Morning Workout Benefits | Why You Should Exercise Early in the Day
Some like morning exercise before breakfast and some like it in the evening after work. Experts suggest working out when you can make the time for it because any amount of exercise is better than no exercise at all. 30 minutes of physical activity 3-4 times a week is enough for you to stay active. However, the benefits of early morning exercise are not a matter of opinion or choice.
Hectic work schedules and late working hours make working out quite difficult. When you get up just an hour before work, you strive to reach the office on time and then try to workout after office hours if you have the time and energy left. With morning workouts, however, you do not have to compromise your workout ever.
Health Benefits of Morning Workouts
- Early morning workouts improve metabolism
The body burns more calories after a workout even when you are stationed in front of your computer screen all day. This phenomenon is called Excess Post-Exercise Consumption (EPOC). According to a study, people who workout early in the morning can burn around 200 extra calories throughout the day by doing what they normally do as compared to those who do not workout in the morning. Having fasted through the night, when you workout first thing in the morning, your metabolism gets a boost, which leads to improved recovery and increased energy. Also, it is important to have a protein-rich meal after your workout, which is better for breakfast than for dinner.
- Morning exercise helps consume fewer calories
You might think (as many others do) that if you burn 400-500 calories early in the morning, you will feel like consuming more throughout the day. But research suggests that your body is able to identify just how much nutrition it needs if you workout first thing in the morning. Foods that appeal to you more than they should (because you slept late since you worked out late last evening) do not appeal to you after a morning workout. After a hearty breakfast after your workout, you are more likely to feel full and energetic until lunch time.
- Morning workouts help with consistency
Staying consistent with your routine is the most challenging aspect of exercise. Since it is highly unlikely that you will have to leave for work earlier than you usually do, it won’t interrupt your schedule in any way. For that matter, you may have to stay late to complete a client pitch or get stuck at a meeting, or go out for dinner and drinks while at work. This is impossible in the morning. Also, in the morning you have fewer distractions and no mental fatigue from having worked all day.
- Working out in the morning improves mental and physical energy
What if you did not have your morning coffee? Well, a morning workout can compensate for it quite well. And then you can have the coffee for breakfast anyway. Exercise gets the body going, which is exactly what we need in the morning. That’s not it though; morning exercise benefits your brain by improving focus and concentration thereby allowing you to make sound decisions through the day.
Early workout regulates the levels of cortisol – the stress hormone keeping you happy and productive.
- Morning exercise improves sleep pattern
Waking up early and working out facilitates better sleep. When we start our day late, we get tired mentally but not physically, which then postpones sleep. Inculcate a morning workout habit and you will fall asleep as soon as you hit the bed. You can say goodbye to the tossing and turning or broken sleep. Studies have proven that those who workout at 7 AM are more likely to sleep better than those who workout at 7 PM. It not only improves the duration but the quality of sleep as well. Working out later in the day has the opposite effect. When you workout, the body releases adrenaline, which makes you more active – something you don’t want towards the end of the day.
- Working out in the morning helps reach your fitness goals faster
To put it simply, you can make working out a priority by doing it in the morning. Whether you workout in the morning or the evening, you will have to make sacrifices, so why not choose the one that offers more health benefits? Instead of sleeping in till late, challenge yourself to get up early and go to bed accordingly. To do that, you have to want to workout, which won’t happen if you’re tired after work every day. Prepare for your workout at night – keep your workout clothes next to you and always try to wake up without an alarm. Working out in the morning, you will see better results and that will encourage you to stick to it. So, if you sacrifice extra sleep, make sure you’re getting something in return.