If you had told me a decade ago that I would enjoy morning workouts I probably would have told you you were crazy.
For most of my adult life I had been a night owl and the thought of getting up early to go for a run or sweat it out at the gym seemed ridiculous at best.
It all started in college with late night study marathons. As a Chinese and Political Science major I had a full plate and it was not unusual for me to fall asleep on my books sometime around 2 or 3 am.
After graduating I move to Los Angeles in pursuit of a dream and as a film and television editor trying to make her mark in a highly competitive business, I’d find myself working into the wee hours of the morning far too often. Heck who am I kidding, no one sleeps in film and television! Sixteen hour days are the norm. They were… Until I realized I had a choice and could say no.
When I became a mom I learned the value of personal time and more than anything, the value of a good night’s rest. I also learned that I was much more productive if I kept my work days to a normal eight hour day, ten at most when deadlines were too tight. I also learned the importance of squeezing in a regular daily workout. At the time I would take a mid afternoon break with my assistant and we’d go for an afternoon run. I loved those run! They provided stress relief and I came back recharged and energized. I also found my productivity increased significantly after my run and I typically got a lot of work done in the last couple hours of my day.
I also came home in a much better mood and ready for to be a gracious wife and mom.
Then about seven years ago, I completely changed my routine. I had fallen in love with a martial arts conditioning class that took place at 9 am every morning, Monday through Friday. It was perfect! I’d drop the girls off at school, run off to class and by 10:30 I was at my desk ready to work.
I loved the class but more than anything I loved the way I felt after the class… And the rest of the day!
I had amazing energy and focus and felt my productivity increased significantly. I wasn’t racing against the clock anymore, trying to get everything done before the girls got home. And best of all when they did get home I was available and eager to connect with them 🙂
That class has since been cancelled but I’ve learned not to depend on one class or another and have kept my commitment to my morning workout. And yes, my days are far more energized and productive when I stick to my morning routines and I am a much happier person.
Working Out in the Morning has Proven Benefits
As it turns out there’s science between the wonderful things I’ve discovered from my morning workouts. Here are seven benefits to working out in the morning.
You’ll Get More out of a Morning Workout
After a good night’s sleep your body is primed for high performance. Cells are replenished and damaged tissue has been repaired. Your hormone levels, specifically testosterone which helps build muscle mass, are high. You’ll be able to push harder and you’ll get more out of your workout. I’m all for being efficient and if morning workouts mean I’ll get the results I want faster then you bet I’m motivated to get out of bed and get sweaty first thing in the morning.
You’ll Have More Energy All Day Long
This is by far one of the things I love most about my morning workouts, they set me on fire! I feel jazzed and ready to crank thought everything that is on my schedule for the day. I also find I get things done faster and more efficiently. Your increased energy is a result of increasing your metabolism, and yes, that also means you’ll burn more fat all day long, a huge benefit if you are trying to loose weight.
You’ll Have More Focus and Get More Done
Along with increased energy you’ll also gain increased clarity and focus, which makes you far more efficient at work or in school.
You’ll Make Better Choices the Rest of the Day
It’s amazing how a morning workout makes you think about your food choices for the rest of the day. Once you’ve put in the work you are much more likely to stick to healthy food choices than not. You’ve made your commitment to yourself and don’t want to undo all the good you’ve already done.
You’ll be a Happier Mom
We all know that a good workout leaves us in a happy mood. Yep exercise is a fabulous stress relief and it releases those wonderful endorphins that make pain go away and elevate our mood. Chances are that if you start your day in a good mood you’ll end it that way too and who doesn’t want to feel happy all day long?
You Won’t Skip Your Workout
We all know how quickly our days fill up, and how easily other people’s priorities become our own. All too often if you leave your workout until the evening, something will get in the way — a sick kid, a last minute trip to the grocery store, you’re pooped and can’t muster up the energy… The excuses abound and all lead to the same thing: no workout today. Get your workout out of the way first thing in the morning and you’ll never have to worry about squeezing it in again!
You’ll have More Time for Your family
With more focus and energy all day long you’ll get through your daily to-do list much more efficiently and actually have time to enjoy your hubby and little ones! And isn’t this the best incentive of all? More quality time with my loved ones is the best gift of all and I am more than happy to get up a half hour to an hour early for that.
Whether you are a morning person or not, changing things around to workout in the morning is well worth the effort and I highly encourage you to give it a try. It may be a little tough to change habits at first but you won’t regret it.
Need a little extra incentive?
Throughout the month of August, United Healthcare is inviting you to ‘take a small step everyday to a healthier life” and bringing you fun new ways to enter to win one of three $400 Gift cards and three weekly $25 gift cards.
You can test your health smarts, play concentration and upload a photo of your workout daily by going to wedareyoutoshare.com.
This post is sponsored by United Healthcare. All thoughts are my own.
You may also share your workout photos across all your social media channels with the hashtag #GetActiveWDY. So what are you waiting for? Morning or not, get out there and get active and visit wedareyoutoshare.com daily… With back to school right around the corner I know I could find plenty of things to spend that $400 gift card on.