Original Content by Training Amigo
When your alarm clock blares at some ungodly hour in the morning, the last thing you want to do is spring out of bed and into your workout clothes. Exercise is great… but so is slamming the snooze button and curling back into your blanket cocoon. But the science is showing there are amazing benefits associated with a morning exercise regimen. Whether you’re running on the track, hitting the gym, or trying out stretches from the Training Amigo wellness library, an active morning sets you up for a productive day.
Morning Exercise Boosts Your Metabolism
One of the hottest topics in fitness is the so-called afterburn effect, more formally known as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, or EPOC. One study found that participants who pedaled an exercise bike for 45 minutes burned 190 calories in the fourteen hours following exercise compared to days when they didn’t work out at all. In other words, moderate exercise helps your body burn calories even when you’re not moving around.
After exercising in the morning, you boost your metabolic rate for the rest of the day. The calories from breakfast and lunch are used to replenish your energy, and not stored as excess fat. If you’re trying to lose weight, even a simple workout every morning can go a long way.
You Will Be More Focused
Mornings are perhaps the least productive time at the office. You walk in with your cup of coffee, your eyes are bleary, and you slowly will yourself to begin working. You’re still focused on waking up, not on your tasks at hand. Studies routinely show that exercise boosts your focus for two to three hours, meaning you’ll strut into the office knowing exactly how to attack your day. Just thirty minutes of exercise stimulates your dorsolateral prefrontal cortex for hours, boosting your reflexes and improving your attention span when you need it most.
You Will Have More Energy
We’ve all been there—you load up on coffee all day to stay alert, leading to the notorious 3pm “crash” wherein your productivity is destroyed for the remainder of your day and all you can think about is curling up into bed. However, by implementing an exercise program every morning, you can eliminate morning fatigue as well as that dreaded afternoon crash. A study published in the journal Psychological Bulletin comprising more than 6,800 people found that sedentary people who begin a regular exercise program experienced vastly improved energy levels throughout their day. You can also leave at the end of a tiring day knowing you’ve already fit your exercise in, so you’re less likely to skip workouts altogether.
Your Mood Will Improve
Have you ever noticed how much better you feel after running, cycling, or lifting weights? That’s because exercise releases a burst of endorphins, which immediately improve your mood and keeps you chipper all day long. Moreover, morning exercise helps alleviate depression. A Columbia University study of nearly 5,000 people found that people who exercise regularly have a 25 percent lower chance of being diagnosed with depression. Another study out of Duke University found that a regular exercise program can be just as effective as the antidepressant Zoloft. A simple morning exercise routine can start your day on a positive foot and keep it there for life.
Don’t know where to start? Having trouble getting motivated in the morning? There are some great videos on Training Amigo to help you jump out of bed refreshed and ready to start your day.
If you need help falling asleep earlier, take a look at Training Amigo’s nighttime stretchzZz videos. For a quick jolt of energy in the morning, the Training Amigo wellness library is complete with morning jump-start exercises to help you instantly wake up and get motivated. And if you’re feeling fatigued during your workday and need a pick-me-up, explore our coffee-break exercises that you can perform right at your desk.
Cultivate a morning workout routine and make fatigue a thing of the past!