Exercising at any time of the day is good for you, but did you know that the best time to exercise is in the morning?
Sure, it might be hard to drag yourself out of bed at the crack of dawn and break a sweat. But it has many scientifically proven benefits for your body all throughout the day.
Here are 8 key benefits of working out in the morning.
1. You’ll burn more fat
If you want to lose more weight, exercise first thing in the morning. Research shows that working out on an empty stomach burns up to 20% more fat. That means the best time to do your cardio is before breakfast.
So if you really want to get your body into gear, get up early and carry out some cardio. Running or cycling is a great way to start burning off the stubborn belly fat. You’ll also get to enjoy breakfast more, knowing that you’ve already kicked your body into fat-burning mode.
2. It boosts your metabolism for the rest of the day
Morning cardio doesn’t just burn more fat while you do it. It actually increases your metabolism for the rest of the day. That means your body will continue to burn off excess calories even after your workout.
In one study published in the Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise , subjects burnt an extra 37% of calories throughout the day, in addition to those burnt during exercise. Although this study was based on 45 minutes of exercise, a 20-25 minute HIIT run will get you similar results.
3. Exercising in the morning will help you perform better at your job
Everyone knows that exercise gives you plenty of physical benefits. But it can also benefit your brain. Many studies have found that exercise improves mental focus, concentration, and memory. That means you’ll perform much better in mental tasks.
Do your exercise first thing in the morning and you’ll kick your brain into gear for the rest of the day. Thanks to the increased blood flow to your brain, you’ll feel smarter, faster, and more mentally focused. This will help you in your job and anything else where you need to concentrate.
It can also help you if you’re older and retired. One recent study conducted by the University of Western Australia and the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute found that morning exercise mitigates the negative health impacts of sedentary behaviour (such as prolonged sitting) in people aged between 55 and 80.
4. Morning exercise helps you sleep better at night
Your morning exercise will help you all throughout the day. In fact, it’ll even help you at night.
One study published in the Journal of Sport and Health Science found that women slept better after exercising in the morning. Those who carried out 30 minutes of stretching or light cardio reported better, deeper sleep compared to those who exercised in the evening.
Researchers put this down to morning exercise setting the body’s clock. Exercising in the morning makes your body more energetic during the daytime and ready to rest at night.
5. Morning exercise promotes productivity
A good work ethic and the ability to keep to a schedule will benefit you in all aspects of your life. Sticking to consistent morning workouts can help you to develop these healthy habits.
The more you get out of bed and work out in the morning, the more your body will get used to it. Over time, you’ll notice how easy it is to get up, be active, and harness that energy for the rest of the day.
It’s a fantastic way to be more hard-working and productive (in addition to all the health benefits it’ll give you).
6. It’ll improve your mood for the rest of the day
Exercise has massive benefits for your mental health. Just 30 minutes of exercise can release enough endorphins to improve your mood drastically. Exercise can also reduce your stress and anxiety levels, as well as boost your self-esteem.
With all of these mental benefits, there’s no better time to exercise than in the morning. You’ll instantly feel more positive after a workout session, and your good mood can carry on all throughout the day. It’s a perfect way to start the day off right, even if you wake up on the wrong side of the bed.
7. You’ll have a healthier appetite
Some people might worry that exercising early on might make you too hungry, resulting in you eating everything in sight. However, it turns out that the opposite is true.
A study published in the Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise discovered that working out can make food less appealing. In the study, women who had taken part in moderate to vigorous exercise were actually found to crave food less.
What’s more, working out can also motivate you to eat healthier. You’ll be less inclined to ruin your progress in developing a healthier body by eating heaps of junk food.
8. You’ll reduce the risk of health problems
One of the main reasons many people exercise is to live a healthier life. Any kind of exercise will help, but it turns out that exercising in the morning can be particularly beneficial for reducing serious health risks.
One study published in the Journal of Hypertension found that just 30 minutes of exercise in the morning can help to reduce your blood pressure if you’re older and overweight or obese.
In addition, a Journal of Physiology study found that those who worked out before eating also had better insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance. These factors lower the risk of developing diabetes and are linked with better health overall.
The Bottom Line
Exercising in the morning will benefit you in many ways. Not only will you burn more fat and feel healthier, but you’ll also be more mentally focused, more motivated, and happier for the rest of the day.
All it takes is 20-45 minutes of physical activity in the morning. Whether you prefer a light jog or some heavy lifting, your workout will benefit you for the entire day. Get into the habit of doing it and it’ll benefit you for life.
It’s more important to exercise than ever, with a recent study by the World Health Organization showing that almost one-third of Australians don’t exercise enough. And a recent Australian study found that people who regularly do vigorous exercise are 13% less likely to die prematurely.
So what are you waiting for?