If you’re not a morning person then I just ask that you read this with an open mind. Maybe it sounds impossible for you to actually enjoy a wake-up-workout-out start to your day, but I once thought that too and now I can’t imagine life any other way.
An early morning workout offers numerous benefits, both to your health and to your daily schedule, that exercising at other times of the day just can’t provide.
Yes, you will have be disciplined to wake up early. And yes, you have to be focused on achieving an effective workout, not just go through the paces in a zombie-like state.
It just takes a little time and practice before morning exercise becomes your habit.
One way to easily do this, without strain or pain, is to add a regimen to your shower time.
Need some convincing on why this is worth the extra effort? Let’s take a closer look at some of the benefits of exercising early in the morning.
1. Morning Workouts Enhance Your Metabolism
Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumptions (EPOC) is a buzz word in the fitness industry. Basically it means that your body burns more calories after your workout, even when you’re sitting at a desk or driving in your car. One study showed that participants burned an extra 190 calories in the 14 hours after exercise when compared to those who didn’t exercise at all!
This works perfectly with a morning exercise routine. Get up, get moving, pump up your metabolism and then start eating.
2. A Good Morning Workout Routine Will Help Cultivate Consistency
Working out in the morning ensures that you don’t interrupt your workout schedule with other daily items that can seem more pressing. For example, if you exercise in the evening you run the risk of being late from work, feeling overloaded with errands that must be done, or saddled with other unexpected to-do items. There goes your workout.
First thing in the morning is the time of day when you’re least-likely to have something “just come up”. This is the time to establish consistent exercise.
3. Morning Exercise Improves Your Physical and Mental Energy
Movement can be a tremendous source of energy, something many of us need when we start our day. But beyond that, morning exercise has been shown to improve focus and mental abilities all day long. Not only will you feel awake and have more energy after your workout, but your mind will be ready to take on whatever tasks you have lined up that day.
Research based on a Stanford-designed test of cognitive performance has measured the effectiveness of exercise to “wake up” the mind, and the results show that it does a better job than coffee.
4. Early Morning Workouts Help You Develop Strong Self-Discipline
I don’t think anyone will argue with me when I say that waking up early in the morning to exercise enhances your personal discipline. Just like any habit, developing the discipline to get up and exercise in the morning only gets easier with time.
Perhaps more importantly, this discipline is likely to spill over into other areas of your life. After all, if you’re going to such lengths to exercise each morning, pairing that work with healthier eating, as an example, only makes sense.
5. A Morning Exercise Routine Will Help You Get Better Sleep
Waking up early in the morning to exercise will in turn help you sleep better. Your body will enjoy a healthy sense of fatigue at the end of the day and will be ready to sleep. Say goodbye to the tossing and turning that comes when your body is restless!
Morning exercise not only improves the length of sleep you will enjoy, but also your quality of sleep by promoting deeper sleep cycles.
Evening exercise can actually have the opposite effect. Exercise is a form of stress, and your body reacts to stress by releasing hormones including adrenaline. Would you take a shot of adrenaline and then expect to fall asleep soon after? (I didn’t think so)
So, while it might not seem enjoyable to get out of the bed to exercise, you can be sure that it is worth it. Aside from all the benefits that come with being healthier, your brain is literally going to its “happy place” when you exercise.