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The Perks of Being a Morning Exerciser

Written on August 3, 2011 at 12:10 pm , by

Rise and run! (Photo courtesy of A.Green/Corbis)

After recently moving in with my boyfriend at the beginning of the summer, I quickly realized that a lot of my routines needed to change. I couldn’t hog the remote to watch Real Housewives of New York, things like waxing, bleaching and any other hair removal techniques were to be done strictly behind closed doors, and my after work runs would need to be adjusted if I ever wanted to actually spend time with my new roomie.

So I embarked on the task of becoming a morning person. Truthfully, I’ve always wanted to be one of those perky people who bounced into work with their cup of coffee and have already checked off their 3-mile run on their to-do list. In reality however, the transition was not as smooth. There were a lot of cranky mornings, nightly complaints of how tired I was (where my boyfriend probably wished I was out running instead of sprawled out on the couch), and 3 p.m. slumps that no Starbucks Venti coffee could rescue me from. But there is a happy ending to this! After two weeks of forcefully hurling myself out of bed 30-minutes earlier than my usual wake up time, I have finally transitioned to exercising in the morning and not feeling like a zombie the rest of the day. In fact, I’d go out on a limb to say I am one of those perky people I had previously envied. And it turns out that for my schedule, morning workouts have become extremely beneficial. Check out some of the bonuses below:

  • Exercising in the morning helps me sleep better at night. No more tossing and turning!
  • Oxygen is basically coffee for your brain. While I might be groggy the first few minutes, by the end of my run I feel more awake than if I had hit the snooze button three times.
  • A morning workout can jump start your metabolism, meaning you actually burn more calories all day long. Yes, please!
  • It’s harder to miss a workout. When I left running to the end of my day, work, happy hour, a last-minute meeting were all things that could come in the way of my nightly sweat session. Now that running is the first thing on my list it’s a lot harder to miss.
  • I have more energy. By 5 p.m. I felt sluggish and worn out. Now, it takes me a lot longer to feel drained at the end of a work day.

If you’re looking to switch up your routine to the morning, give yourself two weeks to transition before you start feeling the effects. After that, you’ll find that waking up is a whole lot easier and your biggest problem will be figuring out what to do with your newfound free time!

Now tell us: Are you a morning exerciser? What are your tricks to help you get up and go?

  • Sandi

    I am a morning workout person. I get up @ 4:30 the key to is to just get up, don’t hit snooze or just lay there. The longer you wait to get up the harder it is to do so. Believe me it’s not easy but once you are up it’s the best way to start the day :-)

  • Colleen

    I have morning practices for my swim team and it has always been difficult for me to get up at 4:30. YIKES! Way to early for my taste. What gets me through it is going to bed earlier the night before, mentally preparing myself for the morning alarm. (If I continually plan the morning exercise for my schedule then I will feel guilty if I press the snooze button).
    Also, think about this one. You’re getting something accomplish before anyone else that day.

  • Kathleen

    I set my clothes out before bed so everything is ready to go – sometimes I even wear then to bed if I know it’s going to be harder than usual to get up (like if I stayed up later).

  • http://houseofdawl.wordpress.com/ Maria Wilson

    I love exercise, i hate exercise. I love sleep. LOVE. Getting up early is such a task but I am currently in physical therapy 3 times a week at 7am. Luckily I can walk there but getting up at 6.15am sometimes is a task.

    If someone is depending on me I WILL be there. I’ve had workout buddies and the only way someone can pry me out of bed is if I HAVE to be somewhere.

    Wish it was easier, but sometimes i get on an early kick. When I had to be at work at 10am, I could do mornings. Now that I have to work at 8.30am it’s so hard. #trying

  • Heather

    I wish I could work out in the mornings but I am already
    At work by 4:30am. And some how getting up even earlier then that to work out just isn’t going to happen!

  • Saskya

    Yeap totally agree with all said on this article. For more than 5 years I workout in the afternoon..but recently I been doing it in the morning…BEST THING I’d EVER DONE!!!!…has not been easy, but I love it!!!An totally agree with Sandi:”the key to is to just get up the longer you wait to get up the harder it is to do so”…Also I realized that I tend to eat less!!!!Im so happy to see that Im not alone! that all of you have gone trough the same feeling, at the moment to get out of bed!!!!

  • Carrie

    running in the morning is the best!!! A few sips of flavored water and i an out the door leaving behind 3 sleeping little ones and a groggy husband…what s super way tp start the day, and i feel the effects of the endorphins all day. I think it helps that i am naturally a morning person anyways.

  • http://margaretheaton.com Margaret Heaton

    I am a morning exerciser. I don’t see why anyone would want to stay in bed a minute longer than necessary. If I wake up and it is only 1 or 2 a.m., I am disappointed because I know I need more sleep, but any time after 3:30 and I am free to get up. It’s time to exercise (after the first cup of tea, of course.)

  • diana

    Would love get it over with! What do you eat (if anything) for fuel??

  • Christine

    I’ve been doing morning workouts since the beginning of the year and I love it! I need a little boost to get going so I drink half a protein shake before and sometimes take a pre-workout supplement. I love getting ny exercises out of the way so my afternoons/evenings are open. Going to bed just a little earlier is a small sacrifice for all the benefits of morning workouts :)

  • Becky

    For this two week rule, do u have to get up everyday or will it have the same effect 3 times a week? I love sleep more than life itself and it is ALWAYS a struggle to get up aaargh! I wld so much rather get it over with early tho.

  • Kimberly

    WOW! This is so encouraging. I am not a morning person (never have been), but this has encouraged me to at least try it for 2 weeks. I have a feeling that if I start it and get adjusted I will love it.
    Besides this would be the ideal time while the weather is nice and bright in the mornings a opposed to the cold dark mornings that winter brings :)

  • Reese

    Not a morning person, but LOVE getting it done early. :) So hard to get up and go, but am always happier when i do it.
    What’s the trick to feeling energized afterwards? After a quick locker room shower & 30+ min car ride to work I’m ready for a nap!!

  • Edmonia

    I long for the days when I can return to getting up early to do my workout routine. I’m retired now and relish the idea of sleeping until 9 AM but it makes my day start later and my workout sometimes gets pushed back as late as 10AM. I know I can get up early, at least by 6 AM, because I did it for 30 years. After reading this article, I am motivated to just start doing it again!

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