5 Tips for Exercising in the Morning

5 Tips for Exercising In the Morning - Josie Feather Blog

Confession time: I used to truly hate working out in the morning. I used to only run in the afternoons or at night. I was tired, grouchy, and ran about as fast as a baby sloth before 10am. On the rare occasion I would attempt a morning workout I would spend the whole time thinking about how terrible it was.

When I went back to work full time and essentially had no choice but to workout in the morning, I knew I would have to suck it up and just do it. Can I just be real? It sucked, for a while. My body did not acclimate quickly at all. I’d say it was almost a full two months of getting up and going to the gym every weekday morning before I finally started to be okay with it. It’s hard to believe that now I vastly prefer early AM workouts!

If you’re thinking about switching out your PM workouts for the morning, here’s a few tips and tricks I’ve figured out along the way that hopefully will make your transition a little easier:


So I actually have free access to a gym at work. I don’t have to pay a cent and I could literally walk right from the gym to our photo studio. It would save a lot of time and money to just use that gym (and ya’ll know I’m a cheapskate so you’d think I would) - but I hate it. It’s small, which means limited machines that people are always fighting over, the showers in the locker room are always out of hot water, it’s at the top of a building which means its about a thousand degrees and a million percent humidity, and on top of that you’re working out with people you work with (which just feels weird to me, but maybe I’m crazy). I spend more time and money driving out to my gym, but the experience it so much better, which makes getting up at the crack of dawn just a little easier. So don’t fight it - if your gym situation is truly making you unhappy, try something new until you find a good fit.

Also, tons of people aren’t gym people (I actually used to not be, but have since come to love it!) and that’s cool! Whether it’s working out at home, taking classes, or going for a run outside, figure out what’s the best situation for you. There is so no size fits all, and sometimes it take a little trial and error to figure out what works for you!


Seriously guys, you can’t let yourself snooze if you’re going to stay on track. On days I wake up and truly am just not feeling up to hitting the gym I reset my alarm and go back to sleep. If you’re going, you need to just do it. Here’s the secret trick - don’t let yourself think about it. Your brain can be a jerk who just wants to complain in the morning, so sometimes you just gotta get ahead of it. Yes, it’s borderline painful for about the first 5 minutes, but once you get past that it usually gets a lot easier, and just remember that the sooner you get past those 5 minutes the easier it’ll get. Also, have you ever actually felt better with 7 minutes of extra sleep? No! Typically I just feel more groggy the more I snooze, so forget the snooze button and just go!


There’s nothing worse then walking into the gym at 5:30 in the morning and having no idea what you’re doing. I originally got started by doing a LSF 30 day challenge, so I knew exactly what I was doing (usually a little cardio, followed by grabbing a mat and doing that day’s challenge). I actually didn’t have a program for a few months after that, and while I still got things done, I still found myself wandering aimlessly on more then one occasion. Now I’m week 10 into the BBG program and am so happy I committed to it. Having a plan laid out for me every day has helped me so much! If you prefer classes then sit down at the beginning of the week and schedule them all out in advance - you’ll thank yourself later!


This is a tired tip that everyone will give you, but that’s for good reason - It’s really is one of the most important things. I don’t know about you, but my brain is not functioning at 5am, so to expect myself to be able to get everything I need together (or even just to pick out clothes) would be cruel. I lay everything (and I mean everything) out the night before. I even try to put anything I can already in the car. This makes it a lot less painful when I’m feeling particularly zombie-eque some mornings.


I can be mean to myself. Like, really mean. When I switched to morning workouts I really had to commit myself to stop being negative in my own head. Instead of thinking about how much slower I was running in the morning, I would congratulate myself for getting through a run - no matter what speed it was at. I also had to ditch all negative talk when I was at the gym. Instead of getting annoyed someone was on the machine I wanted, I would just turn around and find a different one, no grumbling about it to myself. This little change in internal attitude can make the biggest difference. Ban all negative talk when you’re at the gym - if you’re there, then you’re already killing it!

Getting up early to workout may never be super duper fun, but there are a lot of ways to take some of the pain out of it. Make the morning as easy as you can for yourself. Have everything ready to go, schedule a workout class you love, and tell yourself the night before that you’re going to have a great morning.

5 Habits I'm Glad I Stuck With

5 Habits Im Glad I Stuck With - Josie Feather Blog

Photo by Samantha Jay Photography

I am all about them habits. Seriously, building positive habits into my life has been the ultimate game-changer for me. When I look back on who I used to be, struggling to get anything done even with 10x more free hours in the day then I have now, I feel a little bad for that girl. She was doing her best, she just couldn’t figure out how to pull it together. Days started late, focus was impossible, and energy was non existent. Committing myself to building positive habits has totally flipped all of that. Don’t get me wrong, most of these were incredibly hard to get past the stage of my brain screaming “I don’t want to do this!”. The struggle was real, but it sure as hell was worth it.

