If you can get past the snooze button and your own crankiness, getting into the habit of working out in the morning does get easier.
Sergio Pedemonte, trainer and co-owner of Your House Fitness in Toronto, said while morning workouts aren’t ideal for every single person, it does have benefits during the day.
“Personally, I feel better and more productive during the day and night if I get my workout done in the morning,” he said.
Some studies have shown working out in the evenings can interfere with your sleep, while others have shown evening workouts led to better metabolism, the Daily Mail reported.
Speaking with Global News in 2017, strength coach Lee Boyce of Toronto said if you strength train, you should avoid doing it too early in the morning. “It has to do with your physiological peak,” he explained. “Your nervous system has to be up for the challenge.”
He said research suggested the best time to work out was during lunch hours or right after work.
“If you’re going to use heavy weights, it’s not recommended close to the time you wake up.” But either way, experts can all agree working out at some point of the day is better than not working out at all.
If you want to start working out in the morning, it really starts with creating a routine.
“Start by setting up an alarm, build a routine, start working out once or twice a week and build up from there,” Pedemonte said. “Always have a plan to execute while you’re working out.”
And if you can’t get up those first few days and get to the gym, don’t worry. Practicing a week of waking up before committing to the gym can help you get into a routine.
Once you’re there, make sure you know exactly what type of workout you want to do. “Don’t wing your workouts, plan them out ahead of time,” he continued. “This way, you can maximize your workout and not worry about time.”
If you plan on working out during weekdays, divide the week up into themed days: arms, abs and butt, legs and full body can be starting points. You can also add days of cardio or take morning classes if you prefer. Either way, go in with a plan.
“Before you decide to do any exercise in the morning, remember to warm up properly,” he continued. “Whether it’s getting 10 to 15 minutes on the treadmill, doing 10 to 20 minutes of dynamic stretching, or using a foam roller and a lacrosse ball to release and activate the muscles.”
Warming up in the morning gets the heart rate up and the body pumps more oxygen. “Warming up this way also causes the joints to release a liquid called synovial fluid. The purpose of the synovial fluid is to lubricate the joints, just as a car needs to be turned on in the morning for a few minutes before you go.
Below, Pedemonte breaks down the reasons why morning workouts are worth the trouble. He also runs a blog for people looking for even more tips.
You won’t skip a workout
If you wait until the evening to work out, you have a higher chance of skipping it altogether. “I notice that clients tend to skip more workouts at night time than in the morning,” he said. “A long, busy day might lead you to try and find an excuse to not work out.”
You have less interruptions
“People typically start their morning grind after 8 a.m,” he said, so if you can squeeze in a workout before that time, you won’t be distracted.
“If I try working out after that, I usually get interrupted with work phone calls throughout the day. It becomes difficult to get focused again after being interrupted and many people lose motivation to work out.”
You will feel more productive
Research has shown people who work out in the morning feel more productive throughout the day, he added. “Because of the rush of endorphins, you will feel more focused and this helps you concentrate during the day.”
Your metabolism will get a boost
“After working out, we get something called EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption), where the body is burning more calories than usual,” he continued. This will not only help with digestion but also boost your metabolism.
You will get a boost of energy
Mornings are often unpleasant and if you find yourself having a hard time staying awake, working out may give you that energy boost. “Working out in the morning leaves you energized for the remainder of the day because it increases the blood flow across the body thus making you more alert and aware.”