I’ve never been a health nut or even enjoy waking up early. I usually struggle during the day just to get out of the bed to start my day (especially in the winter). Despite that, I still wake up early to workout first thing in the morning to start up my day.
Exercising in the morning also means that I am much less likely to be distracted. I wake up, drink some water and get dressed to exercise. I haven’t started checking my emails or strolling through the news. I have literally spent a whole night unplugged from external situations and therefore I usually feel more refreshed and ready to start the day. Sometimes, things such as less motivation, being tired or just friends asking to hang out can impact your workout schedule. But if you put it for the first thing of the day, you can get it out of your busy schedule.
I wanted to really commit to a goal and improve myself physically. I knew that working out first thing in the morning would be a great idea as I could get pumped up for it and also get it out of the way. I always feel great after working out, so it’s great to start the day off with my mood boosted from the workout. Many studies have shown that exercise has the ability to help lower rates of depression. This is because when you exercise, the body releases chemicals that are called endorphins. The endorphins in your body interacts with your brain and reduce your pain receptors. Best thing is, any type of exercise can help. Endorphins are mostly known as our ‘happy hormones’, it is a great natural way to help reduce your stress and the level of cortisol in your system. This is quite important for those looking to lose weight as stress is something that is often attributed to weight gain. The trigger of endorphins also helps to release the dopamine inside your brain. In addition, exercise also helps increase concentrations of norepinephrine in your brain. It is a chemical in your brain that is responsible for modulating your stress response. By exercising, you get a chance to allow your body to practice dealing with stress. The systems that are involved with stress response will have to communicate more and therefore it will help you learn how to cope and response to stress more efficiently.
I like to exercise on an empty stomach in the morning. Studies have shown that this is the best way to burn stored fat, therefore it makes it ideal for weight loss. The hormonal composition in the body is set up to support working out in the morning. People generally have higher levels of cortisol and growth hormone, both of these are good for your metabolism. This leads to you drawing more energy from your fat reserves during fasted cardio.
I also tend to sleep better when I workout in the morning. According to the National Sleep Foundation, people who workout earlier usually sleep longer and experience a deeper sleep cycle. Regular morning exercise helps to tell your body to produce the hormone melatonin earlier in the evening. Although melatonin does not make you sleep, the increase in the evening helps signal your body to put you in a state of quiet wakefulness and therefore help promote you to sleep. When you exercise in the morning, you are most likely out and exposed to natural light, this helps kick start your brain and therefore you will release melatonin earlier in the evening. If you plan on getting the full benefits of a morning workout, it is ideal to head outdoors as the light from the sun activates the eye tissues that are sensitive to light and then it tells the body to produce melatonin earlier. This is one good way to help those who are trying to sleep earlier and wake up earlier.
In the end, despite the benefits, the real best workout is the one that you actually do. It’s more important than any opinion on what time you should do your workout. Ideally, it is a time that you can do consistently and therefore everybody’s schedules might be different. We need to consider that we all have different factors in life that will influence our schedule and ability to commit to a certain time.