Many of us would probably enjoy mornings if they could just start a little later. However for many of us, the morning is often the only time to exercise before work, kids, and/or life happens.
So as summer sets in and the days become longer, what are the advantages to working out first thing?
A Metabolism Boost
There is a phenomenon called Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC), which fitness experts have known about for years. There are several things to understand about EPOC, but the main takeaway as it relates to morning fitness routines is that your body actually burns calories after a workout thus stimulating your metabolism and kicking your body into gear for the day.
Develop Consistency and Discipline
At first jumping out of bed even earlier than usual can be difficult. However, when you will yourself to do it, it becomes easier over time and you start to develop self-discipline. Perhaps the discipline you achieve from your morning workout routine will spill over into other areas of your life.
It's also easier to establish a consistent routine when you work out in the mornings. Throughout the day, you lose motivation, distractions occur, enticing offers come up, and life just happens. All of a sudden, it’s 9:00 pm and you’re exhausted. This happens to everyone! But, when you’re dedicated to exercising each morning, before you do anything, you’re much less likely to skip out on a session.
Boosting Your Energy and Mental Clarity
The best, all-natural stimulant you can give to your body each morning is exercise! There is a notion that exercise can actually tire you out, and while it may feel this way during and immediately after a long session, exercising actually produces energy in your body at a cellular level.
To get this energy boost – you don’t have to over-do it. Even 5 minutes of high-intensity movement each morning can boost cognitive function, so get out of bed and get cranking!
The notion that if you want better sleep, then you need to wake up earlier can seem a little counter-intuitive. The latest research though shows that early morning exercisers sleep longer and sleep deeper.
Conversely, high-intensity workout before sleep can hurt sleep quality as your body's temperature has been boosted and your body has been stimulated as it tries to wind down.
Improve Your Mood
Aside from the feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment that comes with finishing off a workout first thing, certain types of workouts release endorphins, which can give you a tangible mood boost. This feel-good hormone boost generally comes with more intense workouts, but remember – there are plenty of reasons to be happy and confident after a 15-20 minute morning workout.