Stop the Snooze: Four Benefits of Morning Exercise and How to Establish a Healthy Routine
There is no denying that exercising works wonders for our wellbeing. Going for a jog, lifting a couple of weights or enjoying a yoga class are all activities that can actively help keep our fitness levels and brain health in check. Not only that, but regular exercise can also spur you to consume better food options and make healthier choices, such as cutting down on fried foods and eating less red meat. In short, it has an array of precious advantages.
This said, exercise sessions can be easy to skip or postpone. From busy work schedules to other impeding daily commitments, you may often find it difficult to carve out some time for a dose of much-needed physical activity. This is why you should consider embracing morning workouts more frequently.
With a wide range of health benefits, exercising in the morning can kickstart your day in a positive, wholesome fashion. Here, with some insights from Jonjo Hancock-Fell, at private health cover provider: Westfield Health, we uncover some of the most prominent perks, while offering some tips on how to get into a healthy morning routine.
- Boosts mood and energy
Exercise has the powerful ability to tackle sentiments of stress and boost your morale. In fact, physical activity induces your brain to release more endorphins, which are feel-good hormones that will get your day started on a mental high. What’s more, waking up bright and early to stay healthy can offer a sense of accomplishment from the outset, putting a genuine smile on your face for the rest of day.
Morning exercise also has the capacity to enhance your energy levels, inhibiting feelings of lethargy and sleepiness. It has been found that, by taking part in regular physical activities, inactive people with persistent fatigue can decrease sentiments of tiredness by as much as 65%. Hence, working out in the morning will provide you with the perfect dose of energy to brave your daily duties.
- Helps you focus on the day ahead
Do you struggle to stay alert during the day? Morning exercise could nip the problem in the bud. According to research published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, morning workouts have the ability to maximise your decision-making processes, visual learning, and attention span.
Furthermore, exercising before you leave the house for your daily commitments will stimulate blood flow and keep you focused. Physical activity in the morning paired with occasional breaks throughout the day will help you to concentrate and stay productive.
- Limited distractions
There is no hiding that distractions or an unexpected change of plans can disrupt your exercise schedules. Also, as your day goes by, you may find that your to-do list is too extensive, and realise that you do not have time to fit in some all-important physical activity.
Mornings, instead, are the perfect time of day to carry out your fitness sessions with fewer interruptions. Not only will you be able to work out before you start ticking off daily tasks from your agenda, but you are also less likely to be disturbed by emails, text messages, or phone calls.
- Improves sleep
In need of a good night’s rest? Early exercise sessions can work magic on your sleep patterns. In fact, it has been demonstrated that adults enjoy a better night’s sleep if they work out at 7 o’clock in the morning.
People who exercise in the morning tend to take less time to fall asleep, experience fewer awakenings during the night and benefit from more hours of deep sleep. Why? One of the reasons may be that early-morning light exposure could increase your levels of melatonin in the evenings. Melatonin is a hormone that informs your body that it is night-time, so it helps you both relax and feel sleepy.
Tips for morning workouts
Early workouts go a long way in enhancing both your physical and mental wellbeing, therefore benefitting your personal health on the whole.
If you want to give morning workouts a go but don’t know how to start, here are a few tips to find some all-important motivation:
- Establish a consistent wake-up time – First things first, you may want to consider waking up at the same time (almost) every morning. Keeping your wake-up calls consistent will get your body acclimatised to the new routine, and early awakenings will soon become a natural practice. This way, you will be ready to embrace your morning workouts with confidence and determination.
- Make realistic plans that work for you – When planning your physical activities, make sure to set out realistic targets and ambitions. Do you feel comfortable going for a half-hour jog in the park? Or would you rather focus on lighter exercises? From practising samba steps to warming up your core with sit-ups, there are many short workouts that can get your day off to a splendid start.
- Leave your training outfit next to your bed – This is a simple, effective way to streamline your morning and encourage you to nurture your body. If your running shoes are sitting beside your bed, how can you say no to an early, feel-good dose of activity? In fact, keeping your training clothes in sight serves as a visual reminder to get exercising.
- Find an exercise companion – Do you struggle to find the motivation to get your muscles working first thing in the morning? According to researchers at the University of Aberdeen, finding an exercise buddy can increase the amount of exercise you do. Why? Firstly, they can offer you the emotional support you need to get going. Secondly, morning workouts give you the opportunity to have a chat and a catch-up and can also expand your social circles. What’s not to like?
This said, it is important to remember that there are things that exercise cannot aid, including physical problems that require medical intervention. In this case, health cash plans can help you cover some of the costs of essential healthcare, including physiotherapy, allowing you to recover with some much-needed peace of mind.
From boosting your mood and energy levels to enhancing your sleep and concentration, early workouts bring an array of wellbeing benefits. Not only that, but they allow you to stay in shape in cooler conditions and with fewer distractions. By following a few, simple steps, you can swiftly get into a healthy routine and energise for the day ahead.