It’s a great way to jump-start your day and boost energy, and research shows a.m. exercise helps you sleep more soundly at night—all good reasons to get to it in the morning. We already shared with you How to Become a Morning Exerciser. Now, here are some tips to make it even easier to make your a.m. spin class or meet your friends for a walk and still get to work on time. (Hint: it’s all about the prep work the night before.)
1. Set out your workout and work clothes.
And make sure you have everything down to your exercise socks, sports bra and hair bands out and ready so you’re not scrambling in the morning. Do the same for what you plan to wear to work, so you can shave off time spent staring into your closet or ripping apart your drawer for a pair of un-ripped hose.
2. Gather your gear.
Put your spin shoes or sneakers by the front door, along with anything else you need before you head out: Water bottle, charged iPod, gym membership card, even your car keys.
3. Set a hurry-up alarm.
This one rings about five minutes before you have to be out the door to exercise; that way you know if you need to pick up the pace while getting ready.
4. Prep your coffee maker.
If your machine has a timer, set it to start brewing a few minutes before you wake up—the smell will help entice you out of bed. For standard pots, measure out the water and grinds the night before, so all you have to do is plug it in.
5. Have breakfast—and lunch—ready.
Fruit and low-fat yogurt or peanut butter on a slice of whole grain toast make great grab-and-go breakfasts to fuel you up before exercise. And if you typically bring lunch to work, pack it the night before to save time in the morning. If time is of the essence, you might find some relief relying on Nutrisystem’s top rated foods, like the Harvest Nut Bar for breakfast and Grilled Chicken Sandwich for lunch.