you up for the day. How? As well as upping energy and alertness, exercise can increase your likelihood of eating better [i], supports weight loss[ii] and could improve sleep[iii].
Our tips for morning exercise motivation
What is it they say? It takes 21 days to form a new habit? Well actually, that’s been debunked – it’s different for everyone but the average is actually 66 days [iv].
However long it really takes to turn an idea into a daily habit, the truth is that with each day that passes, getting out of bed and getting your exercise on will get easier. And with the right supports in place, it could even become something you look forward to.
With that in mind, here are our favourite ideas for making morning exercise your new favourite habit…
1. Exercise with a friend
Do you have a pal who’s annoyingly perky in the AM? Or maybe there’s a fellow lie-in fan just as keen as you to change their routine? Recruit that person as your exercise buddy right now!
Having someone to rely on (and who relies on you) can be all the motivation you need to get up and get those reps in. After all, they’re going to be knocking on your door in 5…4…3… and you can’t let them down.
Taking a walk, going for a swim or joining an exercise class with a friend doesn’t just give you that date you can’t miss. It could make exercising less painful too, with positive rewards like a stronger friendship and the opportunity for a gossip.
2. Make your pet your workout buddy
We don’t all have a friend who’s available enough to exercise with us. But many of us do have a dog.
If your morning routine currently consists of a quick morning poop ‘n scoop, why not expand that to a real walk? Or even a jog? We’re willing to bet that Rover won’t argue.
Getting out in nature is a brilliant way to start your day, and the burst of vitamin D the morning sun can give will set you on the right path for a happier, more positive you. Not just that, but you’ll burn calories and work those leg muscles as you walk too.
3. Get into a routine … and stick to it!
A good routine is a must if you’re to become one of those morning people we hear so much about. If you’re prone to grabbing the nearest items of clothing and shouting ‘where are my keys’ into the ether before grabbing a cereal bar on the way out of the door … well, you’re not making mornings easy.
Routine is important for motivation. Just try it. When you’re doing much the same every morning there’re no annoying surprises and nothing to trip you up on your way to starting your day off right. Once exercise is part of a routine, instead of an annoyance to be shoehorned into your morning, it’s so much easier to stick to.
How to get out of bed: rise and shine hacks
It can be hard to get out of bed in the morning. Especially in the winter months, when it’s cold and dark well beyond the time your alarm goes off. If you find it hard to crowbar your eyes open and peel the duvet off, there are a few little things you can do to make mornings easier on yourself…
1. Make morning time a treat
Think of that time before everyone else is up and demanding your attention as precious ‘me time’. Most of us don’t see much of that during our day to day.
This is the perfect time to whip the curtains open, indulge in a long shower, treat yourself to a quick chapter of your book or sit back and sip on a cup of tea before the excitement of the day begins. Yes, you want to fit exercise in before work or the school run but just a few extra minutes could help you to find the motivation you need to get out of bed and do that, day after day.
Perhaps a gourmet coffee made in a new cafetiere is enough to have you leaping out of bed. Or maybe a bowl of ready-made choc chip laden overnight oats does the trick. Find the thing that makes your morning feel more luxurious and treat yourself!
2. Prepare for an easy morning
There’s a lot to be said for getting your morning gear together. For one thing it saves on time, and for another it can minimise that classic morning stress.
Those ready-prepped brekkies are a great place to start. We also like having our gym bag packed and ready by the front door because, frankly, we’re far more likely to turn up to spin class without our cycling shorts if we leave it ‘til the morning.
Other handy ways to be well organised include preparing the next day’s outfit before bed and setting smartphone reminders for those jobs that need to be done before you leave the house. Think hanging out the washing or signing little Billy’s homework diary.
3. Make mornings more fun
Ever thought you’d hear of such a thing as a fun morning? It’s true! Mornings don’t have to be boring. And, in fact, keeping your mornings fresh and fun can make it all the easier to get out of bed.
The obvious solution here is to choose a fun-themed exercise to start your day. We’re thinking a dance off with a willing child, hula hooping in the garden, an energetic bounce on the trampoline or an 80s themed online aerobics class.
Need an injection of fun before you break a sweat? Build yourself a get up and go morning playlist (this should almost certainly include Kenny Loggins’s Danger Zone) and blast it while you brush your teeth and get dressed.
Stretch and sweat: ideas for easy morning workouts
You’ve managed to join the land of the living. You’ve even got some clothes on. So what’s the easiest morning exercise out there? Bearing in mind we don’t all have time for exercise classes at the local gym or leisure centre, we’ve picked some simple options closer to home:
1. Try bedroom yoga
Whether you want to ease yourself into the day or break a sweat before heading to the office, there’s a yoga routine to suit you. All you need is a bit of space and a mat. With thousands of yoga tutors uploading free online videos and subscription apps like Asana Rebel costing only a few pounds a month, practising yoga is affordable and accessible. It’s also a great workout for all ages [v] and fitness levels.
