Habits of Fit People: Sleep in Your Workout Clothes

By , SparkPeople Blogger
You want to be a fit person, right? That's why I'm sharing my own habits for keeping fit and staying healthy in the ongoing Habits of Fit People series.

Here's one that works for me: Sleeping in my workout clothes. This is especially helpful this time of year, when it's darker and colder when I wake up to run in the morning.

I may not be a morning person, but I'm working on it. Two or three times a week, I like to run in the morning because I love getting it out of the way and having my evenings free. That's not so difficult in the spring or summer, when the sunlight wakes me up and the temperature is inviting. But during the fall and winter? Forget about it! Dark, dreary and cold mornings make want to stay in bed as long as possible. So to stick with my morning runs, I have to keep my workout on my mind—and my body—the night before. So does it really make a difference?

This accomplishes three tasks:
  • I get to sleep just a few minutes longer, which makes all the difference in how rested I feel—and how much sunlight is available when I run.

  • I stay warmer longer. No more stripping down and changing your clothes while you shiver in the morning! I find that it's a lot easier to leave my warm bed when I know I'm already dressed and ready to head out the door.

  • Getting dressed for your workout is half the battle sometimes. Now you already have your clothes on, so there are no more excuses!
Beyond these three benefits, getting ready the night before also means that I'm preparing—and committing—to my workout in advance, which helps keep me accountable. Instead of thinking "Maybe I'll run tomorrow if I feel like it when I wake up," I've already prepared and decided to do it.

I know that some people would find workout clothes uncomfortable to sleep in, so if you like the idea of this tip but think it's unrealistic for you, do what you can. Whether you only wear your workout socks or just your pants (to avoid wearing a tight sports bra all night long, for example), the more you can put on the night before, the more likely you'll be to head out the door on time, without making excuses. This works whether you're going outside, to the gym or even to your own living room to exercise.

I actually do sleep in my workout clothes, head to toe, the night before I run. Since I'm already getting ready for my workout the night before, I also lay out my running shoes (unlaced and ready to slip on), iPod and headphones, my outer layers of clothes (because let's face it, it's just plain weird to sleep in your coat and mittens), my Nike+ SportBand and a house key. It's sort of like packing your gym bag, but without the bag, so you don't have to scramble in the morning. It really helps me stick with my routine in the colder, darker months.

Have you ever slept in your exercise clothes to make it easier to work out the next morning? Did it work for you? Are you willing to try it?