Even though hitting the snooze button seems ideal, I know my day works best if I take the opportunity to wake up both physically and mentally by moving. It’s not always easy to get out of bed, but without-a-doubt, working out helps me feel better. When you move your body and challenge mind, especially first thing in the morning, you’re setting yourself up for success throughout the day. Do whatever you love to do; do whatever feels good on your body and gets you active! Just get moving in the morning and reap these five benefits.
1. Better Mood
Reese Witherspoon’s character and her words of defense in the movie Legally Blonde nailed it, “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy.” Exercising ultimately causes feelings of happiness because of the endorphins released from our bodies during a workout. It’s no secret or surprise that how we start our day will have an effect on the rest of the day. Moving around in the morning provides the opportunity to begin the day with an emotional response of happiness.
2. Healthy Nutrition Choices
It’s a new day and you’ve already worked out your body and woken up your mind… I bet you’re feeling pretty awesome! Now it’s time to eat. Because you’ve already felt the benefits from your workout, you also begin to crave the benefits of a nutritious meal. For example, egg whites or a protein shake and organic berries. Proper nutrition helps your body recover from the workout, feed your brain and rebuild for the next workout. I’ve found that when your body and mind are healthy and working together, it becomes easier to avoid cravings and make healthier, more nutritious choices.
3. Calories Burned = Results
If you are working out and consuming the right quantity and quality nutrients, you will begin to notice changes in your physique. It’s no surprise that morning exercise (like running) makes it to the top of the list for workouts with the most calories burned. You’re body is fresh mentally and physically and ready to move. Just think, as your legs are moving your arms are pumping and your core is holding tight – it’s a total body experience! In addition, after you complete your morning workout, your body will continue to burn calories throughout the day. So even if your physical movement slows down and you find yourself sitting at a desk, your body is still feeling the effects of calorie burn from your morning workout. Too often scheduling conflicts and other excuses get in the way of planned evening workouts. But when you start your day with a morning run, you’ve already eliminated those excuses and are steps closer to reaching your goals.
4. Mental Clarity
The last moments of my workouts are usually faster than my first few; that’s because as our bodies start moving and the blood starts flowing, our physical and mental energy levels start to increase. By the end of a morning workout, I’m feeling happy, energized, focused, sweaty… and motivated to carry on. For me, a morning run allows me to slow down the mind by speeding up the body. If you exercise outdoors, rise and shine early to catch the world waking up with the sunrise! When your body has the opportunity to exert stored energy, mental clarity is a side effect. After your morning workout, notice the increased mental focus and productivity you experience throughout your day.
5. More Restful Sleep
Imagine yourself lying in bed, reflecting on everything you accomplished that day. Whether you worked long hours, spent the day chasing kids, cooked dinner, cleaned, ran errands, etc. you can know that you started the day doing something good for yourself. A morning workout not only provided you with the personal benefits, but also the effects of better, more restful sleep. The body is built to move and exert energy, and when we do so, the repairing happens in your sleep. The night after a morning workout, the body releases hormones to help you stay in deep sleep cycles so that your muscles can repair.
It doesn’t matter if you start your morning regimen with a run, walk, or a few stretches and meditation. If you stick with it, those stretches turn into walks, walks turn into runs and that mile can multiply into miles. The benefits of your morning exercise will be evident throughout your first day and every day. For more of the fitness experiences in my everyday life please follow me on social media.
Dallas Fitness and Nutrition Coach
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