The Case for Morning Exercise

You can’t blow off your workout if it’s already done. 

We know that regular exercise can assist with healthy weight management.  If you combine exercise with reduced caloric intake, it can lead to even greater weight loss. But an often overlooked and worthwhile strategy is to pay attention to the timing of your exercise.   For the more than 73% of the adult population in the United States that are overweight, morning exercise may be a particularly effective approach to losing unwanted pounds.  

But now comes the tricky part: developing a morning exercise routine.  It’s not as bad as it sounds, I promise. Plus – if you find yourself reaping the benefits of morning exercise pretty quickly, it starts to take care of itself.  Here are some reasons why you should consider exercise in the morning:

Make Yourself the First Priority

Many people say they lack time. This is actually a “perception” of the lack of time. There is time, it just may not be prioritized.   Other people say that they lack “willpower” or feel too tired. Most of us have good intentions of getting exercise, but lack a specific plan – which reduces the likelihood of success.    The plan can be this simple: just get up and exercise as the first thing that you do.  Exercising in the morning can be a very effective approach to overcoming these common barriers / excuses. 

Form a New, Healthy Habit

Exercising at the same time of day, specifically in the morning, can help with sticking to regular exercise.  Most people have a morning routine. Now you just need to add exercise to it. You might have to wake twenty minutes earlier, or you can just quit wasting time on your phone.

No Scheduling Conflicts

Exercising at the same time each morning protects a time block that can be used and doesn’t get interrupted.  You don’t have to look at your calendar weekly, or even day-to-day, and try to find a time to squeeze it in around everything else. You just get up and get it done. It takes the “planning” out of the equation.

Exercise More Often

Keeping a consistent time will very likely allow you to exercise more often. At the end of the week, you won’t be looking back at the workouts that got blown-off or cancelled because something came up or you were too tired.  You will only be looking back at what got done!  This means you will likely be exercising more frequently if things don’t get cancelled, and potentially, you might even be able to exercise longer than a “rushed” workout you otherwise would have squeezed in.

Better Habits During the Day

Research has shown that the timing of exercise can influence appetite. There have been mixed reviews, but it might be worth a shot for you to experiment with your exercise timing to see if morning exercise leads to a greater awareness of food choices and improved motivation throughout the day. 

Fat Burning and More

Exercise timing may also influence weight via changes to our physiology. This includes burning of fat and monitoring our circadian rhythm (our body’s internal clock). There is  a large body of scientific evidence that has shown that a disruption to our body’s circadian rhythms can have many negative health outcomes.  Exercise can help with better regulation of these bodily functions, and enhance overall health beyond just weight management.

A Safety Note

If you haven’t been exercising in the morning, don’t go with an empty tank. This can cause low blood sugar issues. Try to have something in your stomach, even if it is liquid form. Also, start off with low to moderate intensity exercise so you can see how your body is responding to the change.

Photo Credit: Pexels c/o IG andreapiacquadio_

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