Everyone has their own routine. Some of us are night owls, others wake early. When it comes to fitness, any routine which keeps you working out regularly is a fantastic start. It turns out that working out first thing has extra benefits. This guide to morning exercise explores some you might not have expected.
Those benefits are above and beyond the heart, weight, and tone wins that the exercise itself will bring. They involve more energy, effective fat burning and decreased appetite. Better still, getting into the morning workout habit is easy once you see how big of a boost you will get from it.
There are controversial points. Breakfast or no breakfast before working out tends to polarise views. The kind of workouts that work best in the AM depend on who you ask. And whether your morning workout is your only exercise… well, you’d be opening a can of worms asking some people this one!
Our busy lives frequently get in the way of working out. How many times have you gone to work with good intentions of hitting the gym afterwards, only for something urgent to crop up? Friends and family life can easily spoil your best laid plans.
With a morning workout, there are fewer distractions. In fact, if you avoid looking at your phone, emails, or social media before you work out – you can get the most important physical activity of the day done with a clear mind.
Once your routine is set, you can bounce out of bed, complete your treadmill, bike, or home weight training routines, and jump in the shower ready to start the day.
Working out at any time of day gives you a boost. I’m thinking of the short-term boost here. There is a longer-term overall boost of having a fit and healthy body too. If you work out in the evening, you’ll be already tired from the day (mentally, as well as physically). You will also have a shorter window to enjoy that boost.
Morning exercise has been proven to give you a boost that lasts the whole day. You can shake off the cobwebs of the night before and face the day with extra vigour. I’ll add a quick caveat to this. The first few times you work out in the morning, you might flag a little by mid-afternoon. This will soon pass. With a routine established, you will soon be facing the day with more natural energy, and a more positive outlook than ever before.
A workout before breakfast can do wonders for your weight loss. Without any carbs to burn, your muscles will use fat for energy instead. A small-scale study found that you can burn up to 20% more fat for the same amount of effort by working out after a fast.
There are huge benefits to intermittent fasting for your overall health. When you add a workout before you eat, these get an extra booster.
For people into resistance training / muscle gain, things are different. Here that extra effort in the last reps or heaviest weights is key to your gains. While anyone losing weight can benefit from resistance training, the overlap with muscle builders is small.
Without those distractions, you’ll be able to complete your morning workout, burn off that extra fat, then start your day with a smile.
Reducing food cravings is a massive help for everyone looking to lose weight. Medical studies have demonstrated a clear link between working out in the morning and lower cravings during the day. Think of it as a double boost. You get to burn fat more effectively, and then have less drive to replace your fat stores by snacking or overeating.
There are also shorter-term appetite suppressive effects of working out. When you exercise in the AM, you’ll be more likely to last until lunch – perfect if you are intermittent fasting or trying to cut down on calories by skipping / reducing breakfast.
Your brain will be just as big a beneficiary of your morning exercise routine as your body. The two go hand in hand. Fitness improves your mood, positivity, and happiness. When you have been unfit for a while and start working out – there are times when you wake up with a real spring in your step. This is that crossover point of physical and mental wellbeing.
Morning workouts give you a whole day of sharper thinking, general alertness, and a positive mindset. I can’t think of a better way to start a day and be prepared for whatever life throws at you!
More Popular Fitness Guides: