Supercharge your day, from the moment you wake up — by working out
I believe sometimes we get caught up as to when the perfect time is to work out. Although I’m not opposed to training later in the evening, I have found that mornings do something a little extra for me. Starting my day working out — no matter how simple it is, prepares my whole psychology for success. I’m alert, awake and more confident in my abilities to handle anything challenging that may come along. Evening workouts were only helpful when I took on the mighty task of preparing for bodybuilding shows. There were months I had to train twice a day to build muscle and strength. I didn’t enjoy evening workouts. They left me deflated — and there were nights I was too wired to sleep! I’m much more suited to waking up early and training. It’s part of my circadian rhythm. Here is why I love working out in the morning and that you, too, can benefit from if you decide to make the switch.
One: I felt a lot more alert and switched on
We all experience energy fluctuations during the day. Cortisol keeps us awake and alert, and it’s an excellent hormone to turn on when used in the right way. Cortisol has been known to peak in the morning and drop off at the right time (evening) to prepare you for sleep. It’s part of a healthy circadian rhythm, and when we exercise in the mornings, we use cortisol to boost our energy and get the best workout. This is just something to keep in mind because hormones are best used to their full potential to help and not hinder our health & goals.
Two: Eliminates distractions
This is my favourite part of morning workouts. Hopefully, your colleagues, clients, family and boss are asleep and cannot interrupt you with questions and tasks. So it’s that one particular time in the day, which is yours for the taking, to do what you want and get into that perfect place called the “zone.” Certainly beats those endless messages, calls and chores that can come up through the day which you can use as an excuse not to train.
Three: You get to bypass the heat of the day
Although it’s a lot colder in winter, summer can prove to be a challenge for many people. I don’t know about you, but I sweat a lot, which leaves me dehydrated (and messy). Working out in the morning eliminates the natural occurrences during a hot and extremely humid day. I prefer not to go outside too much on humid days, as Sydney can become quite overwhelmingly hot. I feel a lot more accomplished knowing I did my hard workout in the morning, in air conditioning, and I am leaving the rest of the day open to simple, low impact walking. Consistent temperatures are more my thing.
Four: Feeling a lot more energetic
I may annoy people in the morning because I feel so energetic, vibrant and cheerful. But, of course, you can’t help feeling this way after a great workout. I mean, even if it was a mediocre attempt, I still feel a lot better. As the saying goes, perhaps when you start to work out, you don’t want to. When the workout finishes, you are glad you did it anyway.
Five: Sleeping a whole lot better
A 2014 study in Vascular Health and risk management demonstrated that adults slept a lot better when they worked out at 7 am. So I think that still poses some truth if you decide to train a lot earlier than 7 am! That study concluded that participants spent more time in the much needed deep sleep phases with fewer nighttime wakings. It also took them less time to fall asleep. If you train outdoors, light exposure early in the day might help you increase melatonin during the evening. I’m all for getting a deep and meaningful sleep every night if I can. I can’t help but encourage others to exercise in the morning; You don’t even have to wake up that early — whatever time your body starts to wake naturally is the best time. My workout schedule is exceptionally early in the morning — perhaps too early for some people (it’s 4 am), but it suits my lifestyle. I would rather sacrifice that little bit of sleep to be healthy on the inside and have it reflected externally. That just means I get it done in peace, quiet and it’s out of the way. I have the rest of the day to be productive. Once you start a morning routine, it’s not easy to get used to how wonderful you do feel.