People who exercise in the mornings rave about the positive benefits of morning exercise compared to working out later in the day.
- Exercising improves blood flow to the brain. It gives you a more alert mind—helping you become more energized and more focused. The sense of accomplishment from a morning workout puts you in a better frame of mind, and you’ll feel mentally prepared to tackle the day’s challenges.
- Exercise is shown to intensify the body’s metabolic rate for four to eight hours. If you work out in the morning, the resulting metabolism boost can last all through the most productive part of your day.
- There’s some evidence that habits tend to establish more quickly if pursued in the mornings. The concentration of cortisol, the body’s primary stress hormone, is highest soon after you get up in the morning. Waking up earlier in the morning strengthens the body’s cortisol awakening response. One study proposed that cortisol blocks the prefrontal cortex in the brain, suggesting that consistent morning behavior is more likely to become habitual.
- After slogging all day, your willpower to spend an hour at the gym peters out. Moreover, the more time you have to think, the more time you’ll have to come up with “justifications” for ducking out of a workout later in the day.
- Waiting until later in the day to exercise also increases the likelihood that something will crop up and impede your plan. If you can be disciplined enough to go to bed sooner and wake up a little earlier, you can get a workout done before any distractions can emerge.
Idea for Impact: Could the benefits of a regular morning workout be worth sacrificing a few more minutes in a warm, cozy bed?