Benefits of Early Morning Workouts

October 10, 2014

 

morning-workoutFitness experts have been promoting the benefits of early morning workouts since Richard Simmons started bouncing around in Lycra tights. Truth is, only you can decide if they are for you. Everyone is different. If hauling yourself out of bed before the sun rises is more shock to your system than it’s worth, find another time in the day to exercise, motivation has little to do with it!

Timing is everything, whether it be love, money, opportunity or fitness. In today’s fast paced world, we are too busy to bother with un-progressive exercise regimes and results that fail to impress healthy lifestyle.

This shape-up game is a simple procedure. If you don’t know when your body performs best, you’ll find yourself jumping between workouts without consistency – sometimes being able to sweat yourself silly and push personal limits, while other times you can’t wait until it’s over.

According to Dr. Michael Smolensky, Ph.D., professor of environmental physiology at the University of Texas, the time of day you exercise is an important factor in staying safe in your workouts, and reaching your best performance. It also influences your enjoyment levels. The series of mental and physical ups and downs that repeat every 24 hours (circadian rhythms) influence your athletic performance and level of energy. Tune into your bodies needs and get the best workout experience for you.

Early morning workouts are a popular choice, especially when you know how to best work them. Morning is when muscles are at their stiffest, therefore warming up takes longer due to your core temperature being lowest. You will feel tighter and less flexible than later on in the day, as you have just been sleeping for eight hours. Failure to warm up aerobically for at least ten to fifteen minutes before strenuous physical activity (such as fast running) could result in serious injury, from pulled quadriceps and hamstrings, through to tripping up on obstacles due to being at more clumsy in the early hours. Additionally, the risks of heart attack are forty percent higher, and risks of having a stroke is almost twice as likely compared with the rest of the day, according to a study published in Women’s Health Magazine. Bottom line – if you are going to train in the morning, warm up like your life depended on it!

People often find that mornings are great for longer endurance workouts as the heart rate is naturally lower, which means you can tolerate more before the body (and mind) asks to quit. The brain underestimates how long you have been training because the core temperature stays cooler, and perception of how intense you are training can become dulled. Try a jolt of java before your morning workout – new studies show that caffeine delays the brains perception of feeling fatigue.

Beat the clock and listen to what your body craves.

Kaitlin Gardner

About the Author

Kaitlin Gardner

Kaitlin Gardner currently lives in Pennsylvania and is married to her best friend. In her spare time, she loves to go hiking , hand with her family and friend and enjoy nature.

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Corinne

I am an early morning workout girl mostly because I like to trick my body into exercise before my brain wakes up enough to interfere! Also, later in the day the excuses tend to stack up and finding time becomes almost impossible. I had no idea there were so many health benefits to an early vs. late workout though. Thanks for all the great info! As a runner, I have to second your advice to make sure to warm up slowly though while muscles are still stiff from a night of rest. I used to skip the warm up, until I injured myself–and that’s a horrible way to learn this lesson!

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