For many of us, a lack of motivation, as well as a lack of time, are why we do not get physically active. However, it is abundantly clear that, in order for our minds and bodies to operate at their prime level of functioning, we need regular physical activity. Our body, like the mind, is a use it or lose it type of organism. This does not mean abuse it, it just means use it.
It has been stated time and time again how even a small amount of regular physical activity is for good health. People who suffer from things like depression or extreme anxiety are often advised to get regular physical activity, in addition to the rest of their therapeutic treatment plan. Why? Exercise has been scientifically proven to reduce the effects of anxiety and depression, even if just by a small degree.
As we learn more about the body, we have found that not only does the type of exercise make a huge impact on the effectiveness of fitness efforts, that when you exercise can also have an impact. There is a growing body of evidence that supports the idea that you get the most out of your exercise if you do it first thing in the morning.
What follows are five good reasons that you should start doing your fitness routine as the sun comes up. Some of the reasons cited are physical, others are psychological, but all are important.
Free Prime Time Hours
Most of us know that feeling of constantly being pressed for time. And yet, may of us still try to find the time to exercise after work, during what are the prime time hours of our evenings. This time could be better spent with family and friends, doing enjoyable activities and winding down from a stressful day. When you work out in the morning, there are fewer scheduling conflicts and your schedule is left open during the time when your loved ones are most likely to be available and need you.
When we exercise when we first get up, we leave our evenings free to spend time with the kids, our loved ones, or our friends. It gives us the time we need to wind down and even pursue some sort of hobby. Research has also shown that by developing a morning exercise routine, you are more likely to stick with it in the long-term.
Increased Morning Focus
People who exercise in the morning often report that they have a much higher level of morning focus than they did when they did not exercise in the morning. They relied less on caffeinated substances like coffee and found that they had an easier time being alert first thing at work. Many also report that they are more productive when they workout in the morning.
While more research is necessary, this could be because working out in the morning primes the body for a day of activity in a much more profound way than a cup of coffee can. It gets your heart rate pumping and your metabolism up from the time you get up, also helping to enhance the results of your efforts. You are far less likely to suffer from a mid-morning slump in energy if you workout in the morning too.
Morning Hormones Primed for Building Muscle
When you exercise in the morning, you are taking advantage of hormones in your body that allow you to get the most out of your workout routine. Many hormones, such as the all-important hormone (when it comes to building muscle) testosterone, are at their highest levels in the morning. This means that you are working out during the time that your body can make the most of it. When our hormones are at their peak, as opposed to when they are flagging at the end of a long day, we will build more muscle and burn more fat. This is an important incentive to change the time when you get your exercise.
Morning Metabolism Boost
Morning exercise can provide us with a day-long metabolism boost. When we workout, we get our heart rate and pulse up and our metabolism also increases. The increased metabolic effect lasts hours after you’ve worked out. So when you work out in the morning, you are getting a spike in your metabolism that will linger a good portion of the day. Some even report that their appetite is more stable throughout the day, meaning that they snack less and eat healthier.
Better Cardiovascular Results
The reason for this is actually really simple. It is hormones such as adrenaline that, not only help increase your heart rate, but are what wakes you up in the morning. When you first get up, your adrenaline levels are at their naturally highest peak. This means your heart is already beating faster before you even begin to work out. This allows you to take advantage of physiology and get more from your daily exercise.
It is vitally important for us to get active if we want to stay healthy and fit. While there are as many different ways to stay active as there are personalities, there are a few “best practices” that it is helpful to know about. Exercising in the morning has shown to be the best time of day to devote to physical activity.
When you exercise in the morning, you have fewer scheduling conflicts and leave your valuable prime time hours open to your friends and loved ones, who deserve that time more than the treadmill. It’s also more likely that you will stick to your routine, long-term, if you develop a morning habit. Exercising in the morning jump starts your body in a number of different ways. You get a metabolism boost, and also increased levels of focus and clarity.
By exercising in the morning, you are taking advantage of the time when your body hormones are at their peak levels, meaning you get the most out of every move. It’s also been shown that working out in the morning actually gives you more cardio benefit than afternoon or evening exercising. These are just a few of the reasons to switch the time of your workout habit, you’ll be glad you did!