We’ve all heard the expression “the early bird catches the worm,” and that can ring true for your workout schedule, too.
Do you find it hard to squeeze in that gym session after a long day in the office? Many people plan to exercise in the evenings because that is when they feel it fits best in their schedules, but it actually might not be the best time.
Let’s face it, exercising at any time of day is better than skipping the gym altogether. However, there are certain benefits from getting in the habit of working out in the mornings.
Making time for that early-morning gym session can be a great way to start your day in a positive, productive way.
Check it off the List: First thing in the morning, you haven’t had a chance to have your day derailed by other responsibilities—late work meetings, spending time with your children, catching up on all of that laundry. Getting up and getting it done early, you can ensure that exercise is checked off your list each day, no matter what the rest of your day may bring. We very seldom have early-morning conflicts to disrupt exercising then.
Calm Your Mind: Exercise also releases endorphins (“feel good hormones”), that can help reduce stress and anxiety levels. When your day starts with a good workout, you can tackle the rest of the day in a calmer, better state of mind.
Lose Fat, Gain Muscle: Some researchers have found that fat breakdown happens when individuals exercise before breakfast. Getting in a workout before eating a meal helps to mimic a fasting state, and can help to kickstart weight loss. Studies have shown that you can burn as much as 20% more fat when exercising on an empty stomach, compared to working out post-meal.
Studies have also shown that when you wake up, the levels of testosterone in your body are at their highest for the day. This means that morning time is optimal for strength-training workouts, when your body is ready to build muscle.
Sleep Better: AM exercise may even lead to better sleep at night! Have you noticed that after working out at night, you come home feeling charged up and have trouble settling down to go to sleep? Working out boosts your body temperature and energizes your body. This can make falling asleep soon afterwards more difficult. Alternately, shifting to morning workouts can help lead to longer, higher quality sleep at night.
At the end of the day, as long as you are exercising, you’re doing something right, no matter what time. The fact of the matter is, very few actually have an established, consistent workout routine. Life gets in the way, and pushing our gym sessions to the end of the day when we “might have time,” doesn’t help.
Try waking up an hour earlier in the mornings and doing some form of exercise. If it’s a brisk walk outside or a quick 30-minute yoga session, there is no better way to start the day than by moving your body.
Do you exercise in the mornings or later in the evening? Let us know in the comments!