From better skin to deeper sleep, starting your day with a good exercise session has many positive effects on your health.
Turns out, it does make a difference when you start the day with a good sweat session.
1. Enhance Fat-Burning
A study in young, non-obese men found that those who exercised for an hour before breakfast experienced an increase in fat oxidation compared to those who worked out after lunch or dinner. Other studies have also shown that exercising in a fasted state helps boost weight loss.
2. Unlock The Key To Consistency
When you plan your workout for first thing in the morning, you’re more likely to get it done as opposed to letting other commitments get in the way later in the day. That means fewer chances of missing workouts or interrupting your progress.
3. Cultivate Better Habits
Over time (some say 21 days, to be precise), that leads to the formation of morning exercise as a habit, which will continue to serve you well in the long run. It will likely have a chain effect on other areas of your life as well, such as clean eating to complement your new exercise routine or just generally better discipline in seeing things through.
4. Improve Energy Levels
Some have compared morning workouts to a cup of coffee at breakfast, as it wakes you up and prepares your mind for what’s to come. It is a paradox: the more you expend your energy in the morning, the more energy you have for the rest of the day.
5. Sleep Better
Early to bed and early to rise make a man healthy, wealthy, and wise. And it gives him quality sleep too, if he adds morning exercise to the equation. In a study, participants who exercised at 7 a.m. got the deepest, longest sleeps compared to those who worked out later in the day.
6. Lift Your Mood
Exercise triggers the brain to release serotonin, a hormone that regulates our mood, well-being, and sense of happiness. Now, if you get a good dose of that to kickstart the morning, how do you think the rest of the day will go? Serotonin also enables better sleep and digestion, all of which add up to lots of feel-good moments.
7. Reduce Insulin Resistance
Hypertension, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and heart disease—these are just a handful of a long list of major health concerns that are associated with insulin resistance, a condition in which the cells don’t respond well to insulin. The pancreas then tries to compensate by producing more glucose. Exercise in a fasted state, such as first thing in the morning upon waking up, has been found to improve insulin sensitivity and reduce blood pressure.
8. Less Food Cravings
You’re scrolling through social media and spot a mouth-watering dish, and you have this sudden urge to have it. That’s not actual hunger but an emotional response to food, and exercising in the morning has been found to nip those in the bud. Fit in a pre-breakfast workout, and you’ll be less tempted to snack.
9. Feed The Brain
Short-term memory, focus and attention, visual learning, decision-making—these are among the cognitive benefits that have been linked to morning workouts. This could be because in the morning, the body has higher levels of hormones such as cortisol, which makes us alert and awake.
10. That Afterglow
If radiant, glowing skin is on your wish list, you’d want to set your alarm for an early wake-up call and get moving. While exercise, in general, does have that effect on the skin, it appears to be more pronounced among those who workout at the start of the day.
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