By Ben Smith, Lead Health Coach at Fitness Interactive Experience
The old adage, the early bird catches the worm, holds true for most endeavors, particularly exercising for your health.
Whether you’re struggling to start an exercise regimen or you’ve got one but you’re starting to “fall off the wagon”, you may benefit from working out first thing in the morning.
Here are 8 unique benefits to exercising in the morning:
1. Start the Day with a Win
No matter what the day throws at you, you’ll have the sense of accomplishment for having already completed your workout. The day has barely started and you’ve already won.
2. Mental Clarity at Work
You’ll arrive at work with a level of mental clarity that you may have never experienced at that time of day. No more groggy morning meetings where you pick up every fourth word. You’ll be “in the zone!”
3. You’re Less Likely to Skip Your Workout
If you make your workout the first priority of the day, the odds of you skipping the workout are greatly diminished. Training in the evening will always be problematic because things can and do come up unexpectedly. Training consistency is paramount and if your schedule is constantly in flux, you’re going to have a hard time being consistent.
4. Minimal Distractions
You know why the early bird gets the worm? Because all of the other birds are still asleep! The peak hours for most gyms are between 5:00-7:00pm, right around the time most people get off work. Evening workouts tend to turn into a social hour too. If you workout in the morning, you can get in and out of the gym with minimal distractions/interruptions.
5. Improved Mood
You’ll start your day reveling in your new found self-discipline knowing that you’ve accomplished a daily goal before most people have woken up.
6. You’re not in a Rush
No more frantic morning commutes because you woke up late. You’ll find that when you workout in the morning you can generally move at a smoother pace. You may even arrive at work early and be better prepared for the day.
7. Good Sleep
By the time it’s 9:00 or 10:00pm, you’ll be ready to go to sleep and will most likely get a restful night’s sleep. If you workout later in the evening, your body (autonomic nervous system) tends to stay in a sympathetic-dominant state (think adrenalin) which makes it more difficult to wind down.
8. Good Habits Breed Better Habits
As mentioned above, when you get up early to workout you’ll most likely get a better night’s sleep AND you may even start to adopt healthier dietary habits. Healthy habits have a tendency to multiply once you get in a routine. Before you know it, you’re down a few belt sizes and your friends and family start asking you what you’ve been doing.
Hopefully, I’ve convinced you to at least give the morning workout routine a shot. If I have, I encourage you to stick with it for a minimum of 6 weeks. If you don’t see dramatic changes in how you look and feel, let me know!