Top tips – benefits of morning exercise
What really is the best time to exercise? We hear and read so many different things suggesting different times of the day work better than others for exercise and fitness routines. Now although I am a firm believer that the best time of day to exercise is the one you actually do (honestly there is no use forcing a routine on yourself that simply does not fit with your lifestyle) there are simply superb benefits for seeing if morning exercise works with your lifestyle. Not only can it help enormously with motivation and commitment but it really can provide a whole host of benefits that can see you achieving great results. Here are my top 5 benefits for morning exercise:
1. KEEP IT HAPPENING
It can be challenging to keep it all going with everything we have to do in a day, by incorporating exercise into your morning routine, research shows us you are more likely to stay committed. Over 80% of people who exercise consistently do it in the morning. It’s a great way for many of us not to end up skipping it. You plan to work out, but your busy day throws a curveball, leaving you scrambling to finish your to-do list by bedtime. So instead of hitting the gym, you hit the sack – annoyed that you missed yet another workout.
2. METABOLISM MAKER
You roll out of bed, throw on some clothes and stumble out the door on your way to another busy day. Are you even awake yet? Your metabolism or what I like to call your idle speed certainly isn’t. Not only does morning exercise help you burn calories during the actual workout, but its effects linger after you’re finished. It’s called EPOC – excess post-exercise oxygen consumption – and it’s a fancy way of saying you burn extra calories even after your workout’s over. So by exercising in the morning you get to take advantage of this throughout the day and while it may not be much, every little bit really does count. It’s also a great opportunity to take the time to plan your day, focus on your goals and set yourself up for success.
3. SLEEP ENHANCER
Morning exercise really can help you at night. A study published in the scientific journal ‘Sleep’ showed that overweight or obese women who began a regular morning exercise routine slept better than those who exercised regularly in the evening. Why? Some forms of exercise performed in the evening can stimulate your body. You become restless and alert, making it very difficult for your brain to turn off and your body to drift into restful sleep. Exercise is like the ignition in your car – it turns your body on, not off, so morning exercise is a great way to start the day. If you do enjoy evening exercise or if that is the only practical time for you to complete it then choose options that help reduce stress, relax the body and unwind such as yoga, pilates or some weight training.
4. BRAIN BOOSTER
As surprising as we might find it, oxygen, not caffeine, is what your brain wants in the morning. So instead of reaching for the coffee pot, try reaching for your trainers and you’ll get all the brain-boosting benefits you need. Studies show that exercise can increase your mental sharpness for 4 to 10 hours after your workout, a benefit you can really use at the start of your day and your boss will thank you for it.
5. APPETITE MANAGER
Many people find that morning exercise has a tendency to regulate their appetite for the rest of the day. Not only do they eat less (since activity causes the release of endorphins, which in turn can diminish appetite), they also choose healthier portions of healthier foods. So rather than fighting against that afternoon cookie time craving, try exercising in the morning to help you manage your afternoon.
Visit the MEN’S HEALTH WEBSITE