Should you be working out in the morning?

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It often seems like you can separate people with one question – are you a morning person? For some, the sheer idea of being active after rolling out of bed is almost as difficult as avoiding the temptation to hit the snooze button. Still, there are definitely quite a lot of crack-of-dawn go-getters who fancy themselves to be up and at ’em while the majority of people are still relishing their slumber. Studies have also examined the relationship between early risers and overall well-being. While researchers have found that morning people tend to be happier and more satisfied with their lives, does working out earlier in the day have a better impact on your body than evening exercise? Let’s take a look at a few advantages being active in the morning may provide:

Hit the ground running

Whether you’re trying to squeeze in a quick trip to the gym or you get up a little earlier to go for a sunrise run, it’s more than likely you’ll feel more alert and refreshed throughout the day if you begin exercising early on. Researchers at Bryn Mawr College have extensively studied the alleviating powers experienced through exercise, and once you get your gears going in the morning, you can expect to feel more productive and satisfied throughout the day. For starters, physical activity helps release certain neurotransmitters in the brain that can help you with everything from sharpening your memory to improving your overall emotional state. Sounds better than that same old bowl of oatmeal to start your day, right?

More likely to eat breakfast

Anyone who isn’t a morning person can attest to frequently skipping the most important meal of the day in favor of savoring a few more minutes of sleep. But if you’re consistently avoiding breakfast or only eating a snack before you take off, your body is missing out on a number of essential vitamins and minerals. Working out in the morning will easily remind you to eat a hearty and well-balanced breakfast, and once you’ve developed an early exercise routine, skipping this meal will never be an option. The Mayo Clinic suggests eating breakfast at least one hour before working out, which can help elevate blood sugar levels so you’re getting the most out of your workout.

Less stress at work

Whether you’re a morning person or not, everyone can relate to feeling stressed out and tired at work. However, one way to quickly combat any work-driven anxiety is by performing a quick workout in the morning. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, being physically active is one of the simplest ways to alleviate episodes of stress, and even going for a light jog or walk in the morning may be the secret to not caving into the pressures of your occupation. Not only can physical activity before entering the office help relieve that early-morning tension, but it can also provide a much-needed boost to concentration, reduce symptoms of fatigue and keep you feeling more alert for the rest of the day.

Skip the caffeine

Most people swear by caffeine as a crucial element of their morning routines. However, if you’re reaching for the coffee pot every 15 minutes or downing multiple energy drinks, you’re only sacrificing your body in favor of staying alert. The Mayo Clinic reports that if you’re consuming four cups of coffee or more a day, you’re vastly increasing your risk for experiencing insomnia, poor digestion, muscle tremors and more. Want a quick, easy and caffeine-free tip for being energized in the morning? You guessed it – nothing stimulates your mind quite like a morning run or aerobic workout.

Burn more fat

Those who are working on trying to lose a few pounds will certainly want to consider exercising in the morning. Researchers from Northumbria University have examined how working out before eating breakfast may help you burn more than 20 percent more body fat during your workout than exercising later on in the day. Even a quick 15-minute morning sprint on the treadmill can be the ticket to losing more fat and calories during exercising.

Free up your schedule

We’re all busy people, and most times it can be difficult to find an adequate time to squeeze in a gym session or a run around the block. Well, if waking up one hour earlier every morning isn’t too much of a bother, you can find yourself freeing up a ton of precious time later on in the day after work. But once you’ve already got your daily workout out of the way in the morning, what will you do with all that excess time for later? Treat your loved one to a homemade cooked dinner? Get caught up on the latest Netflix series? The world is now your oyster.

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