Okay, well.. that’s kind of gross – maybe sweat isn’t the very first thing you want to smell upon waking.

But ask yourself these questions – does your 9-5 schedule have you down?

Are you tired enough by the end of the workday that plopping on the couch and watching TV until you crash sounds like the best option?

Maybe it’s time for you to adjust your schedule and exercise in the morning so there truly are NO EXCUSES for missing a workout. While evening workouts can be nice to burn off all the stress from the workday, it is much easier to skip out on them.

Does waking up for a 6:00 am boot camp sound absolutely insane to you? You’re not alone. But there are also plenty of women who wake up every day and do this. How? These steps will get you on a morning kick in no time!

Assess Your Sleep

If you have no problem sleeping like a rock, feel free to skip this part. If you tend to toss and turn, download an app like Sleep Cycle, which monitors your REM cycles and how many times you awake throughout the night. You can add notes such as whether you ate late, drank coffee that day, exercised, or had a stressful day. After five days and every day on, Sleep Cycle will give you a report of your sleep patterns. Take the time to figure out what keeps you from getting good quality sleep.

Reset Your Internal Clock

Calling all night owls! Some of us have just never had a reason to wake up before 8:00 am. This doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t, however. There are plenty of good reasons to wake up early in the morning – minimal traffic, the fresh smell, the dew on the grass, and the peace and quiet to name a few! Depending on the average amount of hours you generally sleep, set an alarm at night that will signal when it is time to slow down and get ready to hit the hay. For the first week or so, give yourself an extra hour or so because your body will need to adjust to falling asleep earlier.

Make Bedtime Just for Bed

Meaning: silence your phone, turn off your computer, and ease your mind. If you have a lot of things going on up there then do some yoga or quiet meditation, take a hot shower or bath, or write in a journal for 20 minutes before bed. Another great way to calm down is by reading a book. Whatever you choose, just make sure that at lights out, you room is quiet, dark, and cool to ensure the highest quality sleep.

Use an Effective Alarm

If you’ve been using the same alarm clock for years, chances are that you are so in tuned to it that you could press the snooze or shut it off and not even remember. Get a new alarm clock. Better yet, use your phone! This way, you can set two or three different alarms just in case you “accidentally” hit that snooze button on the first one. For added motivation, set a fast-paced song as the tone for your alarm to get your brain into workout mode. For even more wake-up help, leave your phone on the opposite side of the room and when you get up to turn off the alarm, do 50 jumping jacks and brush your teeth. You’ll be up!

Be Prepared

Have your workout clothes laid out the night before so you can throw them on in the morning and go. Making a smoothie or light shake the night before isn’t a terrible idea either – drink half before you go for energy and the other half after the workout for replenishing.

Appreciate The Morning

As mentioned earlier, there are plenty of awesome reasons to become a morning person. In addition, a.m. exercise will jump start your metabolism for hours so you continue to burn calories all day long, energize you for the workday, and increase your brainpower throughout the day so you can function more effectively on the job. All that just for waking up a couple hours earlier?

The best part is once it’s done, it’s done. You don’t have to worry all day about when you will fit in a workout and whether or not you will get to class on time. You just have to go home, eat a healthy dinner, and rest assured that you’ll be feeling great for swimsuit this time around!!