Rise, shine and workout then reap the benefits!

You’ve already taken the leap to making fitness a priority in your life. So the question is, what is the best time to workout? If it works with your schedule research shows there are a number of striking benefits to an early morning workout regimen. The most significant benefit is you’re more likely to work out consistently – and with consistency comes a better mood, improved fitness andincreased immunity.

In addition to setting up your day, an early morning workout jump starts your metabolism so you’ll burn more calories during the day through a process known as EPOC – or excess post-exercise oxygen consumption. And there are even more awesome benefits to an early morning workout.

Increases daily activity level– by starting out with a burst of morning activity, you’ll boost your overall activity level throughout the day.

More efficient muscle building– if you’re interested in strength training, morning workouts are excellent because of higher levels of testosterone present in the body after you wake up. 

Lower calorie consumption– it may seem counterintuitive but according the a study in the journal of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, brain scans of women who looked at images of food after a 45-minute workout were actually less enticed by yummy snacks.

Burn more fat– starting the morning with fitness before food means fat is the main fuel for your workout.

 Lower blood pressure + type-2 diabetesrisk– this is especially noticeable if you exercise without eating first versus people who consumed carbs before working out.

Better sleep– one of the main benefits of an early morning workout is you’ll sleep more soundly at night.  Working out later in the day, especially closer to bedtimes can increase stimulation and body temperature making it more challenging to fall asleep. 

According to Cedric Bryant PhD, chief science officer at the American Council on Exercise in San Diego, people who work out first thing in the morning are more likely to stick to their routine. "The thinking is that they get their exercise in before other time pressures interfere," Bryant told WebMD. "I usually exercise at 6am, because no matter how well-intentioned I am, if I don't exercise in the morning, other things will squeeze it out."  He also recommends that if you do choose to start your day with fitness activity, it’s good to include a longer warm up because your body temperature is lower in the morning. 

That said it’s important to also understand your own circadian rhythm and how a workout complements your lifestyle. If you’re a night owl who struggles with getting up in the morning, this might not suit you. Alternately maybe you like a lunchtime workout to break up your day. And anytimeyou can take time out to work on your flexibility, mobility, strength and overall fitness is a great time!