Maybe you wake up with the sun and jump out of bed with a smile on your face and a spring in-your-step. Or maybe you glare at your alarm, hit the snooze button for an hour and then finally rise, bitter that your next many hours will be dedicated to work and daily life rather than the cozy confines of your bed.
Either way, how about a working out?
Even if you’re not an enthusiastic early riser, starting your morning with exercise can be just what you need to jumpstart your day.
So here are seven great reasons to work out in the morning:
1. It Wakes You Up
We’ll not discount the life-giving nature of caffeine. A cup of coffee or tea can increase alertness and mood, but it’s not the only game in town.
Even a short burst of cardio exercise wakes us up, speeds mental processes and enhances memory storage and recollection, regardless of our fitness levels. Think of a workout as that first cup of coffee, because that morning workout can be just what you need to get moving.
READ MORE: 6 tips to get back into exercise after a break
2. Get It Out The Way
Even though it feels good and we know it’s good for us, exercise can still feel like a chore. And chores are easy to avoid by putting off until another time. Work out first thing in the morning, and that’s it, you’re done.
No more worrying about making that class after work or rushing to the gym to squeeze out a half hour before dinner.
3. That Sense of Accomplishment
Whatever happens the rest of the day, you’ll have accomplished at least one thing: working out. So even if you lose your car keys or accidentally copy your boss on a not-boss-appropriate email, at least you got some exercise done.
4. It’s Me Time
Before your boss makes demands, before your kids need breakfast, before anyone asks something of you … that’s when you could be working out. It’s just you and a running path or those weights; no one else. Enjoy the calm before the storm.
5. You’ll Sleep Better
An Appalachian State University study showed people who worked out in the morning slept longer, had more beneficial, deeper sleep cycles at night and saw a greater dip in blood pressure, than when they actually exercised later in the day.
6. Better Mood And Improved Focus
Working out releases endorphins, and endorphins makes you feel good. Starting your day positively and happy is a fine way to go. Beyond the general feel-good effects, exercise has shown to improve mental cognition, leading to better alertness, focus and concentration at work.
7. It Boosts Consistency
Sure, you can always roll over, punch your alarm clock and get back to sleep. But one thing’s for certain: At 6am you’re unlikely to have meetings, work happy hours, events, friends’ birthday dinners and a whole host of other activities things that would otherwise stop you from exercising.