If you were to take a poll of ten people you know and trust, asking them when they most prefer to work out, it’s pretty likely that way more than half of them would NOT say they love to exercise in the morning.
Though it does take some time to getting used to, and you might have to fight with the snooze button a bit more than you usually would, there are numerous benefits to the mind and body that come from a good old-fashioned morning workout.
Here are 5 great reasons to make the switch immediately:
Less chance of skipping morning workout
This one’s pretty simple: Jump on your exercise equipment in the morning, before the remains of the day come about and throw a wrench into your workout plans.
Whether it’s something with the kids, the boss asking you to work late, or a myriad of other issues cropping up; you really can’t predict what’s coming most of the time. Not to mention, if you’re not feeling like working out when you wake up, your brain will pester you with excuses why you can skip today’s workout for the rest of the day.
Quicker muscle building and recovery
Testosterone builds strength and muscle in both men and women. More testosterone leads to better protein synthesis and improved use of other critical hormones like insulin. Insulin is only bested by testosterone when it comes to anabolism and recovery in the body post-exercise.
Testosterone and insulin levels are both at their peak soon after waking, as metabolic needs are highest in the human body in the morning. As the day wears on, testosterone levels drop in both sexes, leading to less optimal recovery after your workouts.
Increased focus after workout
There have been many studies performed testing the link between exercise and improved concentration and learning ability. The benefits to your day moving on into the afternoon and evening should be obvious if you do anything that requires using your brain throughout the day!
Not only have such studies shown a significant link to post exercise concentration and memory, but scientists have also discovered that this short-term benefit may lead to a reduction in the occurrence of cognitive diseases like Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
The effects that exercise has on metabolism happen regardless of what time you workout. However, by working out at an intensity greater than 70% of your Vo2 max for 20 minutes or more can result in higher metabolic output for up to 24 hours after your workout (learn more). This means your body will burn more calories even if your workday involves sitting at a desk or standing still most of the time.
While the calorie burn isn’t insanely high during this post-exercise period, the extra 80 – 100 calories your body uses during this period can really add up over the course of a few months.
Reduced stress at work
Exercise releases what are often referred to as “feel good hormones” into the bloodstream. These endorphins can stop stress before it even gets started, by putting you in a happier, more centered mood that will allow you to deal with whatever hurdles might come your way at work.
By reducing stress overall, exercise can also prevent or improve the instance of depression, improving self-esteem, and making you more pleasant to work with and productive at your job.
There are a number of other benefits to working out in the morning including improved sleep quality and up to a 10% reduction in overall blood pressure throughout the day.
While these and other reasons may not be enough to entirely convince you to get out of the bed a bit earlier, or to skip your morning newspaper in favor of an intense bout of sweating first thing; maybe it’s time to give morning workouts a trial run and see how much better you feel (and look) after 30 days?