With all the hustle and bustle of kids, work and life, it can be challenging to make the time to exercise. But exercising in the morning is a wonderful way to create a positive routine and provides many added benefits beyond just keeping you fit.
1. Better long-term results
Research shows that those who exercise in the morning are more consistent exercisers than those who exercise later in the day. Our bodies love routine. If you force yourself to get up when your alarm goes off, your body will thank you and pay you back by feeling rested and ready for the day.
2. Fewer scheduling conflicts
How many times have you planned on working out after work when something better comes along or you get too tired and just go home? By getting up early, you are less likely to miss out on any fun activities later in the day or get distracted at home or work. Instead of scrambling to finish your "to do" list and missing another workout, plan to do it first thing so you are sure to fit it in!
3. Improved productivity
Exercising increases your productivity and gets your endorphins going. You will be more awake and ready to tackle your day by giving yourself that extra energy boost. Working out can increase your mental clarity for four to 10 hours post-exercise.
4. Boosted metabolism
The benefits of exercise linger throughout the day. You continue to burn calories after the workout is done. Use this benefit during the day when you are eating instead of when you are sleeping. By keeping your metabolism elevated, you will be burning more calories all day long.
5. Better sleep
Studies have shown that women and men who wake up early for regular exercise sleep better than those who routinely exercise in the evening. Since exercise stimulates your body, when you exercise at night, it becomes more difficult to fully relax and drift into peaceful sleep.
6. Better diet.
By knocking out your exercise first thing, you will approach your food differently throughout the day. You will be proud of yourself for getting up and burning some calories, so why sabotage it with an unhealthy lunch? Instead, you will want to continue your positive choices by eating foods that make you feel fresh and energized.
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Mitzi Dulan, RD, CSSD, is a nationally recognized nutrition and fitness expert who inspires people to lose weight and get fit. Mitzi is team nutritionist for the Kansas City Royals and served as team nutritionist for the Kansas City Chiefs for several years. She coauthored, with NFL Future Hall-of-Famer Tony Gonzalez, The All-Pro Diet, which helps people eat clean and get lean. Her next book, The Pinterest Diet: How to Pin Your Way Thin, will be released in October. Follow Mitzi on Pinterest at NutritionExpert.