There are plenty of benefits to doing so, including a recent study proving individuals who worked out before noon on average lost more weight than those hitting the gym after 3 p.m.
If you’re an early riser, you might consider adding your workout routine to the top of your day’s to-do list. Whether it’s running, swimming, weightlifting, or dancing, when you get your blood flowing and endorphins going, you’re guaranteed to start your day off right.
Plus, when you fully commit to a workout routine, you’ll find you feel energized, happier, and healthier — all perks you get when you stop hitting snooze five times in a row. Morning exercise, in particular, is found to increase energy, lower blood pressure, and help individuals make healthier eating choices.
Below, find out all the reasons your body will thank you for hitting the gym in the AM, not PM.
The Top Benefits of Working Out in the Morning
With many people working from home, it’s a lot easier to roll out of bed and head straight to the living room “gym” for an at-home workout. It’s perfect since there’s no commute and no excuses to skip working out!
But, for those of you who aren’t early morning risers, it’s understandable that a morning workout isn’t your thing. But if you’re looking to start your day off with more enthusiasm, energy, and eagerness, it may be worth it to skip snooze for a sweat session.
Here are some of the best reasons to sweat early in the day:
- Sets the mood for a healthier day - If you start your day with a sweat session, you might feel inspired to continue healthy choices throughout the day. A 2018 study in the International Journal of Obesity monitored over 2,000 college students involved in a 15-week exercise program. While participants weren’t asked to change their eating habits, the ones who stuck to the workout plan ended up eating healthier anyway.
- Increased energy - Regular exercise has been proven to boost energy and minimize fatigue. Working out moves oxygen to your heart and lungs, giving your body overall more oxygen as your cardiovascular system works. Plus, it releases endorphins to raise your energy level, which may sustain you throughout the whole day.
- Reduced stress - Because getting your heart rate up releases endorphins, you can expect to feel good. If you’re feeling like a ball of nerves before a big presentation or just dealing with general work stress, consider a workout prior to heading into the office.
- Ensures it gets done - When you check off your workout first thing in the morning, you’re making it a priority to get physical activity in. Workouts can be the first to-do list item to continuously get moved to tomorrow because you run out of time to get it done. Plus, there’s always a long list of excuses — too tired, worked late, the gym closed early, etc. It also helps boost your confidence because you’ve completed a hard activity early in the day!
- Increased focus - If you need to get hyper-focused for a work meeting or make important decisions, a morning workout could help you do it. In 2019, the British Journal of Sports Medicine published a study showing morning exercise improves attention, visual learning, and decision-making skills.
- Better shut-eye - Have issues sleeping? Consider getting in an early morning workout to sleep better later on that night. One study found that adults who exercised at 7 a.m. got better sleep and more deep sleep. It also took less time to hit ZZZland.
- Lowered blood pressure - For overweight individuals, a morning exercise routine may be the answer to get blood pressure number in the normal range. Combining morning exercise with short walking breaks was found to control blood pressure, according to a study published in the American Heart Association’s Hypertension Treadmill walking in particular for 30 minutes in the morning lowered blood pressure over an eight-hour day.
Morning vs. Evening Workouts
Can’t be convinced to be a morning person? An evening workout is still better than no workout at all. Whatever time makes you excited to get out and exercise, that’s the time to do it. Both time frames have their perks: A morning routine may give you a burst of energy to tackle the day; later in the day, your muscles may be more flexible to take on a workout. If you want to enjoy your workout, doing it at a time when you’re less likely to begrudge it is the best time. So, morning or evening — choose what’s best for you!
Tips for Working Out in the Morning
Rising with the sun and roosters doesn’t come naturally for everyone. If you can relate, consider these tips for getting motivated to reap the benefits of morning workouts.
Sleep in your workout clothes - Sometimes it’s about removing the barriers that get in the way. If you truly want to make morning workouts a habit, cut out anything that might prevent you from creating the habit. That may just mean your workout clothes double as pajamas.
Be realistic - If you’ve never been a morning person, don’t kid yourself into thinking it’s going to be a cakewalk to wake up earlier and fit in an intense first-day-up-early workout! Start out slow and steady and maybe even slowly get your body used to waking up earlier by setting your alarm clock 15 minutes earlier for several days in a row before gradually getting up 45 minutes or an hour earlier.
Get to sleep earlier - If you’re waking up earlier to get that workout in, ensure you’re still getting enough shut-eye. Most adults need at least seven hours of sleep to function properly. If you’re waking up an hour earlier, get to bed an hour earlier to catch quality ZZZs.
Give it time to stick - This goes back to being realistic. Don’t expect to love early mornings combined with gym sessions if you never have. Remind yourself that it’s a new habit and while new habits can be tough, you can do hard things.
Preprogram your coffee maker - Motivate yourself with a cup of coffee to get going. Take advantage of your coffee or espresso maker’s timer setting so your caffeine is brewing and awaiting. Plus, coffee has great health perks, including cutting down on post-workout pains!
Find an accountability buddy - If you don’t trust yourself to get up and get sweating, find another person who is willing to dedicate mornings to workouts. An accountability partner offers motivation and encouragement for those days you’d rather just stay under the covers.
Countdown from five - Launch yourself out of bed after a brief countdown. Motivational speaker Mel Robbins recommends counting backward from five and then physically moving your body to action. This tricks your brain into getting going, even if you aren’t feeling ready.
Buy a package of fitness classes - Sometimes investing money is the perfect incentive to get in shape. If you hate losing out on money, consider purchasing non-refundable classes at a boutique gym or an online platform to motivate yourself to rise and shine.
Get excited about breakfast - When you workout hard, you need the post-workout fuel to keep your body going. Think about what breakfast will give you a protein and carb mix that’s also healthy. An omelet with spinach and egg whites or overnight oats and a side of Greek yogurt are great options to consider!
Check Out Inspiring Workout Content
Exercise requires more than a little motivation. It takes dedication, commitment, and a willingness to get past temporary discomforts. Sometimes, it takes a dose of inspiration.
Need a little extra inspiration? Check out our workout content below:
- 6 Amazing Benefits of Morning Exercise
- Transform Your Walk into a Full-Body Workout
- 5 Simple Life Hacks to Make Time for Exercise
- Workout at Home With No Equipment With These 10 Exercises
Stay tuned to our Employee Wellness Blog for updated content that regularly includes articles on working out and staying in shape!
Are you a morning workout person? If so, leave your favorite tips on how to become a morning exerciser down below!