Let’s face it, whatever helps you stick to an exercise routine is exactly you should do, whether that’s walking with a friend at lunchtime or hitting the treadmill after the kids go to bed. That said, there are several benefits to working out first thing in the morning. If you’re able to get up and get moving with the rising sun, the benefits may outweigh that early wake-up alarm.
Working out first thing in the morning does require a bit of extra planning. You’ll want to fuel up with a nutritious dinner the night before and turn in early enough to feel rested when the alarm rings. And since muscles and joints can feel tight after sleep, it’s important to do a thorough warm-up before launching into your workout. Here are five reasons to become a morning exerciser.
1. You’ll enhance your metabolism
You get benefits from exercising long after you’ve finished at the gym. One of those things in a boosted metabolism. Your metabolism includes all of the things that your body does to turn food into energy. Things you can’t control like age, sex or genes affect how fast or slow you metabolize. While exercising any time during the day will boost your metabolism, a morning workout will help you burn calories all day long.
2. You’ll burn more fat
While there are differing opinions on whether you should workout on an empty stomach, research shows you can burn up to 20 percent more body fat by exercising on an empty stomach. You will be burning calories from your fat storage as fuel and how much fat you burn depends on the amount of food you have eaten and how hard you workout. However, if you’re planning an intense workout, eat some carbs beforehand so that your blood sugar levels don’t drop too low and cause nausea or dizziness.
3, You’ll be less likely to skip your workout
There are fewer excuses to skip your morning workout. While end of day workouts can be disrupted by staying late at work, after-work errands, unexpected plans or an end of day lack of motivation, there is less to distract you in the early morning. You’ll be more consistent in your workouts and more likely to make exercise a regular habit.
4. You’ll be more productive at work
Exercise releases endorphins that improve your mood and energy levels. If you work out in the morning you can reap the benefits well into the afternoon. Exercise also increases the blood flow to your brain which can make you more aware and more focused on the task at hand. Even a moderate workout will boost your energy.
5. You’ll get better sleep
The National Sleep Foundation found that working out in the morning helps you with deeper sleep at night. Working out helps you fall and stay asleep easier. It also improves the quality of your sleep because it increases the amount of time you spend in the deepest part of your slumber.