While it can be hard to find a consistent time to dedicate to maintaining a workout routine, there are major physical and psychological benefits to regularly getting your workouts done in the morning. Here are eight reasons it’s worth it to consider setting your alarm a few minutes early.
No matter what time of day you choose to exercise, it’ll boost your metabolism, which in turn helps you burn calories and hence lose weight. Some medical studies have found evidence that for women, exercising in the morning is associated with lower levels of abdominal fat as well as lower blood pressure.
Both men and women experience their highest levels of testosterone when waking up in the morning because testosterone is produced overnight while you sleep. Since testosterone levels have a significant effect on muscle building, working out in the morning may lead to more efficient muscle production.
Taking a few minutes to jog around the block or put in some morning crunches can pay off in improved performance at work. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, late morning is the time when most people’s cognitive abilities are at their peak for the day, and studies have shown that people are more productive and creative in the hours immediately following exercise.
If you’re a power-walker, jogger or runner and do most of your exercising outdoors, you can usually enjoy the coolest weather in the two to three hours immediately following sunrise. In addition to being more comfortable, it can also be an important safety consideration in the dog days of summer, when heatstroke and heat exhaustion become risks.
Exercise is most effective when you’re observing proper form and able to hold positions for longer periods. If you can get your workouts done in the morning before work and family responsibilities start competing for your attention and time, there’s a good chance you’ll see better results more quickly.
Exercise helps you feel good any time of day because it releases endorphins. The benefits can be particularly helpful in the morning, helping you face your day with lower stress levels and a sense of accomplishment.
This one is partially related to mood, since higher stress levels tend to contribute to disordered sleep patterns and exercise helps to lower stress. Since exercise gets your heart rate up, it also helps you transition out of the sleep state and gives your body a natural wake-up call that’s healthier than constantly refilling your coffee cup.
Whether you choose to do workouts in the morning or the evening, having a consistent schedule is likely to provide the most significant benefits, according to the Cleveland Clinic. However, of the two options, consistently working out in the morning may be preferable, because working out immediately before bedtime may make it difficult to drift off to sleep.