5am Wake Up

Okay, okay, I know I’m already about to loose you here, but hang on for a minute. Sometimes desperation breeds good things. Last year I transitioned back to a 9-5 after working freelance for a year. I was heading back to a full time gig with a nice long commute and I knew I didn’t want to revert to how I’d been in the past, letting work and driving be my entire life. I knew I wanted to keep my nights set aside to spend with my husband, so there was just not a lot of options to fit in time for myself and my own goals. I went from waking up between 8-9am everyday to waking up at 5am and am honestly so glad I did.

If you think you’re “not a morning person” and are already tired waking up later, so why would you wake up earlier? Well so did I, but now I’m eating those words and am not even mad about it. I actually just finished reading “The Miracle Morning” and found myself really relating to a lot of his sentiments about early wake up calls and making the most of that time - I would highly recommend it if you are thinking about becoming an early riser too (plus then you don’t have to listen to me ramble on about it:).

Daily Exercise

You knew it was coming! Making exercise a daily habit was incredibly hard, but the most important habit I’ve built so far. Getting my blood flowing and focusing on my movement every day has really helped me fight depression, gain more energy, and build confidence. It’s also my dedicated “me time”, and I’ve come to really appreciate having that! I won’t prattle on (mostly since I already did that here) but seriously, I know you may think you aren’t a work out person, that you hate gyms, and that you’d rather do anything besides exercise, but I promise that it is worth the those first few painful months to make it a habit.

AM Workouts

This is essentially the baby of the two habits above, but I feel like it needs it’s own little section because I used to truly, deeply, and profoundly hate working out in the mornings. I avoided it at all costs. You can ask my poor husband who had to listen to me complain about it daily for at least two months before I finally learned to love it. I was an incredibly slow runner in the morning, and it felt like every move was agony, but when I went back to my 9-5 I knew night workouts weren’t something I could keep up consistently. So I did it, even though I absolutely hated it. And then I kept doing it. Then I noticed I felt better throughout the day and loved being able to check such a big thing off of my to do list before I even got to work.

Working out in the morning also has the major benefit of being hard to back out of. If you wait until later in the day it’s easy to talk yourself out of it, or find a million excuses. As soon as I wake up I throw on my gym clothes and am basically out the door, so it’s a lot harder to talk myself out of it since my brain isn’t even on yet.

If you’re a PM exerciser and trying to switch to AM my biggest piece of advice is to be kind to yourself. Your run times may be slower, but just give yourself a big gold star and a pat on the back for getting it done!

Audio Books

And now for something completely different. I spend 2+ hours in the car every week day, and usually a good chunk even on the weekends, so I have all this car time that, for years, I really didn’t know what to do with. I would actually re-listen to podcasts a lot. I always had struggled with getting into audio books. I really struggled with finding narrators I could stand to listen to for 6+ hours. I wrote them off as “not for me”, but then one day I got really bored and decided I needed to use all of this car time smarter.

Honestly, this one has been difficult at times. I’m still really picky about narrators (just this morning I turned off a book 2 minutes in because of the narrator), and generally like to stick to non-fiction since I’m driving and don’t want to get too caught up in a fiction world (I’m crazy, I know). I also like to try and keep costs down so I try to find as many through the Libby library app, but that often means having to wait for holds. I try to spend just 5 minutes a week going through available audiobooks from the library and placing holds on anything that looks good so that I constantly have new holds coming in after I’m finishing other books. The best part about using the library is that I don’t feel guilty if I don’t like a narrator and decide to skip the book altogether!

The reason that I’m so glad I’ve made listening to audio books a habit is that I’ve listened to so many life changing books in the last year that I know I wouldn’t have gotten through if I had to try and find time during the rest of my life. Utilizing that driving time has been one of the best things I’ve done for myself recently!


When I was a teen I used to scribble in my journal every night. What started as an english assignment easily became a habit I loved and that helped me a lot. When I started to get paranoid that someone was reading my journals I stopped altogether. Ever since then it was a struggle to get myself to write. I would buy myself a nice notebook, write in it for two days, and then never touch it again. Even on my blog I would avoid writing more then a paragraph or two, mostly just about style and other easy things.

The beginning of this year I put my foot down. I knew writing was something I always loved and I needed to get back to, so I made a goal of writing every day, even if it was just jotting some thoughts down in my phones notepad app. Not only have I really enjoyed sharing my writing on the blog now, I also have gotten back to daily journaling as part of my morning routine. Getting my brain moving and having a space to release some of my trapped thoughts has really helped me let go of things just a little easier.

Overall I think building positive self-growth habits into your daily life is something we should all strive for. I really struggled with all of these things, but I took them one at a time, and one day at a time, and once I got through that painful adjustment period I found myself wondering how in the heck I had made it this far in life without them!