As a Practicing dietitian, I will always recommend some form of exercise or physical activity as an adjunct to a healthy balanced diet, for not only helping achieve a balanced weight loss, but also to start living a healthy lifestyle.
In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, we seem to find the time to do everything, except take care of ourselves. We’ll eat out to save time or socialize, eat the wrong things, because the right things take so much time and effort to prepare. And Exercise?? Oh no, we’re far too busy for that! The end result? Endless trips to the doctor because you’re falling sick, or you have put on so much weight that now you catch your breath while doing the simple tasks that are needed daily.
All these issues can easily be solved, and through this article, I’ll tell you how. All you need is an hour for your day for 5 times a week. That’s all. The key is, you need to put in that one hour in the morning, before you start your day. Early Morning workouts have been proven to show various benefits, even for those who wished to lose weight.
- INCREASE YOUR METABOLISM
What you are doing is increasing Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumptions (EPOC), which means that your body burns more calories after your workout, even when you’re sitting at a desk or driving in your car. One study showed that participants burned an extra 190 calories in the 14 hours after exercise when compared to those who didn’t exercise at all!
The purple section of the graph shows how oxygen consumption (and calorie-burning) takes time to return to normal after your workout.
When you eat post your early morning workout, the food is used to replenish your body, which means it won’t be stored in the body as fat. When you eat later in the day as well, the extra calories are used to meet the increased demands to due an increase in the metabolic rate. Exercising later in the day will not offer such benefits.
- IMPROVE MENTAL HEALTH
Movement can be a tremendous source of energy, something many of us need when we start our day. But beyond that, morning exercise has been shown to improve focus and mental abilities all day long. Not only will you feel awake and have more energy after your workout, but your mind will be ready to take on whatever tasks you have lined up that day. Some research suggest that, exercising may have increased benefits as compared to coffee to increase early morning alertness.
- IMPROVED SLEEP
Waking up early in the morning to exercise will in turn help you sleep better. Your body will enjoy a healthy sense of fatigue at the end of the day and will be ready to sleep. A recent study had participants exercise at 7am, 1pm, or 7pm 3 days per week. Those who were doing the 7am workout sessions were shown to have the deepest, longest sleep. Morning exercise not only improves the length of sleep but also your quality of sleep by promoting deeper sleep cycles. Evening exercise can in fact, have the opposite effect. Exercise is a form of stress, and your body reacts to stress by releasing hormones including adrenaline, which causes increased alertness in the mind.
- BETTER HORMONE CIRCULATION
For Men, the hormone testosterone that is essential to build muscle mass are elevated in the body. By exercising in the morning, you take advantage of these naturally circulating hormones as they peak rather than later in the day.
- IMPROVED MOOD
It is a commonly known fact that some workouts release endorphins, feel-good hormones that are increased following exercise of sufficient intensity and duration. However, the sense of accomplishment you feel upon completing your workout of the day, is in itself enough to feel good about yourself.
I hope this gives you enough motivation to take care of yourself and take out time for yourself, because I think it’s time we start making ourselves our priority.
***If you are suffering from an illness, please consult your physician before beginning any exercise routine, and your local dietitian for the diet plan that will work the best for you.***