Healthy Benefits of an Early Morning Workout
Consistency is your best friend when it comes to getting a good workout in!
Everyone is different. The “perfect time” depends on personal preference, lifestyle, and body type. While there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer, early AM sweat sessions have their perks. Morning Workouts
Checking it off your list before the day starts (with a good attitude)
First of all, checking off a sweat first thing in the morning means you get it over with before your day even starts. That means you’ll begin your day with a better attitude. Thanks, endorphins! Also, knowing that your workout is done is a huge accomplishment. You can carry this “token” with you all day long, especially knowing most people won’t accomplish this goal all day). What an ego boost!
Furthermore, you won’t worry about getting in a (sometimes half-hearted) gym session later that day. This can be a huge relief, leaving more time for family games, dinner, or plain relaxing.
When you first pop up, you’re not worried about your to-do list and are less likely to receive phone calls, emails, and texts. Without people’ bugging’ you, you’re more likely to follow through with your fitness routine.
And they say that the early bird catches the worm, which is true. Especially if you’re a little birdy looking for a “delicious reward.” Avoid distractions while on the hunt for your reward with an AM workout.
Beat the (Texas) heat
Summers can be brutal here, even late into fall. If you avoid working out in the hottest part of the day, it will make you feel more comfortable. Outdoor activities, like jogging the green belt with your favorite four-legged friend, should be done early to beat the Texas heat. And you’ll still get some healthy vitamin D.
Make healthier food choices
An early morning sweat session could mean making healthier food choices throughout the day.
In a study mentioned in Nature.com, 2,680 college students crushed a 15-week exercise program where each week involved three 30-minute cardio sessions. Students weren’t asked to make changes to their diet. Those who stuck with the plan made better choices, like eating fewer fried foods and red meat. Could it be your body telling you it would like healthier food and nutritional support?
Alert! Alert! Become more alert
Match your body’s natural hormone fluctuations by working out early. Cortisol, known as the stress hormone, keeps the body awake and alert! When the body is stressed (in a good way), it increases the heart rate and energy. Typically, cortisol gets the body pumping in the morning and drops off in the evening.
Your body might be more primed to exercise around this time should you have a healthy circadian rhythm. When the heart becomes alert, the heart rate will speed up to help get blood flowing to essential organs of the body for proper functioning.
Bonus tip: A happy, healthy heart tends to beat around 60 to 100 times per minute in adults when resting. However, this number will increase due to exercise. To measure your exercise intensity, you can calculate your maximum heart rate by subtracting your age from 220. For example, if you’re 38 years old, subtract 38 from 220 to get a maximum heart rate of 182. This is the number your heart should be beating during exercise.
Better focus to get things done
No matter when you do it, getting physical stimulates the mind and increases focus. If you find it difficult to stay on task during the day, grabbing a morning workout could be your all-natural cup of coffee. Beyond that, morning exercise improves focus and mental abilities all day long. Your mind will be sharp and ready to tackle whatever comes to hand.
Physical activity melts stress away! Why is that? When you exercise, the brain rewards you with “feel good” neurotransmitters known as endorphins. For example, some people experience less anxiety, elevated mood, and sometimes a feeling of euphoria after a good workout. This is the concept behind a runner’s high. This “high” comes with any type of exercise program that pushes you to your body’s best abilities during a workout, even yoga.
Support weight loss
As soon as you wake up, your stomach is starving for nutrients. However, if you can wait to eat, it might help you achieve your weight loss goals.
Working out first thing in the morning helps the body tap into its fat reserves for fuel instead of burning off your slack or last meal. Most people refer to aerobic activity (or any activity to get your heart pumping) on an empty stomach is known as fasted cardio. This program is especially appealing to those seeking weight loss if the main goal of the routine is to burn more fat.
Please, don’t forget to drink plenty of water!
As a general concept, exercise helps regulate your appetite by reducing the hunger hormone known as ghrelin. It may increase other hormones, like peptide YY and glucagon-like peptide-1 to assist in appetite control as well. However, if you work out in the morning it’s a possibility that it may control your appetite even further.
Increased overall activity
Pubmed suggests early morning workouts may inspire more movement throughout the day. Participants who chose a 45-minute morning walk showed an increase in physical activity over the next 24 hours. If you are trying to live life more active all day, morning exercise may be the key!
A good night’s rest may be achievable via an early morning workout. In this study by Appalachian State University, adults got a better night of sleep after they exercised at 7 a.m. Participants spent more time in deep sleep and experienced fewer nighttime awakenings. These sleep-related perks may be due to light exposure early in the day, increasing melatonin levels at night.
The “Right” Place for You
From improved sleep to an overall increase in activity, exercising has its benefits! Early exercise can help start your day with more energy, focus, and boost your mood. Plus, after a morning workout, you’re more likely to stay active and eat healthier all day long.
AM workouts do have a lot of perks, but note there isn’t a “right” time to exercise. Choose a time that you can commit to for the long run. Some of our favorite Williamson County workout spots can be found in our directory. Please feel free to stop by.