Back to Living Better

5 benefits of morning exercise

Between answering work emails, preparing a healthy dinner and getting the kids to bed, daily exercise may be the last thing on your mind. If you find yourself having a hard time sticking to a workout regimen, try moving your routine to the AM hours. These five benefits may just outweigh the earlier alarm clock.

1. You’ll sidestep distractions.

“Morning workouts help reduce the possibility for obstacles to present themselves,” Jasmin Theard, ACSM HFS, an exercise physiologist at Piedmont Atlanta Fitness Center. “There is also less opportunity to make excuses.”

2. You’ll reap the mental benefits of exercise all day.

There are many mental health benefits of exercise, and working out first thing helps you experience those benefits right away. “Exercise leads to the secretion of neurotransmitters that promote mental clarity and an improved attention span,” she says. “You’ll feel a sense of accomplishment, as well as rejuvenated and recharged.”

3. You’ll make healthier choices.

That early morning sense of accomplishment can also help you have a healthier day. “When you get up and exercise, you establish a healthier mindset, which makes you more mindful of what you eat during the day,” she explains.

4. You’ll boost your metabolism.

Exercise has also been shown to boost the metabolism. While no study definitively proves that exercising in the morning increases your metabolism more than other times of the day, it does help to ensure you squeeze it in.

5. You’ll sleep better.

“Exercise in general helps create a hormonal balance and helps you get into a routine, which can help improve your sleep,” she says. Exercise and sleep go hand in hand because getting enough sleep is also linked to weight loss.

How to become a morning exerciser

If you want to become a morning exerciser, Theard offers the following tips:

  • Know yourself. Some people just aren’t morning people. Know yourself and what works for you.
  • Give it time. It can take three to four weeks to adjust to a morning workout routine.
  • Don’t burn both ends of the candle. You’ll need to establish an earlier bedtime if you start waking earlier to exercise. If you don’t get enough sleep, it can be impossible to make the transition.
  • Fuel up. It’s best to have some source of fuel, but it varies from person to person. Some people have a more sensitive stomach, so you may have to experiment with different foods or juices to determine your best pre-workout fuel.

Remember, any exercise is better than no exercise at all. If you find it easier to fit in a workout during your lunch break or after work, stick with the routine that works best for you.

For more information, visit Piedmont Health and Fitness Centers.

Related Stories