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5am Workouts? No Way…Well Maybe

5am Workouts? No Way…Well Maybe:  The Benefits of Early Morning Exercise

We used to think people that got up at 4:30 or 5 AM to workout were nuts.  We still do, but we’ve become part of the morning crew (not the really early folks though, they are really nuts).  Now we can not imagine starting our day without a good morning sweat.  We have discovered some very good benefits and have come to love our exercise in the morning. Here are the benefits of early morning exercise.img:am-workout

  1. Early morning exercise “jump starts” your metabolism, and keeps it elevated for hours (sometimes for up to 24 hours if you work hard enough)! As a result, you’ll burn more calories throughout the day – all because you exercised in the morning.
  2. Early morning exercises energizes you for the day.  It’s like revving your engines before you get started.  It also sets the tone for other positive health choices, because you started the day with a great choice, disciplined yourself and did something beneficial.
  3. Studies have shown that exercise significantly increases mental acuity. This benefit lasts four to 10 hours after your workout ends. Exercising in the a.m. means you get to harness that brainpower, increasing your productivity and alertness.
  4. If exercise is really a priority, getting up a few minutes earlier shouldn’t be a major challenge.  There are a hundred reasons you would get up earlier, if the reason was compelling enough.  Regular exercise leads to a better quality sleep. We shut it down at 10p – if something doesn’t get done, we’ll pick it up the next day.
  5. Waking up regularly and exercising at about the same time everyday regulates your body’s endocrine system and circadian rhythms.  Your body learns that you do the same thing just about every day, and it begins to prepare for waking and exercise several hours before you actually open your eyes. That’s beneficial because:
    1. Waking up at wildly changing times makes it more difficult to wake up in general.  While getting up early may still be challenging, waking up at the same time is much less painful. (You may even find that you don’t need an alarm clock most days).  If you feel like you need more sleep, go to bed earlier that day; or wake up, do your workout, and take a nap if your schedule permits.

      You gain satisfaction from knowing you’ve taken care of yourself and it’s a great time to pray or meditate, plan and prepare for the day.

    2. Hormones prepare your body for exercise by regulating blood pressure, heart rate, blood flow to muscles, etc. Your metabolism, along with all the hormones involved in activity and exercise, begin to elevate while you’re sleeping. As a result, you’ll feel more alert, energized, and ready to exercise when you do wake up. (You may just have to yank yourself out of bed to get things rolling)!
  6. Morning exercise helps you make better food choices throughout the day.  Morning exercise has a tendency to regulate the appetite for the rest of the day.  Not only do you tend to eat less (since activity causes the release of endorphins, which in turn diminishes appetite), you’ll also make good food choices – you don’t want to ruin what’s gotten off to a great start.
  7. Over time, the morning workout is something you look forward too.  You gain satisfaction from knowing you’ve taken care of yourself and it’s a great time to pray or meditate, plan and prepare for the day.
  8. Getting your workout in first is a foolproof way to ensure “life” or excuses don’t get in the way of your health and fitness commitment.  Family, work, fatigue, and unexpected circumstances can make it easy to forgo your workout if you put it off until later.  Have early morning commitments (i.e. children)? Alternate days you go to the gym with your partner, or workout at home.  We even have a friend  that gets a baby sitter so she can work out in the morning.
  9. More than 90% of those who exercise consistently have a morning fitness routine. If you want to exercise on a regular basis, the odds are in your favor if you squeeze your workout into the a.m. Morning exercises, get in the routine and stay in it consistently year after year.
  10. You will generally see the same people in the mornings, so you develop friendships, camaraderie and a support network.  It makes your workouts more fun and they help hold you accountable.  If it ‘s friendly ribbing or genuine concern, your morning workout buddies can give you the extra push you need to keep going.
  11. The idea that some people are “morning’ people while others are not bears some merit; but that’s no excuse. If you’re cold-natured, you adjust and put on a sweater.  My alarms are named “Nothing Tastes as Good as Fit Feels” and “Fitness is a Choice…I Choose Fit.”  If it’s a picture or song, do something that will give you that extra push to get up and get going!

- L & P -



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