— By Jane Grates & Sandip Roy
Ask anyone, just about anyone, and they’ll tell you how important exercise is for our health.
Our mothers have been telling us our whole lives that we should go outside and play. Our physicians are telling us that moving our bodies every day will make us feel well and keep most diseases at bay.
Even the popular media has made it so well known that there’s a whole line of clothing — athleisure — that somehow makes wearing workout clothes all the time fashionable, even if you’re not actually working out at that present moment. By the way, the Merriam-Webster dictionary defines athleisure as “casual clothing designed to be worn both for exercising and for general use.”
Why Won’t You Exercise?
Despite the fact that we are well-aware of how important regular physical activity is for both our physical and mental health, we, and millions like us, still do not do it. We regularly turn our noses up at the advice of our mothers and doctors.
When asked why, we’re ready with our laundry list of excuses — not enough time, no interest in exercising, don’t like sweating, hate being out of breath, makes me feel tired. And, perhaps the best excuse we have in our arsenal is a counter-question: Then why do those who regularly exercise get diseases?
The real reason we do not exercise regularly is that we find it immediately uncomfortable. Exercising pushes us out of our zones of comfort — out of our temperature regulated, air-purified, perfect indoors.
In fact, we have made our living conditions so comfortable that we have a hard time moving out of there.
It’s really not quite bizarre then, when after a near-lifetime of inactivity, we end up being diagnosed with some pretty serious chronic diseases — as depression, high blood pressure, and diabetes. And then we wallop in self-pity and wonder how those horrible maladies came to torment us!
But to begin with, we truly knew all along what we could have done differently. And yet we chose not to.
6 Benefits of A Morning Workout
A regular exercise routine — particularly a morning exercise routine — can confer a whole host of benefits to you. In fact, we would even argue that a morning exercise routine can set you up for daily success.
For one, research shows that your testosterone levels are peaking in the early morning hours.
1. Maximum Willpower
Exercise can boost your willpower, as researchers from Netherlands found out.
And the surprising thing is, as another research has shown, people’s willpower levels are at their highest in the morning. According to the Ego Depletion theory by Roy Baumeister, our willpower draws from a limited supply of mental resources.
Imagine you’ve just woken up. This is the time your mind is almost a clean slate. This is the time when you haven’t yet started to take hits from tons of temptations and decision-making tasks.
But, as morning turns into evening and then night, your willpower gradually weakens. As a result, as you reach home by 8 pm, you’re more likely to give in to a chocolate pastry than a bout of exercise.
See, morning is the time you’re most likely to exercise, and keep at it daily. Another thing: very few people schedule their meetings at 5 or 6 am. So, you’ve thin chances of derailing it.
So, it makes sense that you go for a morning bout of exercise, right?
2. Great Mood All Day
A morning exercise routine can put you in a great mood for the rest of the day.
When you begin your day with a great sweat session, it can really put you in a fantastic mood for the rest of the day. Waking up and working hard in the morning can give you a great feeling of satisfaction and gratification, and you can carry this confidence with you through the rest of the day.
Actually, you can really enjoy exercising and make it a daily habit quite easily. Because exercise can make you and your brain happier. Learn all about the the brain science behind exercise and happiness.
3. Healthy Diet Pusher
A morning bout of exercise will help you make healthier dietary choices for the rest of the day.
Beginning your day with a solid sweat session can makes you begin to gravitate toward healthier foods during the day. This may come as a welcome surprise to you, particularly if you’re not used to eating healthy.
Think about it though; your body will actually feel better when you’re feeding it nutrient-rich foods, so it makes sense that it’ll come to crave those more than the junk stuff.
Don’t completely eschew the sweet stuff though — moderation and variety is the spice of life, after all — but don’t be surprised if you decide to consume them infrequently. One study showed that drinking sugary lemonade restored the willpower strength in depleted individuals, but drinking sugar-free lemonade did not.
By the way, does sugar really fuel willpower?
4. Energy Pump
Morning exercise can be a phenomenal way to wake-up. Even if you’re not a morning person, if you workout in the morning, you’ll more likely to find that your mornings are much more energized than they were before.
After all, it’s much harder to sleep through a weightlifting session or a 30 minute run than it is during a 30 minute PowerPoint session.
Between a trying workout session and a nice, hot shower, by the time you arrive to work, you’ll realize that you have much more bounce in your step than your peers. If only they knew your secret!
5. Sleep Better
You sleep better at night when you exercise in the morning.
Most adults don’t sleep nearly as much they should, or in some cases, they get many hours of sleep but don’t get the type of deep, restful sleep that they should.
Once you begin working out in the morning, you’ll naturally begin wanting to go to bed earlier each night to accommodate for the earlier-than-usual wake-up times you’ll be having.
You’ll also find that when you are working out each morning, you’ll sleep more deeply because your body will crave it. You actually make all your fitness adaptations when you’re at rest — asleep — than if you were awake, so realistically speaking, resting really is part of the fitness adaptation process.
If you want to get stronger and fitter, a full night’s rest is most definitely a part of the equation.
6. Confidence Booster
Finally, one of the most compelling reasons to have a morning exercise routine and how it can set you up for success is simple: when you regularly exercise, you will likely find that you are more confident in your own skin and that in general, you’re happier overall.
A morning exercise routine can make you more confident in your own skin and overall happier.
There are so many studies out there that show meaningful connections between exercise and depression, and some even suggest that regular exercise is an effective way to ward-off depression to the same or comparable extent as do pharmaceutical-grade antidepressants. Can exercise cure depression?
While exercise inherently can not be a panacea for the most serious mental health —or other — maladies out there, it definitely can make a difference in curbing many of them.
So really, what do you have to lose? Rather, you have everything to gain from giving it a shot.
So, those are the few good reasons that can help explain how and why a morning exercise routine can set you up for success. We all know how important exercise is to our health and well-being, so it’s high-time that we all act on the advice that we’ve been given by virtually everyone and actually take care of ourselves.
In doing so, we’ll be happier, stronger, and fitter; we’ll sleep better and more deeply; and in both the short- and long-terms, our bodies will thank us.
Again, we have nothing to lose and everything to gain from establishing a morning exercise routine.
Do yourself a favor and don’t delay. Start today.
Your future self will thank you.
[Having difficulty starting an exercise habit, or sticking to one? Learn the definite tricks here: How To Make Exercise A Daily Habit. That is an exhaustive post of 2700+ words with downloadable PDF]
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Author Bio: Jane Grates is a certified runner and adventurist. Doing at the sweet spot between modernism and function to craft delightful brand experiences. She also writes reviews and recommendations on Runnerclick, ThatSweetGift, and GearWeAre. Sandip Roy is Founder of Happiness India Project.
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