2. Take a brisk morning walk
Can’t stretch to gym membership or exercise classes? No worries! The best gym of all is free and right outside your door. City-bound or out in the sticks, wherever you live, there’s a walk for you. Take a few rounds of a local park, pound the pavements of your neighbourhood or explore a part of town you’d normally ignore. Just make sure you pick up the pace to get that blood pumping.
Sound boring? There are ways to make a power-stroll enticing. Load up an audiobook or podcast and listen as you walk or seek out a walking tour of your area. If you live in a city, enthusiasts will often create routes based on local history, architecture and hauntings. Apps like Go Jauntly, meanwhile, give you access to UK-wide walking trails of varying lengths.
3. Dance the sleep away
Looking for the best exercise to help silence the thoughts of snoozing? How about a boogie? The ultimate fun cardio, dancing your socks off breaks a sweat without boredom. The best bit? You can dance like nobody’s watching – all you need is a brilliant playlist and some space.
Getting your heart rate up and helping improve balance, strength and fitness, dancing could improve your mood too. Who hasn’t felt the power of shaking it off to an empowering song?
Need guidance? If you own a games console like the PlayStation or Xbox, invest in Just Dance. Featuring just about every pop ditty you can think of, from Monster Mash to Single Ladies, this weirdly wonderful, inclusive game challenges you to dance for fun, exercise and points.
Could your bed be affecting your morning motivation?
Tried everything but still struggling to heave yourself out of bed in the morning? The problem could be right in front of you.
Perhaps your room just isn’t conducive to a good night’s sleep. Maybe your bed isn’t allowing you the rest you thought it was. Or could it be that a fidgeting or snoring partner is causing nocturnal restlessness for you both?
1. Time for a new mattress?
An old or uncomfortable mattress can be a problem when it comes to getting a good night’s sleep. And if you don’t rest well, getting up in the morning can be really hard and your motivation to exercise becomes, well, non-existent.
The wrong choice of mattress can cause sleepless nights too. Luckily, we can help you select the all important right-for-you mattress with our sleeppro® system as well as providing a wide variety of mattress options to choose from, ranging from cutting edge memory foam to handcrafted and natural Artisan mattresses built by our exclusive partner Staples & Co.
2. Is sharing a bed keeping you awake?
Sleeping with a partner can easily disturb your sleep. This is especially true if your partner moves around a lot at night, takes up tonnes of space or makes more than their fair share of noise.
There are ways to combat issues like snoring, however there are also times when only a new mattress will help. For example, if roll together or motion transfer is a problem for one or both of you it’s probably time to upgrade. And if all else fails? There’s a lot to be said for choosing twin single beds.
3. Is your bed right for you?
How long have you had your current bed? Is it giving you the best night’s sleep for bright, motivated mornings? Or is it disturbing your peace? If you’re waking too groggy to bounce into the day it might be time to consider what’s important to you in a bed and look into some new options.
If getting up in the morning is a physical issue, it may even be time to consider the many benefits of an adjustable bed. Offering a surprising number of pluses for people of all ages, an adjustable bed could make both sleeping and getting up and out of your bed that bit more motivating.
4. Is your bedroom designed for rest?
It might be hard to believe, but even your room itself could be disturbing your sleep. From bedroom clutter to the wrong wallpaper or bad blinds, a busy, bright or messy room can make it harder to get to sleep and, in turn, tough to get up.
Keeping your room organised and serene is a must for a great sleep and a motivated morning. Meanwhile, the colours you choose for your bedroom décor can make the difference between a peaceful drift off and a night of tossing and turning. Even your choice of plants could make a difference.
How we can help with your rising and shining
See you on the corner for a jog at 6am tomorrow? Ok, so we can’t really be your morning exercise coaches. What we can do, however, is help to support you in a better rise and shine routine with products that’ll help you get a better night of restorative rest so you’ll leap out of bed ready to exercise your way into a new day.
From a leisurely stroll through the park with your pooch to a hill-heavy bike ride. From a gentle but challenging exercise class to a spin on the cross trainer. Whatever exercise gets you pumped and ready to face the day we’ve established that sleeping well the night before isn’t just helpful, it’s essential for motivation and wide awake energy.
In addition to top notch help and advice on choosing your bed, your way®, our knowledgeable and friendly team also have exciting tech at their fingertips. For example, our sleeppro® system can help you to find the ideal comfort level for your mattress, meaning that you go home with the bed that suits your sleep style. We’ll also help to organise finance if your wallet isn’t quite as in need of a workout as you are. Not only do we offer interest free credit beds and furniture, but we’ve also partnered with Klarna to help you spread the cost of your purchase over the short term.
New sprung mattress, new divan bed or new pillows, whatever it is that’ll make the difference to your routine, we’ve got you covered. So pop into your local Bensons for Bed store, browse our best products online or give us a call on 0808 144 6160 to place your order.
[v] The effects of yoga compared to active and inactive controls on physical function and health related quality of life in older adults- systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials - PMC (nih.gov)