Here are the best reasons why waking up and having an exercise routine are essential.
Often times people question if working out in the morning or in the evening is better. Fitting in a workout, period, is great! But there are some benefits to working out early in the day that may make you start waking up earlier.
1. Working out first thing in the morning, before your workday begins, will often be more habit forming. Working out later in the day has a higher probability of having something else come up that could hamper your plans. When you wake up first thing and squeeze in a workout before the rest of the world comes calling on you, you will already feel accomplished. You've gotten your workout out of the way and can focus on the rest of the days activities without feeling guilty for not exercising.
Releases Happy Hormones
2. Morning workouts release your body's "feel good" endorphins, as well as the hormones serotonin, adrenaline and dopamine. They all work together to give you a positive feeling and naturally boost your mood. This is why exercise is recommended for people with depression. And who wouldn't want a nice little dose of happiness to start off their day?
Builds Muscles More Efficiently
3. Through the night your body increases it's production of testosterone. Thus when you wake up first thing in the morning is when your testosterone levels are the highest. Testosterone is the hormone that promotes muscle growth, so morning workouts can help you build muscle more efficiently.
Have More Energy Throughout The Day
4. You will feel more energized and focused the rest of the day! Here's the thing, waking up isn't fun and it's hard to get moving some times. You may think you don't have the energy to workout, but the reality is working out will boost your energy! It will wake you up and make you more productive.
Get Better Sleep At Night
5. You will get longer, deeper and higher-quality sleep at night. Exercising raises your core body temperature. This signals the body clock that it's time to be awake. As the evening progresses and your core body temperature drops, this signals the body that it's time for bed and helps facilitate sleepiness.
Enhance Your Creativity
6. It enhances your creativity. There is a large anecdotal literature suggesting that creative people sometimes use bodily movement to help overcome “blocks". And several studies, like the one above, have shown positive links between exercise and boosted creativity.
Improves Brain Function
7. It improves cognitive function and empacts brain structure. It essentially gives your brain a boost. Couldn't we all use a little brain boost before our workday? This is thought to be because of increased blood flow to the brain and surges of growth hormones. Exercise also stimulates the birth of new neurons.
Protects Against Diabetes
8. It can help protect against Type 2 Diabetes. Exercise first thing in the morning on an empty stomach has been shown to protect against glucose intolerance and insulin resistance.
Boosts Your Memory
9. Exercise has been shown to boost memory. This is particularly great for students, as schooling success is highly dependent on retaining information. The hippocampus, the part of the brain that controls learning and memory, responds to aerobic exercise in a very positive way! Hitting the gym before hitting the classes could help improve your grades and functionality at work.
Makes You Crave Healthier Food
10. An increased desire for healthy foods. Studies have shown that groups of people who exercise are least likely to grab the junk food. Instead, they opted for healtheir food choices than the group of people who moved the least throughout the day. Exercise in the morning can help your diet stay on track.
Deeper sleep cycles
Higher scores and GPA's
More mental alertness
More happy all around
Increased energy throughout the day
Stronger, physically and mentally
Desire for healthy foods
Develops strong self-discipline
To wake up and workout is to create a great day from the start. It's creating a discipline you can be proud of and self-care that will build your confidence. With all the positive effects a morning routine has on your body and brain, switching up what time you workout could potentially make quite a positive impact on the quality of your health and life!
Start With The Core
This is a hardcore ab machine! It is so simply designed, yet super efficient. Ab wheels help strengthen all of the muscles in the abdomen area, especially targeting the deep layers of muscles that are hidden beneath the surface muscles. The ab wheels also help strengthen the spine as you balance yourself, going through the movement. The abdomen area is an area where most people would like to see an improvement. This little wheel works magic. I'll be honest, I don't fully extend my legs while using this, I do the exercise on the knees and even from that position I can feel it deep within my belly!
The key is to slowly go down and back up, keeping in rhythm and balanced. This is not an easy workout, so starting out with just 5 reps may be challenging, but you will FEEL the results if you only get down and do 5-10 at a time a few times a day! The movement of stretching and contracting and the full range of motion it provides, really works the rectus abdominus, the top layer of muscles, along with transerve abdominus, the deep spinal stabilizer muscles.
When you do this exercise you can either roll with your feet on the ground or your knees, like mentioned above. I advise starting from the knees to see how well you can balance yourself during this exercise. And, of course, as you strengthen your core you can try doing this exercise from the feet.
The Essential Door Gym Trainer
With a door gym trainer that fits on your door and can be used on the ground, with a variety of exercises, this bar alone can easily add exercise into your daily routine. It's great for pushups, reverse squats, planks, pull ups, chin ups, sit ups, crunches, dips, stairclimbers, etc. It's easy to accomplish your fitness goals when you can sneak in 25 pushups before you shower in the morning or some reverse squats mid-afternoon. The muscles targeted are abdomen, glutes, arms, legs, back, shouldesr and core muscles. I really like doing the leg lifts and knee lifts while hanging from the door. On the ground, hooking it in a doorway and doing full sit-ups is awesome! This is wonderful for holding planks and doing triceps dips as well! This is a definite yes addition to the home gym. You can easily store it away too. Bonus.
A Stability Ball With Perks
You can use the stability ball in so many different ways already, but then I found this bad-boy and loved the additions of the ring around the ball and the attached resistance bands. (I always advise blowing up stability balls with an electric air mattress pump. It just makes it easier.) I have this stability ball in my workout area and use the resistance bands along with a pair of dumbbells for my workouts. I also do a lot of the floor exercises for your abs where you use the ball between your knees or feet to lower the ball to ground. The workouts are fairly easy and truly strengthen your core.
There are several exercises for legs. One of my favorites is just holding the ball over your head and doing squats. Holding the ball over your head really works on your posture and form. And, of course, it adds some weight to your squats. I also enjoy waking up in the morning and lying my back over this ball, going into a back bend. It stretches my spine and even pops it into place at times. This was an absolute great find!
Cardio And Resistance Training Right At Home
Where do I begin? Thankfully I came across this one night while I was hunting online for a stationary bike. This is a magnetic bike that goes from low resistance to high resistance settings, allowing you to do cardio and burn calories. Or on high resistance you can really focus on strengthening the legs and glutes. It doesn't take much to start feeling a difference either. Just 30 minutes once a day or 20 minutes twice a day and you'll feel like fabulous! Grab your phone and check your emails or messages. Those 20 minutes will fly by and before you know it you will be doing 40 minutes twice a day!
If you can wake yourself up before the sun rises and get on a comfortable stationary bike, like this one, you will be on the fast track to self-discipline and motivation. Once your heart gets pumping, you wake up, and can get a nice little workout in during the peaceful hours of the morning.
I put this bike together myself, albeit I am a bit handyman-ish, but it was easy enough. It's very sturdy and adjustable to fit all heights. It really is a great product and I highly recommend adding this to your home gym! The quality for the price you cannot beat. To your glutes and fabulous legs!
Now, I realize not everyone has room in their home for a bunch of exercise equipment. But having a couple things around at the house is convenient and can add inspiration to get busy working out!
Kelly Cuip is a registered nutritionist, author, researcher, blogger and mother.