Most of us wake up to the smell of brewing coffee. It’s what gets our hearts pumping and our minds alert for the hectic day that lays ahead.
Did you know that there is something better that can do this and much more? Yes, there is actually something better than that morning cup of java.
Don’t believe me? Have a look at this.
But then the excuses start pouring in.
I’m not a morning person.
I’m so tired…
You have no idea how busy my schedule is!
Who has extra time in the morning, anyway?
Even if I did, I’d sleep in…
There is so much to be gained from morning workouts
Think of it this way. You are investing in your long-term health and fitness. So if you want to initiate change, it’s better to start sooner than later. And when it comes to your health, you need to take action today. You are not the only one taking an interest.
There are various exercises you can do. It all depends on what your goals are. Are you planning to:
- Lose weight
- Build muscle
- Get stronger
- Boost endurance/conditioning
- Improve athletic skills
- Increase joint flexibility
Whether you decide to exercise in the best gym in Nottingham or out in the garden, there’s no denying the numerous benefits you can attain from a morning workout. Here are just a few to get you motivated.
- Boost your metabolism
It’s common knowledge that you burn calories while you exercise. But did you know that you can continue to reap the rewards even after your workout ends? EPOC, Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumptions, is just that. It refers to the elevation in metabolism after an exercise session ends.
Research claims that a 60-minute session can elicit 165 calories over 7 hours and 35 minutes. It may not seem like a lot, but that’s the equivalent to a bag of chips or a vanilla latte at Starbucks. Or think of it this way, consuming an extra 165 calories each day could lead to almost 16 pounds of weight gain per year.
So with a morning workout, you can continue to burn calories throughout the day. Remember, EPOC is influenced more by the intensity than the duration of your workout. For instance, you can feel the effects of afterburn in circuit training, heavy resistance training, or high-intensity interval training more than running at a steady speed.
- Decreases fatigue
Feel tired in the morning and don’t have the energy to get out of bed?
Instead of using this as an excuse, exercise to boost your level of energy. Researchers at the University of Georgia stated that inactive people who complained of fatigue could increase energy by 20% and decrease fatigue by up to 65% by simply doing regular, low-intensity exercise. Increasing the heart rate gives you more get-up-and-go strength.
- Improves mental health
Not only will you feel more energized after a morning workout, but you will also feel more mentally alert. It helps to clear brain fog, allowing you to focus on tasks better.
But besides this, you’ll be more resilient to pressures at the office. Exercising helps reduce stress and anxiety. A study done at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health pointed out that running for 15 minutes or walking for an hour reduces the risk of depression by 26%.
- Makes you happier
Generally speaking, exercising can substantially improve a person’s mood. When you exercise, your body releases endorphins. Also known as the feel-good hormones, endorphins trigger a positive feeling in the body that calms you down. At the end of a workout, you’ll be in a significantly better emotional state.
What better way to begin the day! New York Times best-selling author, Gretchen Reynolds, stated in her book that 20 minutes is all you need to get the full happiness boost.
- Boosts general health
Many people complain of stiffness while getting out of bed. Exercising in the morning helps to warm up your muscles, and it is also a great way to improve flexibility and stamina. Moreover, it is an ideal way to combat various health conditions and diseases.
- Makes fitness a priority
Exercising in the morning helps to build a consistent routine. By getting your workout completed first thing in the morning, you are giving priority to your health before anything else.
For example, if you happen to be late from work, fitting in an evening session may become too demanding for your body. More often than not, you postpone it for the next day.
Above all, when you wake in the morning, you are making the extra effort to stay fit. And with this mindset, you are more likely to pay attention to what you eat. We all know diet and exercise both go hand in hand. With greater attention to improving the ‘self,’ you may even notice a change in the way you take care of your appearance.
- Encourages greater self-esteem
Once you begin to see the difference in yourself, you will realize the importance of self-worth. As you rise to the challenge of a morning workout, you will feel a sense of achievement. Moreover, you’ll feel more powerful about implementing a change in yourself.
- Sleep better at night
It’s been a long day, but you’ve enjoyed it wholeheartedly. With a healthy sense of fatigue at the end of your busy day, you’re ready for a good night’s sleep.
Surprisingly, morning exercise can help regulate your sleep patterns at night. People who exercise in the morning tend to have the deepest, longest sleep cycles. That’s because when you work out, your body also produces adrenaline. In the evening, this can make it harder to fall asleep more soundly.
Make morning exercise a habit
With an initial dose of discipline, you can create a new pattern in 30 days. Typically, a month is a good block of measurable time because it fits nicely on a calendar. Once you get into the routine of waking up to exercise, the habit will soon become automatic.
Remember to start slowly. 5-10 minute sessions three times a week is perfect. I mean, how hard can that be?
As you get comfortable with this routine, gradually increase the time and frequency. Also, consider the following tips to make it easier for you to incorporate early morning workouts:
- Pack your gear the night before
- Prepare a small nutritious breakfast pre-workout
- Create your playlist
- Partner up
Even if you are not a morning person, you need to have a positive mindset. Build up your motivation and commitment to making a difference.
Yes, you’ll have to discipline yourself to wake up a tad bit earlier. You may even find it frustrating for the first few days. But a little practice and dedication can get you on the road to better health and fitness in no time.
Ready to hit the gym?
Well, then it’s time to get out of bed!