Shelly Greenfield: Benefits of exercising in the morning

Finding the time to fit exercise into your busy schedule can often be very challenging. From my experience, exercising in the morning is a great way to create a positive routine as well as provide many additional benefits beyond the obvious health reasons.

To fuel or not to fuel?

Burn fat instead of calories! When you get up, rehydrate with a glass of water, and go work out!

There are different schools of thought as to whether this is a good idea, but it also depends on the types of exercises you are performing. If you are performing a fasted cardio, and your glycogen is somewhat depleted in the morning, your body will burn a greater percentage of fat.

Attempting a strength workout with no energy is a quick trip to misery. Exercise does require energy, and if you are hungry while you are really hitting it hard, your overall workout will be reduced because you won't have the stamina to push on. Be smart about when to fuel up.


Long-term results come from having a routine!

Over 90 percent of people who regularly exercise consistently exercise in the morning. Routines work for babies just as well as they work for adults! We thrive on consistency, and our bodies will reward us for that continuous commitment.

Fewer conflicts to get in the way if you do it first thing!

I can't tell you how many excuses I have heard and thought of, as to why the workout is not going to happen. Doing it first thing in the morning assures you that nothing will get in the way as the day progresses. Running late, getting your to-do list done, late-running meetings, traffic, too tired…. and the list goes on. Just get up, put one foot in front of the other, and do it without all the self talk.

Improve your productivity and mental clarity!

Research demonstrates that people who exercise first thing in the morning experience increased productivity, increased endorphins, as well as better mental clarity for 4 to 10 hours post-exercise. You will feel different during the day if you exercise first thing. Companies that promote health and wellness to their employees understand the true benefits and how it affects workplace productivity and overall satisfaction of life when implemented.

Boost your metabolism all day!

The benefits of exercise extend far beyond your 60 minutes at the gym. Research has shown that, after a morning workout, people burn 37% more calories over the next 14 hours than those who did not workout at all. By keeping your metabolism elevated, you will burn more calories all day long!


Gain better sleep!

Studies show that people who wake up early for regular exercise sleep better than those who routinely exercise in the evenings. Since exercise stimulates your body, exercising at night may cause difficulty relaxing and falling asleep.

Better nutrition!

Morning exercisers claim to be less hungry throughout the day, and make better food choices. After all that hard work, who wants to sabotage their diet.

Wake up more energized!

Waking up at the same time everyday helps your body's endocrine system and circadian rhythm adjust. It gets much easier over time if you are not used to getting up at a specific time. Hormones prepare your body for exercise by regulating blood pressure, heart rate, as well as blood flow to the muscles.

Even though it may be difficult in the beginning to adjust to a new pattern, it will get much easier! Stick with it and establish your new "normal".

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