If you are just beginning a workout programme or are able to adjust your current schedule to accommodate the morning hours, you might want to consider getting up an hour earlier and sweating it out before you get on with your day. The physical and mental benefits are endless and once you make it a habit, you will look forward to getting out of bed and starting your day this way.
Benefits of a morning workout:
1. You'll start your day with a revved-up metabolism
The benefits of exercising in the morning linger throughout the day as you continue to burn calories even after the workout is done.
2. Improve your physical and mental energy
Studies have shown that exercise significantly increases mental sharpness, so if you work out in the morning, you take advantage of this extra alertness and focus, for the rest of the day.
3. Less crowded and more space
Gyms and the outdoors are usually less crowded during the morning hours because people want to get in and out ASAP.
4. You really don't need to wake up that much earlier
If you work out at home or outdoors by running, walking, or biking, sometimes all you need is an extra 30-45 minutes in the morning to get your exercise in.
5. Fewer scheduling conflicts
Think about how many times you forgo your workout later in the day because you keep thinking about all of the other things you need to do. Exercising in the morning eliminates the excuses.
6. Better food choices during the day
People who exercise in the morning tend to make healthier choices throughout the day to complement the hard work they've already done.
7. Better Sleep
Studies have shown that people who get up early for regular exercise sleep better than those who work out at night. Exercise at night stimulates your body and makes it more difficult to fall asleep.
8. A sense of accomplishment
Getting up and working out not only makes you feel better physically, it also gives you that extra boost of confidence knowing that you got it done.
Tips to make it happen:
1. Lay your exercise clothes out the night before and have a light snack ready to go next to the bathroom sink.
2. Plan ahead for the next day. Have your work clothes, food for the day, and other essentials ready to go so you don't waste time in the morning getting it done.
3. Schedule a workout partner to meet you (or call/text) either at the gym or at your house each morning; accountability is a strong motivator.
4. Keep your alarm clock away from your bed so you have to get up to turn it off.
5. Get up and exercise no matter what. Even if you're not feeling it, get up and go. Often times it only takes about 15 minutes to get into a groove and once you do you'll feel so much better.
6. Sleep in your workout clothes (it does work for some).
Morning workouts have proven to be the most effective for developing a routine. So if you want to exercise on a regular basis, the odds are in your favour to get up and get moving.
Sara Lindburg has a B.S. in Exercise Science and an M.Ed. in Counselling. A 41-year-old wife, mother, and full-time secondary school counsellor, she combines 20-plus years' experience in the fitness and counselling fields and she has found her passion in inspiring other women to be the best version of themselves on her Facebook page, FitMom. Her inspiration for writing comes from her 6-year-old son, Cooper, and 8-year-old daughter, Hanna. Follow Sara on twitter.