If you've ever gotten this text, then you know the dilemma: to commit or not to commit? To get up or not to get up?
For those of us who prefer to miss the sunrise, the answer to those questions is usually a resounding, "Snooze." But research shows early-morning exercise can change our lives in astounding ways.
Working out at the beginning of the day not only improves your fitness, but it also encourages better nutrition, lifts your mood and makes you more productive in ways an evening workout can't.
You'll Experience Better Sleep1 of 13
Say goodbye to tossing and turning. Waking up early for your workouts will make you more tired and ready for bed at the end of the day. According to the National Sleep Foundation, people who work out in the mornings actually sleep longer and experience more restful sleep than people who work out at night.
If you do start working out in the morning, make sure you're not continuing your night-owl habits. You still need at least seven hours of sleep to keep your body functioning at peak performance.
You'll Start the Day Happy2 of 13
We all know working out releases endorphins in the body that make us happier. Now imagine getting a dose of those feel-good endorphins before you've even had your morning coffee.
If you want to spend your days feeling more content, then morning workouts are the way to go.
You'll Build Better Muscle3 of 13
Did you know that testosterone, the hormone in your body that encourages muscle growth, is actually at its peak first thing in the morning? Capitalize on your body's natural rhythms by moving your strength training to the morning hours so you can see even better gains.
You'll Be More Consistent4 of 13
Are you an on-the-wagon, off-the-wagon kind of exerciser? Finally score some long-lasting consistency with morning exercise. Unlike the evenings, no work meeting or impromptu happy hour will derail your intentions to hit the gym. The mornings are for you and you only.
You'll Eat Healthier5 of 13
When you work out first thing in the morning, you're more likely to make healthier eating decisions all day long. Unlike people who splurge throughout the day knowing they'll "make up" for it with an evening workout, you will instead be focused on not undoing all of your hard work.
In other words, your early morning sweat will set the tone for the rest of the day.
You'll Burn More Calories6 of 13
Excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, or EPOC for short, is basically a fancy way of saying that the body continues to burn additional calories after exercise, especially if it was vigorous or intense exercise (think HIIT workouts).
In other words, if you work out in the mornings, you will burn more calories simply sitting at your desk than you would have by just pressing snooze.
You'll Work Out More Efficiently7 of 13
Since there will likely be fewer texts to answer, snaps to send or breaking news to scroll through at the crack of dawn, you can be completely focused on the task at hand—getting a good workout in as efficiently as possible.
And unlike evening workouts, which can drag if you let them, you have to be at work at a set time, which means you will be forced to get in and get out.
You Won't Feel Guilty8 of 13
If you wait until the end of your day to work out, there is a good chance it will never happen, likely due to exhaustion. But with morning workouts, you can get home in the evenings, do nothing and feel absolutely no guilt about it.
Want to indulge in a Netflix marathon? Go for it.
You'll Handle Stress Better9 of 13
Not only does regular physical activity make you happier, it also increases your ability to deal with stressful situations. Whether it's your morning commute or a looming deadline at work, you'll feel better equipped to handle the day's stressors after hitting up the gym.
You Might Target Your Fat Reserves10 of 13
Since you're unlikely to eat a full breakfast before working out in the morning, you will have to dig into your reserves to power your cardio. This is different than an evening workout when you are simply burning off the day's energy intake.
The jury is still out on just how much of a dent fasted or semi-fasted cardio makes on your weight loss goals, but some studies suggest it is substantial.
You Will Avoid the Crowds11 of 13
If you see the gym as your sanctuary, then you will definitely appreciate how much emptier it is in the morning compared to the post-work evening rush. You'll never have to try to squeeze into a busy yoga class, wait around for the benches to free up or change your routine at the last minute because all the machines are taken.
You'll Be More Productive at Work12 of 13
It's not your imagination—your brain really is firing on all cylinders after a workout. Exercise leads to increased blood flow and oxygen to the brain, which helps up perform better at work. Jolting your brain first thing in the morning will make you more productive all day long.