5 Reasons to Exercise in the Morning

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exerciseMost mornings seem rushed and chaotic. Between getting ready for work and kids off to school, it’s hard to fathom squeezing in 30 minutes to exercise… but that’s what I did and it feels great.

The key was going to bed earlier and waking up 30 minutes earlier. Initially,  I would set my phone alarm and place it on the other side of the room, so I was forced to get up. Once I was up, I just made my way downstairs and did a HIIT (High Intenisty Interval Training) program. At first it was tough, but as the weeks went by I began to feel more energized and it has become routine. Here are 5 reasons why you should exercise in the morning!

1. You will stick to it. When I used to try to exercise in the evening or in the afternoon, I often found an excuse to skip it. Sometimes I would spend the day dreading the squats to come. But morning exercise ensures that life’s distractions don’t interfere with your fitness goals.

2. You will eat better. I don’t know about you, but I always feel extra virtuous after working out. I am more apt to eat healthier knowing that I have worked my butt off. Research also shows that morning exercise curbs your daily calorie intake more than afternoon exercise.

3. You will sleep better. This is my favorite side-effect. Since starting the day earlier and having exercised, by 9:30 pm I am ready for a good night’s quality sleep. If you are working out in the afternoon or evening and are having trouble sleeping, you may want to consider switching it to mornings. Working out increases your alertness, warms up your body, and speeds up your metabolism – all fantastic things in the morning, but not what you want before bed. Most research, however, concludes that regular workouts in general will do wonders for your shuteye.

4. You will be in a better mood all day. The link between exercise and mood has definitely been established. It’s called the Exercise Effect. Research also shows that exercise can alleviate long-term depression. Even 5 minutes after your workout you’ll feel energized and ready to take on the day. Plus, daily movement is one of the best things you can do for your stress levels. Research even shows that people who find time to exercise tend to feel that they have a better work-life balance.

5. You will be smarter. Well, not really smarter, but it may seem that way. Research shows that exercise helps mental acuity. On average, this effect lasts 4 to 10 hours after exercising. Why waste that brain power when you are sleeping!

Photo from here, with thanks.

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May 2016
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