7 Benefits to Working Out in the Morning

7 Benefits to Working Out in the morning title image

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.

United healthcare August dares

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.

Have you tried working out in the morning?  What’s your favorite time to workout?

About Valerie 

Valerie Remy-Milora is the mother of 3 amazing girls, an author, public speaker, coach and founder of Scrumptious Moms. She is passionate about empowering moms to embrace self care and live a vibrant, joyful life with their loved ones. A health and fitness nut, she is an advocate for chemical-free living, real food and GMO labeling. She believes in the sanctity of life from conception to natural death.

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Comments

  1. Robin Masshole mommy says:

    I always prefer to work out in the morning. I have much more energy in the morning versus going to a night class at the gym or the dojo.

  2. Those are great benefits!! But my favorite reason to workout in the morning is the simple fact that it’s cooler (MUCH COOLER!) outside for my walk.

  3. I used to workout every morning. I’ve definitely fallen out of the routine and I notice I’m less energetic. I still have to do my stretches though!

  4. I couldn’t agree more! On days that I get up and get moving right away, everything else seems to fall in place and I’m able to approach everything else with a more positive attitude, too.

    • It’s amazing how powerful a morning workout can be isn’t it Allison? There are days where my bed is all too comfy and I’m tempted to cave in a stay in a little longer… On these days I find that doing a purposeful stretch where I really focus on awakening my senses and muscles, is just the push I need to get myself out and out of the house for my morning walk… And I never regret my walk!

  5. I have been lazy this last time after having my 3rd child, already 12 1/2 weeks ago so I have not worked out yet other than walking sometimes, but mornings are definitely cooler / best to do it.

    • Congratulations Alicia! I have three girls and I had a little bit of a harder time getting back into my routine after my third. Be gentle with yourself and take baby steps but do what you can to get moving again. You’ll gain energy and clarity and be able to enjoy your little one that much more 🙂 All the best!!

  6. I agree, mornings are the best workout. I find I have more energy, less apt to “cheat” and have crap for lunch, and then after work/school I can go home and relax, the day is done. Works way better than trying to keep up the energy to go after work.

  7. alicia szemon says:

    I have tried working out in the morning and it just doesn’t stick with me. I am not much of a morning person! lol

  8. Alicia Boarts says:

    Work days start at 4:30 am, so definitely not feasible on those days. I wish I was a morning person!

  9. Rosanne Morrison says:

    I’ve always worked out in the afternoon or evening until the last 2 months. The trainer I worked with does a class @ 8 in the morning so I’ve been getting up to go. I feel like I’m going to throw up and it seems a lot harder. I can do a 10 a.m. yoga class easier. I tend to function better near noon.

    • Oh that does not sound fun at all Rosanne. Morning workouts fell harder when you first switch your routine and maybe your class is too intense for that time of day. No matter what the benefits may be, though, it sounds like you listen to your body and know what’s best for you and in the end that’s the most important.

  10. john hutchens says:

    I like to workout in the morning it really gets me energized for the day

  11. Auntiepatch says:

    Living in So. Calif. we walk in the evenings when it gets cooler.

    • With the soaring temperatures we’ve had this summer Auntie Patch, I’ve been enjoying my evening walks with my dog. I’m so grateful that mornings are starting to cool off… and evenings too though the days are already getting shorter which always makes me sad.

  12. I like to workout in the mornings, it starts me day in the right direction!

  13. Thanks for the great information I prefer working out in the morning. If I don’t do it then…it won’t get done!

  14. Great reasons for working out in morning! I may have to try doing that!

  15. Andrea Williams says:

    Thanks for the great tips. I am an extreme night owl and the thought of getting up early and working out makes me tired, but I can see the benefits of it. One of my sons gets up at 5:30 everyday to run and it totally has changed his habits, not to mention his weight and muscle mass.

    • I totally get it Andrea as I use to be quite the night owl myself. Nights when the house was quiet and I could focus fully on my work used to be my favorites when I was editing. It took some time for me to switch my habits around but I am really glad I did! You have to find what works best for you though, and stick with that. Sounds like your son is onto something 🙂

  16. Still have a hard time with mornings – but this post is very inspirational!

  17. Debbie Caraballo says:

    Being disabled with osteoarthitis, I have to work out in the morning. It’s my “highest energy time”!

    • I’m sorry you are living with daily pain Debbie but it sounds like you’ve learned what works best for you. Mornings tend to be highest energy time for all of us though we don’t all make the most of it.

  18. Corri Montgomery says:

    Great benefits. Thank you for,your insight and information.

