Ever notice that when you exercise in the morning, you feel more alert and productive all day? It’s no coincidence, a morning workout has several advantages for your body and your mind. First, exercise jump-starts your metabolism, and keeps you burning calories at a higher rate all day. Also, you get your exercise out of the way and don’t have to worry about not having time for your workout routine, should something unexpected come up during the day.

Morning workouts offer numerous benefits beyond just physical fitness. Here are some of the key advantages:

  1. Boosts Metabolism: Exercising in the morning can kickstart your metabolism, helping your body burn calories more efficiently throughout the day.
  2. Increases Energy Levels: Morning workouts can help increase your energy levels and mental alertness, setting a positive tone for the rest of the day.
  3. Improves Mood: Exercise releases endorphins, which are hormones that promote feelings of happiness and reduce stress and anxiety. Starting your day with a workout can help improve your mood and overall well-being.
  4. Enhances Focus and Productivity: Exercise has been shown to improve cognitive function and concentration. A morning workout can help sharpen your focus and increase productivity throughout the day.
  5. Sets a Positive Tone: Starting your day with a healthy habit like exercise can set a positive tone for the rest of your day, leading to healthier choices in other areas of your life.
  6. Better Sleep: Regular exercise, especially when done in the morning, can help regulate your sleep-wake cycle and improve the quality of your sleep at night.
  7. Consistency: Morning workouts are less likely to be disrupted by unexpected events or scheduling conflicts compared to workouts later in the day. Establishing a consistent morning exercise routine can help you stay on track with your fitness goals.
  8. Increased Fat Burn: Some research suggests that exercising on an empty stomach in the morning may enhance fat burning compared to exercising later in the day.
  9. Time Management: By getting your workout done in the morning, you free up time later in the day for other activities or responsibilities, reducing the likelihood of skipping your workout altogether.
  10. Improved Self-Discipline: Making the effort to wake up early and exercise demonstrates self-discipline and commitment to your health and fitness goals, which can boost self-esteem and confidence.

Overall, incorporating morning workouts into your routine can have a positive impact on your physical health, mental well-being, and daily productivity.

One recent study found that exercise before breakfast can counter the ill effects of overeating. The researchers compared groups of active young men who ran or biked before breakfast with those who didn’t exercise and with those who exercised after eating big meals. Only the group that exercised before eating gained little or no weight and showed no signs of insulin resistance. Science aside, if you find getting up and exercising in the a.m. is easier said than done, try these 10 tricks.

Move Your Alarm Clock

Instead of sleeping with the alarm next to your bed, move it to the other side of the room. That way, you’ll have to get up and get out of bed to shut it off. Once you’re up, it’s that much easier to stretch, don your workout clothes, and head out the door for a brisk walk around the neighborhood or to the gym for a morning workout routine. If you use an alarm that plays music, set it to a song from your workout playlist to help get you in the mood for exercise.

Make a Date

Having a workout routine buddy is a great motivator. Make plans to meet your exercise partner at the gym at 6 a.m. or on the tennis courts at 7 a.m. You’re less likely to poop out if you know someone is waiting for you. You don’t want to be the one who overslept or was too lazy to get up and get moving.

Make Friends at the Gym

If you don’t have an exercise buddy yet, chances are you will make one after a few weeks of sticking to a morning workout routine at your gym. You’ll become familiar with the regulars who also exercise there that time of day. It does inspire you to get up and move because you know they’re there and will wonder where you are if you miss a day or two. It’s a social factor that can help motivate you in the morning.

Have a Set Goal

Every Sunday night, create your workout schedule for the coming week. Tell yourself, for example, “This week, I’m getting up at 6 a.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, and running three miles before work.” Schedule your morning workout just as you would an appointment. You’re more likely to follow your morning workout routine if you write it down. If you don’t make it, write a note in your calendar to explain why. Later, you can analyze your exercise excuses and look for ways to overcome them.

Load Workout Music Onto Your iPod

Music is a good motivator in the morning. If you have a great playlist, it can be enough to get you out of bed in the morning. Having workout music works for me. Research has shown that listening to music when you exercise can produce positive thoughts and help offset fatigue. Use a faster tempo to pump you up first thing in the morning and switching to a slower tempo toward the end of your workout routine.

