It’s been said that the early bird gets the worm. I’m no fan of worms, but I am an early bird. I’ve mostly found it easy to wake up at the crack of dawn whether it’s for work or for an early gym session. While there are many studies that will support working out in the afternoon as an optimal time to exercise, it’s hard to ignore the benefits of getting up early and sweating it out. Personally, I have found early morning exercise to be the best shot of energy I can ask for. My productivity has increased and my mood has greatly improved inspire of daily stresses like traffic and other inconveniences.
It can help keep cravings at bay. A study made by Brigham Young University followed 35 women for two full days–18 who were average in weight and 17 who were clinically-obese women . On the first day, they exercised for 45 minutes by brisk-walking on a treadmill. After which, they were shown 240 photographs: 120 pictures were of food (the other 120 were a control image: flowers). Then they tracked the women’s food intake and activity level for the rest of the day. On the second day, about a week later, the women were shown the images without the workout in the morning, and their food and exercise choices were tracked. They found that both the obese women and the women at a healthy weight showed a lower brain response to the images of food and moved around (stayed active) more following the 45 minute morning workout.
It doesn’t get in the way of your day. This is pretty self-explanatory. I used to put my gym sessions later in my day around 4pm and I would go at it until 7pm. The problem I usually encountered was that I had less energy for an optimal workout, and/or I’ve had to cancel either a gym session or social function because they would be scheduled around the same time of day. When you get your workout done in the morning, it frees up the rest of your day for other things you want to or need to get done.
It helps you keep your schedule. Just as the previous paragraph talks about freeing up your day, working out regularly in the morning also helps you really keep that schedule. There is less of a chance you won’t stick to it if nothing else distracts you. It then becomes a habit you’ll find hard to break.
It gives you more energy. There have been countless studies that support this. Exercise increases your heart rate, gets your blood flowing; it delivers oxygen and nutrients throughout the body–muscles, organs, and your lungs and helps you become more productive due to the increase in energy. It gives you an extra pep in your step.
It gives your brain a boost. Your brain gets both short term and long term benefits from exercise. It can help improve memory recall and may, for some, even replace a caffeine fix in the morning! (I love my coffee, though, haha!)
Whether your choice of exercise is a shoreside or hillside run, treadmill time, or dancing to your favourite songs, the bottom line is to get moving and get your heart pumping. It all starts with the little things and you can build from there. Carving a new discipline in your day helps create a toughness within that enables you to stick to your goals in spite of what may get in the way.