Help with your fitness routine.

Do you have trouble sticking with a fitness routine, even if you want to lose weight or improve your muscle tone? We’ve all been there. Incorporating a fitness routine into your lifestyle is a big adjustment, and one that requires commitment and patience.

I’ve tried working out in the morning and evenings, and find that a morning routine works best for me, because at the end of the day I’m tired and will find excuses to stay home instead of going to the gym. When I start my day with a workout however, I have more energy and alertness, which helps me feel more productive during the day and get a more restful sleep at night.

If you want to try a morning workout routine but have trouble sticking to it, try these five rituals:

Wake up at the same time each day.

This is key, even on weekends. When your body has a natural wake-up time, you tend to sleep better, too. When you wake up at the same time each day, you know your schedule and how long it takes to workout, shower and drive to work, so it helps you better plan your day to incorporate that workout. (Try to get at least six to seven hours of sleep for optimal health, too.)

Drink water with lemon.

I can’t stress enough how important it is to hydrate before and after you work out, and especially to drink water first thing in the morning to get your body going. When you add a little lemon juice, it becomes alkaline in your body and calms your digestive tract so you don’t feel sick or bloated when you workout.

Stretch and meditate.

It’s important to warm up your muscles before your morning workout. When you sleep, your muscles contract and tighten, so warming up helps to loosen them and prevent injury in the long run. Plus, it feels good to stretch out your muscles and close your eyes for a few minutes of calm, to center and prepare yourself for the work of the day.

Track your progress.

There’s nothing that feels better for a consistent workout routine than tracking your progress. And by that I mean keeping track of how far and how long you run each day and over time, how many days you work out each week, what types of workouts you do, and how your body is changing and growing stronger. There are so many apps to help you keep on top of these things, and you can reward yourself when you reach personal goals.

Download your favorite podcast or playlist.

There’s nothing more motivating than looking forward to some quality time with your iPod or phone, listening to your favorite podcast or music playlist. This is crucial when you have a workout routine to keep your mental state occupied so you can better focus on your body. Plus, you can enjoy something you love while you work out!