  19. Debbie Welchert says:

    I don’t do it any more but when I lived out in the country I would take very long walks first thing in the morning and I felt so good the rest of the day. I miss doing that and seeing all of the wild life. It was so comforting…

    • That sounds magical Debbie! I take my dog for a mile and half walk every evening as a way to destress and clear my mind as well as prep my body for sleep. I am blessed to have beautiful mountains behind my house and I get to witness beauty every day, including some truly magical sunsets. I hope you find a way to bring back some of that magic into every day. Good luck!

  20. I know that working out in the morning is the best way to start my day. My problem is, I get up at 0-dark-30 to go to work.

    • OH that sounds tough Rusty! My hubby works the night shift, 10pm to 6:30am… He finds that if her works out as soon as he gets off work he can’t fall asleep so he goes on a bike ride in the evening, which I guess would be HIS morning. You know your body best and I’m sure you’ve found the time that gives you the greatest benefits.

  21. Sarah Hayes says:

    I love working out in the morning. Its the perfect time of day to have a little Me time before the kids get up. It helps me feel better for the rest of the day and I don’t dread having to exercise while I do other things that day

    • That’s exactly how I feel Sarah 🙂 I find morning exercise to be both empowering and relaxing and it fuels every aspect of my day perfectly! I love that you carve out “Me” time every day. Every mom NEEDS that!!

  22. Physiologically, I’d actually prefer to work out at around 11:30am, or 3 or 4 pm. But recent schedule changes in our family (and, ya know, reality) make that kind of hard to pull off. So I very recently (4 weeks ago) became a member of the pre-sunrise workout crew. It’s been a tough transition, especially since I *have* to go to bed earlier to make it happen, and old habits die hard. I do still feel a little bit like my performance suffers a bit–I can’t push as hard as I could later in the day when my body feels more ready. But the other benefits totally makeup for it! I definitely am a calmer, happier, more focused person for the rest of the day. Like, noticeably moreso. Who knew?! 🙂

    • Yay Denise! That is awesome. I remember having a hard time adjusting to early (pre-sunrise) workouts and thinking whoever said I would love it was insane… but I pushed through and boy am I glad! My kids LOVE it when I work in the morning because I am such a happier, more tolerant mom! My body now craves that morning ignition. All the best sticking to your new routine! Feel free to reach out if you need a little support here and then 🙂

  23. denise low says:

    Thanks for the tips. We do not exercise everyday. But we do want to get back on track.

  24. Now this would be a great daily habit to have.

  25. I always preferred working out in the morning, but eventually stopped after I began working overnight/early mornings. Although I’m pretty tired when I get home, I think I’m going to put a bit more effort into exercising before lunch.

    • That’s a tough shift Mia and your body gets out of whack. Feel it out. A workout before lunch could energize the rest of your day if you stay up and have a lot to do and help you get quality sleep when you take your night.

  26. Karen Nadeau says:

    I enjoy working out in the morning as well. I like to stretch and then run.

    • When I was training for a half marathon I loved my morning runs! I took plenty of time to warm up my muscles but once I hit that sweet spot I felt unstoppable! It’s the best feeling in the world!

  27. Usually I exercise after work, but you do have compelling reasons, so soon I will try switching to mornings to try it out.

    • Oh I’m so excited for you Karen! It may feel a little odd at first but once you get use to your morning workouts I suspect you’ll wonder how you ever did without 🙂 I still enjoy my evening walk with my dog. We go at least a mile and a half and it’s a fabulous way to unwind before wrapping up my day.

  28. Janette Fuschi says:

    I agree with everything, I am a morning workout person.

  29. Annmarie W. says:

    I love to take walks around the neighborhood early in the morning, before everyone is leaving for work, when the weather is still cool and the air seems so fresh!

  30. Lisa Brown says:

    Oh, yes, working out in the morning is my favorite time. I am a morning person and full of energy first thing in the morning.

  31. I love working out in the morning, gets me motivated to start my day!

  32. I loved when I was able to do my fast walking in the morning. it started my day and made me feel great!

  33. Amazing tips..thanks. i will have to try working out in the morning.

  34. Elizabeth H. says:

    Awesome pointers. Thank you for these. I’m just not a morning person, though

  35. Christina Strapp says:

    I have heard it is better working out in the morning but I am so not a morning person. I think I should try this though.

  36. Michael Lambert says:

    I really like working out in the morning. I feel I have more energy for the day and feel refreshed.

  37. It is a very nice thing to be in a routine of getting up and working out. It helps you throughout the day focus and concentrate.

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