Waking up early to exercise has many advantages.

Being active in the morning is a great way to begin your day and has all sorts of benefits that last all day, including improved mood and increased energy. Not to mention that “getting your workout out of the way” first thing in the morning lets you spend the rest of your day focused on other important things like work or family. Most people swear they can never be morning people, let alone do morning workouts, but the truth is that it isn’t nearly as difficult as it sounds!

Here are 7 ways to help you wake up early to for morning workouts:

1. Prepare the night before.

Some people like to sleep in their workout clothing, or you can lay out beside your bed. Put your shoes next to your bed. Have a workout bag with your water bottle, yoga mat, keys, etc. ready for you near the door. Make your morning as painless as you can so you can wake up and be out the door in the shortest amount of time possible.

2. Practice waking up earlier and earlier.

If waking up early to exercise is a far stretch from your current morning routine, you can begin my practicing simply waking up earlier. Start in 30 minute increments. If you usually wake up at 8:00 AM, try setting your alarm at 7:30 AM. Once you begin getting used to 7:30 AM, try 7:00 AM, etc. Your body will slowly but surely get used to your new routines until you reach your goal wake-up time.

3. Create a motivational environment to wake up to!

Create a morning workout playlist full of upbeat dance music. Take deep breaths and do a couple of stretches. Write down your favorite motivational quotes on a paper next to your bed (or if you’re really hardcore, your hand.) Keep your alarm clock on the loudest possible option and place it across the room where you have to walk to turn it off. Plan to do jumping jacks or your favorite Zumba moves to warm up as soon as you wake up. You can even step outside first thing after waking up to take couple deep breaths of cold, crisp morning air.

4. Create some workout accountability.

If you have a friend or someone who you know exercises early, ask them to keep you accountable. Text them the night before and morning of your workout. It’s a lot easier saying “no” to an alarm clock than to another person.

5. Reward yourself.

Set up a system to reward yourself every day or week you manage to wake up early to exercise. Let yourself get a pedicure or some new perfume after you’ve successfully woken up to exercise for an entire week. Let this be your motivation until waking up early to exercise becomes a habit!

6. Don’t eat heavily the night before.

While it’s always a good thing not to over-indulge during dinnertime, it can be especially important when planning to exercise the next morning. Large dinnertime meals can cause you to wake up still feeling full, sluggish, and unmotivated to exercise. The same goes for drinking alcohol the night before.

7. Make you sure you’re getting enough sleep!

If you’re up until 2:00 AM, it’s not going to be very easy for you to wake up at 6:00 or 7:00 AM to exercise. Start planning your days in a way where you accomplish everything that needs to be done earlier in the day as opposed to at night or before you go to sleep. Avoid sugar and caffeine later in the day. Turn off electronics and your lights if that’s what it takes to get you to bed earlier. Purchase some natural sleepy time tea to help aid you if you just can’t get to sleep as early as you’d like.