8 Great Reasons to Exercise First Thing in the Morning
Although exercise is profoundly beneficial no matter what time of day you choose to do it, morning exercise rules!
- It begins the day on a positive "healthy" note that can set the tone for the rest of the day.
- It provides an opportunity to tackle and fully complete an activity critical for your health that allows you to begin the day with an immediate sense of accomplishment and empowerment.
- It increases the chances that you will choose a healthier breakfast. Afterall who wants to negate the benefits of a morning exercise routine by following it up with a donut or pastry?
- It provides an immediate boost in mood and cheerfulness that studies show can last up to 12 hours. (Stand outside the doorway of a gym and watch all the smiling faces upon exit.)
- It primes the brain for learning and enhances focus in the first 1 to 2 hours post-exercise. (Always plan your most cognitively challenging daily activities in the period just after exercise.)
- It enhances your sleep. Studies show that regular morning exercise improves sleep patterns. In contrast, late afternoon and evening exercise can interfere with sleep onset.
- Because there are significantly less "competing" events or activities in the earliest parts of the day, morning exercise is easier to build in as a consistent, daily habit. Studies show that early morning exercisers have the best long-term success in maintaining fitness.
- It provides a transient increase (up to 5 hours) in metabolic rate that can help you burn off some of your breakfast and lunch calories.