Want better sleep, mental clarity, improved mood and more energy?
Then rise and shine with these 10 benefits of morning workouts.
Getting enough exercise is a cause of concern for many of us.
Daily commutes, work pressures, deadlines, family life, evening activities…it’s no wonder most are too exhausted to hit the gym at the end of the day.
The benefits of morning workouts.
Rolling out of bed into my gym shoes has revolutionized my life, transformed my health and energy, and allows me to achieve more.
It wasn’t without its challenges at first.
But once mastered, it holds the key to a new way of living.
And while you’re hitting the gym, lifting weights or pounding the treadmill, you’re certainly in good company…
Wisdom from Titans.
Star Buck’s Howard Schultz, Barack Obama, Disney’s Bob Iger, all rise insanely early and make morning workouts a part of their daily routine.
“Routine, in an intelligent man, is a sign of ambition.” – W. H. Auden
Tony Robbins recommends morning workouts as an integral part of his ‘Hour of Power’ – that time of the day you schedule to give yourself the gift of exercise.
Here’s what the founder of Virgin has to say:
“No matter where I am in the world, I try to routinely wake up at around 5am. By rising early, I’m able to do some exercise and spend time with my family, which puts me in a great mind frame before getting down to business.”
Likewise, one reads about ‘Neural Wake Up Calls’ in Arnold Schwarzenegger’s best-selling book ‘Total Recall’.
Cultivating high-energy habits is what gives these Titans the edge over the masses to accomplish more and inspire others to succeed.Schedule a time each morning to give yourself the gift of exerciseClick To Tweet
My Morning Workout.
Most mornings, I’ll begin with a walk.
I start out gently and then pick up the pace. Sometimes I feel a little stiff in the morning…this helps me to loosen up.
(A hot shower can also work wonders for softening overnight muscles stiffness).
When I arrive back home, I’m thoroughly warmed up and ready to move onto something more vigorous.
Next, I’ll mix n match between cardio, strength training or yoga.
The goal is to really get the blood pumping and become quite breathless.
Now many of you may be thinking, “But I don’t have time to exercise in the mornings”.
And I’m here to tell you otherwise…
If you have only 10 minutes, you can lay the groundwork for a successful day.
Everyone can find 10 minutes. Surely!
And after reading about the benefits of morning workouts, I hope you will too.
10 Benefits of Morning Workouts.
1. Burn 20% More Fat.
According to research from Northumbria University and published online in the British Journal of Nutrition, people can burn up to 20% more body fat by exercising in the morning on an empty stomach.
The potential to burn more fat is a sentiment echoed by Robert Ferguson, M.S., C.N. founder and CEO of Diet Free Life, LLC:
“Your muscles don’t have much sugar to draw from so you are more likely to tap into your stored energy, which means releasing and burning what I refer to as surplus fat,”
However, what is very exciting news are the additional findings from Gonzalez and Stevenson:
“Our results show that exercise does not increase your appetite, hunger or food consumption later in the day and to get the most out of your session it may be optimal to perform this after an overnight fast.”
2. Mental Clarity.
The case for exercise is most often linked to its physical benefits.
However, morning workouts are nature’s caffeine and provide a java-like-jolt to those groggy morning blues.
The effects of this morning kick-start will stay with you for most of the day.
While your colleagues are hitting the mid-afternoon slump, your mental clarity will remain crystal clear.
3. You’ll Reach Your Goals.
Most of us have our priorities backward.
It seems we toil on what matters the least, rather than on our most important asset: ourselves.
Therefore, start your day with a morning workout and you’ll reach your health and fitness goals easily and quickly.
How many times have you promised yourself to workout after work?
How many times have you kept that promise?
My point exactly.
4. Improved Productivity.
On May 17, 2014, Admiral William H. McRaven, a retired Navy SEAL, addressed the graduating class of the University of Texas on their Commencement day.
His speech went viral.
Building on this success, the Admiral wrote a #1 New York Times Bestseller: “Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life…And Maybe the World”.
Now, if making your bed can have such a profound effect on your life (and potentially change the world), imagine the power of morning workouts (after you’ve straightened out those covers and plumped your pillows, of course).