Prep the Night Before

To follow through on a morning workout routine, it helps to lay out your exercise clothes and equipment the night before. That way you don’t waste any time getting dressed and ready for your workout. One possible disadvantage of exercise in the morning is that your time may be limited, overcome this limitation by having a set routine and not wasting time looking for your sneakers or your weights.

Reward Your Efforts

If you meet your exercise goals and get up early four out of five days to work out for an hour, do something nice for yourself at the end of the week, like getting a manicure, seeing a new movie with a friend, or going to a baseball game. Buy a new workout outfit, take a well-deserved soak, or cozy up to your eReader, find what motivates you and use it to give you that push out of bed each morning for your workout routine.

Tell the World About Your Plans

Thanks to Facebook and Instagram, you can tell everyone you know about your morning workout routine. Post your exercise plans on Instagram with a video of you training and working up a sweat.. Once you do so, it’s harder not to follow through with it. You also can use social media to boast of your accomplishments, tell your friends that you swam 16 laps (about a mile) or ran three miles before work. They surely will be impressed, and it will motivate you to keep up your workout schedule.

Too Sleepy? Give It Time

At first it may be difficult not to turn off the alarm and go back to sleep, rather than jump out of bed to exercise at the gym or go on a 30-minute walk. But after about a week or two, your body will adjust to your early workout schedule and it will be easier to get up and out of the house and head for the gym. Here’s why: When you exercise regularly, you sleep better at night. When you sleep better at night, waking up to exercise is easier to do.

Look Forward to a Better Breakfast

You may want to eat something quick, like a banana or a handful of almonds, to give you a boost of energy before your workout routine. Then after you cool down, have your real breakfast, and make it special as a reward for your efforts. But don’t sabotage your exercise efforts by eating a high-fat muffin or fried eggs and bacon. If you promise yourself a healthy, satisfying breakfast, such as eggs with veggies or oatmeal with fruit and nuts, when you get back, that will motivate you as well.

Getting motivated for morning workouts can be tough, but here are some tips that might help:

  1. Set a Clear Goal: Define why you want to work out in the morning. Whether it’s to improve your fitness, boost your mood, or increase your energy levels, having a clear goal in mind can give you purpose and motivation.
  2. Create a Routine: Establishing a consistent morning workout routine can help make it a habit. Set a specific time to exercise each morning and stick to it as much as possible.
  3. Prepare the Night Before: Lay out your workout clothes, shoes, and any other gear you need the night before. This eliminates the need to make decisions in the morning and makes it easier to get started.
  4. Start Small: If the idea of a full workout feels overwhelming, start with something small. Even a 10-minute workout can be beneficial and can help you build momentum.
  5. Find an Accountability Partner: Partnering up with a friend or family member who has similar fitness goals can provide motivation and support. Knowing that someone else is counting on you can make it harder to skip your morning workout.
  6. Set Rewards: Give yourself a reward for completing your morning workout, whether it’s a healthy breakfast, some extra time to relax, or a small treat. Having something to look forward to can make the workout feel more worthwhile.
  7. Listen to Music or Podcasts: Create a playlist of energizing music or queue up a podcast or audiobook that you enjoy. Listening to something you like can make the workout more enjoyable and help pass the time.
  8. Focus on How You’ll Feel Afterwards: Remind yourself of the post-workout endorphin rush and sense of accomplishment you’ll experience once you’re done. Visualizing how good you’ll feel can help motivate you to get started.
  9. Keep Track of Your Progress: Keep a workout journal or use a fitness app to track your progress over time. Seeing improvements in your strength, endurance, or overall fitness can be incredibly motivating.
  10. Be Kind to Yourself: Remember that it’s okay to have off days or to skip a workout occasionally. Don’t beat yourself up if you miss a morning here and there. Instead, focus on getting back on track the next day.

In conclusion, embracing morning workouts offers a multitude of benefits that extend far beyond physical fitness. By making exercise a priority at the start of your day, you not only enhance your metabolism, energy levels, and mood, but also set a positive tone for the hours ahead. The consistency, increased productivity, and improved self-discipline gained from morning exercise can ripple through all aspects of your life, leading to a happier, healthier, and more fulfilled existence. So, set your alarm, lace up your sneakers, and reap the rewards of a morning workout routine—it’s an investment in yourself that pays dividends throughout the day and beyond.