Does the time you work out matter? Yes! And today, we’ll give you eight compelling reasons why morning workouts are the best.
Reason #1: There are Fewer Distractions
Early morning workouts are perfect as a lot of people are either still asleep or busy preparing for work. This means there are fewer texts, emails, social media updates, and phone calls to distract you from your workout.
There’s probably less traffic on the road as well and fewer people in the gym at this time than if you go during lunch or after work.
Reason #2: You Have More Willpower
The thing with willpower is that it’s a finite resource. The more you use it, the less of it you have. And if you haven’t built a solid habit of working out yet, you need a whole lot of willpower to push yourself to start each training session.
The problem is that throughout each day, you naturally encounter things that slowly chip away at your willpower, such as:
1. That annoying colleague you wanted to yell at but just ignored
2. That piece of cake you were craving for but resisted
3. That report you were too lazy to work on but had to finish
4. That expensive thing you really wanted but didn’t buy
5. That constant itch to check your social media that you managed to resist
Long story short, the later in the day you try to workout, the less willpower you have to actually do it.
Reason #3: It May Help You Keep Cravings at Bay
A 2012 study had women take a 45-minute walk on a treadmill in the morning. Afterwards, the researchers showed them photos of flowers (i.e., the control) and food then measured their brain waves.
Seven days later, the researchers repeated the same process but without the 45-minute walk. What they found was that the participants’ brains responded more strongly to the photos of the food this time around, suggesting that working out in the morning may change the way seeing food affects us throughout the day.
This means that seeing that slice of pizza, or cake, or ice cream may not have as big of an impact on you if you start your day with a morning workout.
Reason #4: It Puts You in a Better Mood
Do you always find yourself having to drag yourself out of bed in the morning? How much more productive do you think you’ll be if you started your day on a more positive note?
Well, that’s exactly what morning workouts can help you do. You see, exercise is known to promote the release of the feel-good neurotransmitters called endorphins. Just couple it with a good breakfast and maybe a cup of fresh coffee and we promise you’ll be more ready to conquer the day than ever before.
You know what’s better at putting you in a good mood than working out? A fun workout!
Reason #5: It Minimises Your Risk of Backing Out
By working out early in the morning, you’re not giving yourself a chance to come up with excuses as to why you ‘can’t’ train that day. By the time your willpower runs out later in the day, you would have already finished working out.
But even if you don’t make excuses, life just gets in the way sometimes in the form of emergencies, meetings that run longer than expected, surprise traffic jams, and other unforeseen events. By working out in the morning, you eliminate the risk of you not having the time to train regardless of how your day turns out.
Reason #6: It Doesn’t Interfere With Your Sleep
Another reason to work out in the morning instead of at night is that intense physical activity within an hour before going to bed has been found to cause difficulty in sleeping and poor sleep quality.
Obviously, you don’t have to worry about any of that when you work out shortly after waking up. You can go as hard as you’d like without sleep-related consequences. In fact, you could even use the extra alertness to get more out of your day—which brings us to the next reason:
Reason #7: It May Help Improve Your Focus
If you’re constantly distracted and are always struggling to get things done throughout the day, then you may need to train in the morning.
A 2019 study revealed that moderate-intensity exercise done in the morning can help improve your attention, decision making, and visual learning, making you way more productive throughout the day—especially when coupled with quick three-minute walking breaks every half hour while you work.
Exercise is, in fact, so effective as a focus-booster that another study claims it’s even better than caffeine.
Reason #8: It Makes You More Active the Rest of the Day
For some reason, working out in the morning makes you want to move more throughout the day—at least that’s what the same 2012 study that used photos of food found.
Of course, the more you move, the more calories you burn, making it easier for you to keep the fat off even while you’re not actively working out. Couple this with the fact that building more lean muscle makes you burn more calories even while at rest, and you’ve got the perfect recipe for long-term fat loss.
The Bottom Line: Morning Workouts are the Best!
Increased fat loss, improved focus, a better mood, and more restful sleep? What’s not to love, right?
Give morning workouts a shot today and see for yourself just how much more you can get out of each training session. Schedule your first CrossFit class with FitnessLab CrossFit in New Braunfels!