You've been there. I've been there. That warm, cozy bed. The dark, cool morning air beckoning that you stay just a few minutes longer. You know that you can push that snooze button...twice. So, when that alarm sounds its annoyingly loud blare, you reach over to hit your old friend Mr. Snooze. So what, you'll miss your workout? Who cares about that when you get a few more minutes of sleep, glorious sleep? Well...before you hit that snooze button, twice, maybe you should consider the benefits of an early morning workout.
Before I get started on all the reasons I think a morning workout is ideal, let me say that I have not always worked out in the morning. And, I think that getting a workout in, whenever you can, is truly an amazing feat! So, please hear me when I say that it is more important THAT you do a workout, than WHEN you do your workout. However, if you're able, here are some compelling reasons to move your daily sweat sesh to the a.m.!
Exercise in general speeds up your metabolism while rest slows your metabolism. Morning workouts gets that metabolism fired up early in your day. When your workout contains a mix HIIT and Strength Training you will not only get your metabolism started, but you will burn calories well after your workout is complete, throughout the day (EPOC). Getting an early start helps to kickstart your metabolism and doing a an efficient/effective workout will keep that metabolism working well into the day.
Exercise helps to reduce anxiety levels, which generally helps you sleep better. However, exercise does release hormones that keep you alert and energized, which is great during the day. A morning workout allows those hormone levels sufficient time to return to an optimal state for sleep. People who workout in the morning not only fall asleep faster, but they sleep longer and deeper than those who don't. If you can't get your workout in in the morning, be sure to exercise at least 4 hours before bed, or you might find yourself struggling to fall asleep.
Recently there's been a good amount of research done regarding fasted training. Training early in the morning, means you can get a workout in before eating for the day. This means that your workouts will require your body to dig into its fat stores for energy, as opposed to burning off the glucose found in the body after a meal. No one wants to fast until 3pm, so getting your workout in can increase the weight loss benefits of your workout.
Energy, Focus and an Improved Mood for the Day
Like Elle Woods says, "Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don't kill their husbands. They just don't". Elle knew a thing or two about the energy and mood boosting effects of a good workout. Endorphins are the by-product of a great workout, and will increase your energy levels well into the afternoon hours. In addition, endorphins lift your mood, and a great workout will make it easier for you to focus throughout the day. More focus = more productivity. Who doesn't want to be more productive?
Your Will Power is Strongest in The Morning
Willpower is not limitless, and the more we use it throughout the day, the more we deplete it. You are much more likely to blow off a workout after work, especially if you've made several willpower decisions throughout the day. Getting your workout in every morning will take one decision off your plate, and ensure that you get your sweat on!
Are these reasons not compelling enough to get your booty out of bed a bit earlier? Why not do a little experiment?
I dare you to give morning workouts a try for one week. You don't have to workout for an hour, just get in a 20 minute workout (at home is just fine) with some weights and some intervals. After one week, you might just find yourself craving more early morning sweat sessions.