4 Reasons You Should Exercise First Thing in the Morning (And How to Get It Done)
Imagine this: It’s 5:15 p.m. and you’re getting psyched to leave work, hit the gym and tackle a good workout. You’re about to walk out of the office when you hear your name called. It’s your boss, he needs to have a quick meeting right now. Before you know it, it’s 6 p.m. and you’re supposed to help with dinner tonight, plus there’s traffic to deal with. Maybe today will be your off day (just like yesterday, and the day before).
Here’s a thought: If you’d worked out in the morning, this wouldn’t be your third off day in a row. But how do you become one of those crazy-dedicated people who heads to the gym before the sun comes up? It’s really not as hard as you might think. Here are four reasons you should be exercising first thing in the morning and a few ways to accomplish it.
Why Morning Workouts Are Awesome
1. You’ll have a feeling of accomplishment, even if you’re unproductive for the rest of the day. So what if you didn’t run all your errands? You ran three miles, did 50 push-ups, 25 pull-ups and 45 squats. Most would call that a pretty productive day.
2. You’ll start the day off on the right foot by setting the tone for the day. Ever notice how right after a workout, you generally make better decisions about your food? After a tough workout, very few people would want to spoil it by eating junk. By working out first thing in the morning, you’ll be more likely to eat a healthy breakfast and keep making good choices the rest of the day.
3. No other obligations will get in your way. When was the last time you had some place you needed to be at 6 or 7 a.m.? Thought so. Thing is, when you work out after work, things like meetings, meet-ups with friends and other errands tend to get in the way. That won’t be the case if you work out first thing in the morning.
4. Your blood pressure will be lower during the day. Everyone knows that exercise lowers your blood pressure both in the short term and long term. Wouldn’t it be nice to not blow a gasket at work because the printer ran out of ink?
How to Become a Morning-Workout Person
By now, I hope you’re convinced that you should work out first thing in the morning. But you’re probably wondering how you can do it without hitting the snooze button.
The key is preparation. Going to bed early enough is very important. If you don’t get enough sleep, you’ll be exhausted in the morning and you’ll be more likely to hit the snooze.
The preparation really starts before your head hits the pillow. Before you go to bed, set up everything you need to get into workout mode first thing in the morning. Set your workout clothes and shoes up right by your bed so you can just put them on and go. To save time, you can also have your work clothes laid out and ready to go after you shower.
Take it one step further by planning out your breakfast. If you usually have eggs in the morning, hard boil them the night before so you can eat them in a hurry. The less decision-making you have to do right when you wake up, the more likely your a.m. workout will become a no-brainer.
And remember, your workout doesn’t have to be an hour or longer. By having a workout that’s more efficient and effective, you’ll be able to get more done in less time, leaving more time for sleep. Try one of these 20-minute workouts for a good burn in less time.
Brian Maher is the owner of Philly Personal Training, a private personal training studio in the Rittenhouse Square area. He and his staff of personal trainers offer packages to busy individuals looking to make lifestyle changes by improving their overall fitness and wellness. Read all of Brian’s posts for Be Well Philly here.