I’m not a morning person and early workouts are a challenge.  I prefer to exercise in the afternoon, (when strength and endurance are strongest), but invariably other responsibilities/commitments take over and push my workouts back and back and back.  (I’ve spent far too many nights knocking out miles on the treadmill with Jimmy Fallon then wondering why I’m exhausted 4-5 hours later when it’s time to get up.) 

With the busyness of the school year upon us and a shiny new fitness goal in focus – I had to step back and admit that as much as morning workouts don’t work for me, when the kid’s are in school,  pm workouts don’t cut it either.  Different needs require different action – and that starts with a different attitude. To help convince myself, I did a google search for ‘morning exercise benefits’ and 56.9 million results came up. (Guess this is an issue for a lot of folks).  I read 3 or 4, then sat back and made a note to myself listing 5 reasons why I will embrace cardio workouts in the morning.  Here they are:
  1. Consistency  Studies show morning exercisers are more likely to stick with an exercise routine.   At the start of my day there are less distractions and motivation is renewed. Makes it easier to go for it and get it done.
  2. Attitude Boost – Exercise releases endorphins, adrenaline, serotonin and dopamine. Flow of these feel good hormones can improve mood and add extra sunshine to the day’s outlook.
  3. Energy Boost – AM exercise ‘wakes up’ the body, kick starting energy for the day.
  4. Brain Boost – Exercise increases mental acuity, which can help with organization and productivity. (Yes, please!)
  5.  Improved Sleep(one of my favorite things in life).   Studies show that am exercisers report better sleep than non exercisers and those who exercise in the pm. Researchers suspect morning exercise brings about a change in the circadian rhythm that causes better Zzzzzzzzs.

So, by getting up and moving earlier, I can help ensure my cardio gets done, improve my attitude, increase my energy, be more productive and get better sleep?  Gotta give it a wholehearted try. 

 Bright and early: Word, then Workout ->Watch out!

Photo: huffingtonpost.com

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