The alarm goes off. You roll over and hit the snooze button..then go back to sleep. Repeat until you have JUST ENOUGH time to get up and head to work, or get the kids ready for school. All of that being considered, the idea of waking up to exercise may seem a bit burdensome, but there are some really powerful advantages.
Let’s blast a fitness myth first. Working out first thing in the morning DOES NOT expedite weight/fat loss. I know your bodybuilding buddy told you it would, and you see the “fasted cardio” memes -but it’s a misguided notion. Training on an empty stomach boils down to preference. There is no evidence to prove that training on an empty stomach directly impacts a positive change in the body’s composition. Reference (1).
Now that we have that out of the way, let’s talk about the 3 real benefits of training in the morning.
1) It’s a great way to start your day. Think about how you feel once you officially wake up and you’re in the groove of your normal daily routine. You’re energized and ready to tackle the day and get it done. Your blood is flowing and you are focused on what it is you are setting out to accomplish. Your game face is on! Starting your day with exercise will only intensify this feeling.
2) To get your training is out of the way. If you live in Austin, you don’t want to sit in the traffic on I-35 or MoPac any longer than you have to. After a long day of work, you just want to go home and relax. Getting off the couch to do something else “work” related becomes easy to put off until another time. So, if exercising has been a challenge for you, start your day with exercise and check it off your “things to do” list. You’ve worked towards your fitness goals, you’ve been productive at work, and now it’s time to relax.
3) It’s your first achievement of the day. There is something about getting something done that makes us feel accomplished – especially when it’s something you didn’t think you could do. Like…exercising or being consistent with your fitness habits. Achieving unimaginable goals has a tendency to make us feel empowered to get organized and focused with everything that follows. You’ll have the energy and focus to crush the remainder of your day.
Keep this little formula in mind, Lifestyle = habit = results. The reason we seek a fitness goal is simple – there is an intended result that we are looking for. We can’t get there overnight. We have to develop a habit, and once we develop a habit – it becomes a lifestyle. Adopting the lifestyle will yield CONSISTENT results, and the byproduct is a completely different quality of life.
You don’t have to workout first thing in the morning. Of course, you can exercise during lunch, after work, or before bed. Whatever works best for you. But, if you are finding it challenging to break away from the social outlet you use your lunch break for. Or, your job [or kids] drain you at the end of your day. Or, if it just doesn’t seem feasible to training in the evening. Then, training in the morning may be an option. You may find it helpful with other challenges you face throughout the day.