You can watch the Admiral here:
5. Sense of Accomplishment.
Similarly, morning workouts will give you tremendous pride in yourself.
Bragging rights at the office anyone?
You’ll feel truly great, dare I say, smug, knowing you’ve achieved something so worthwhile before your days begun.
My friend Kurt, has long practised morning workouts.
Here’s how he describes it:
“I know of no other parallel to rival the sheer power inherent in morning workouts. Some folks read the broadsheets over their morning cereal, for others, it’s CNN in the background. But this is all just white noise. I ALWAYS accomplish more in my day, when I exercise before I do anything else. Save your media fix till after you’ve worked out. If it’s important, someone will tell you anyway!”
Related: How to Lose Weight After 40
6. Better Diet.
According to a journal published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information,
“A bout of MV exercise decreases neurologically determined food motivation”.
In plain English, this means that those participants who followed a moderate to vigorous exercise program were less tempted by images of food as the control group.
If this is true, then exercising in the morning is the perfect way to keep you on the straight and narrow for lunch and dinner.
7. Enhanced Mood.
Known as the ‘runner’s high’, exercise boosts endorphins.
A study conducted by researchers at the University of Bristol found that people who exercised daily had more energy and a more positive outlook, which are both critical for getting things done.
Furthermore, getting your body moving for as little as 10 minutes releases GABA, a neurotransmitter that soothes your brain and provides impulse control.
This means you’ll not only feel fabulous, but you’ll respond to people that day very differently.
8. Refreshed and Youthful Appearance.
Ever wondered why smokers’ skin becomes wrinkled?
Nicotine reduces blood flow for up to 8 hours. Skin becomes oxygen starved and withers.
Exercise increases blood flow, which carries more oxygen to the skin, giving you a healthy post-workout glow.
Furthermore, exercise in general, will turn back time, keeping you looking young.
9. Better Sleep.
Morning workouts may be nature’s caffeine, yet paradoxically, exercise is also nature’s Valerian.
According to the National Sleep Foundation: “People sleep significantly better and feel more alert during the day if they get at least 150 minutes of exercise a week, a new study concludes”.
This translates to only 20 minutes a day, adding further weight to the disproportional benefits of exercise.
Related: 11 Yoga Poses for Weight Loss
10. Boosts Metabolism.
Research from the British Journal of Nutrition confirmed what most of us already know…exercise boosts metabolism.
Not all exercise is created equal:
According to the American Council on exercise, your metabolism stays elevated for as much as 24 hours after you finish exercising.
It gets better:
You can 2x these benefits with strength training, which can boost your metabolism for up to 24 – 48 hours afterwards!
Clearly, the intensity of the exercise plays a role.
The more intense…the longer your body takes to repair.
And the longer it takes to repair; the longer your metabolism remains elevated.
How to Stay Motivated.
Trekking to the gym in the cold and dark can be an arduous task.
And if you’re new to exercise in general, the prospect can be even more daunting.
Because of the time lapse between sowing and reaping. To bridge it requires a high degree of mental energy.
So, here’s the best motivation I’ve ever been able to find:
Research has shown that if you exercise every day for 6 months…you’ll exercise for the rest of your life.
How cool is that?
The study shows that it becomes so tied into your nervous system, that you become so conditioned and rewarded, that your nervous system will keep on pulling you back to exercise.
If You’ve Never Exercised Before…Start Slowly.
Firstly, push yourselves to about a 7 on the effort scale.
The goal is not to kill yourself, but also not to dog it.
Pushing yourself to 10, and you’ll only burn out…making your body acidic and releasing stress hormones.
Pretty soon, you’ll be going to bed looking forward to your morning workout.
You’ll be bringing the best of you to the table, not recovering from it at the end of the day.
So don’t just try to fit morning workouts into your schedule, build your schedule around morning workouts!
Put this in first and build everything off it. If you put it in first, you will always do it.Don’t try to fit morning workouts into your schedule, build your schedule around morning workouts!Click To Tweet
Even if you can spare only 10 or 15 minutes, morning workouts are simple acts…with powerful consequences.
As always, thanks for reading and I hope you found this post helpful.
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