In this article:
- The benefits of a morning workout: what science has to say
- The benefits of a morning workout: my personal experiences
- 5 tips to implement your morning exercise + 3 things to avoid:
According to Walker’s research, we are each born with a genetically predetermined chronotype or propensity for sleep. Chronotypes are usually broken down into morning, evening, or neither, or as bears, wolves, lions, and dolphins. Each type describes your natural, internal clock and how to determine a sleep schedule to maximize it. There is an entire Masterclass on the subject but the bottom line is that your DNA can pre-determine if you’re an early riser or a night owl. While it can be difficult to adjust your internal clock to be something you’re not (like a dolphin instead of a bear), you can change your daily habits to make it easier to wake up feeling refreshed, energized and ready for a workout.
If you need scientific proof to be truly convinced of why a morning workout routine is excellent for your health, then let’s dive into the facts.
Personally, I have found that squeezing in an early morning workout is never something I regret later in the day. Getting started on the right foot helps set me up for success in ways that are hard to replicate.
Your morning exercise routine does not have to be elaborate, include a personal trainer, or involve 15 miles of biking through the rain and fog. Evidence has shown that just 7-20 minutes are enough to get the body going for the rest of the day. Take advantage of the benefits of fresh air by exercising in your yard or even on your balcony. After your body has been sleeping for a while, the muscles need to be awakened just as your mind does. Such exercises include jogging in place, jumping jacks, Pilates roll-up, bicycle crunches, the superman and the elbow platform. With these exercises your endorphins will kick in and your blood pressure will start to flow, waking up your extremities. Here are five DOs to help you convert to the early riser routine:
While the physical benefits of exercise speak for themselves, we don't often acknowledge the emotional and psychological benefits in the same way. Morning workouts are excellent for your body & health goals but they also set you up to better handle the rest of your day and life. Set realistic goals, take the time to plan workouts, find motivation in music and rewards, and start small. These tips will help you establish a consistent and enjoyable morning workout routine.
Finally, there is no wrong way to move your body. Find a form of exercise you love and that 6am alarm won’t feel so scary after all. If you are a morning walker like me, maybe I’ll even see you out there!