How Morning Workouts Wildly Improved My Daily Routine
There are two types of people in the world — People who show up early to everything…and everyone else.
For me, waking up early for work has been a particularly long-time struggle. Don’t get me wrong though, I’m not the very last person to arrive at work. I’m not carelessly strolling in at a snail’s pace. I arrive at a reasonable hour comparatively to the rest of the office and I’m almost never late to morning meetings.
However, I definitely don’t jump out of bed when waking up on a typical work day.
Ever since I started working full-time after college, I’ve always been an “morning workout person”. Instead, I always packed my gym clothes in a bag which I brought to work with me so that I could head straight to the gym afterwards— That was my routine. That was my normal.
I never had any desire to be a “morning workout person”. And that’s because, well, I really didn’t want to wake up earlier than I had to. I thoroughly enjoyed sleeping up until the very last minute and I don’t particularly enjoy waking up before the sun rises.
I never understood how people had the will and determination to get up early and workout before work — Just saying that out loud, “workout before work” makes me tired. It sounds so miserable. I couldn’t fathom physically doing it myself.
That is…up until about a month ago.
Last Fall, I was training for my fourth marathon. Among the many things that I’ve learned throughout my several years of marathon training, the key thing that I’ve taken away is how to train smarter, not harder.
Of course, I was still training hard, but rather I learned how to train more efficiently so that I didn’t myself burn out before the big race. The thing that I had to remind myself every day throughout my training was this —
There are only a fixed number of hours in the day, so you have to take advantage of them.
And that’s when I discovered the benefits of working out in the mornings before I went work…And these benefits are ones that I think everyone should come to realize.
You kickstart your metabolism.
Working out in the morning kickstarts your metabolism because you’re ramping up your blood flow and increasing your heart rate earlier on in the day. This leads to a boost in your metabolism because you start burning calories sooner.
On top of that, you’re also less prone to being hungry late at night because you’ve already consumed a bulk of your calories during the day after your morning workout.
When you workout after work or late at night, you still have to fuel yourself afterwards. By that time, you’re likely already home and going to be sedentary for the rest of the evening — And when you get home, it could lead to a downward spiral of over-eating or late night snacking.
Your evenings are more flexible.
Often times, working out after work limits our abilities to make plans or do other things in the evenings. Or if plans suddenly do come up, we either have to turn them down or we get peer pressured into pursuing them. Then, we ultimately end up not working out at all.
Working out in the morning gives us more flexibility in our schedules and more free time during the day to do whatever else we need to do. Since, we’ve already gotten it out of the way, we don’t have to worry about it later on.
You sleep better at night.
When you exercise, you increase your blood flow and heart rate which is what allows us to burn calories. However, our heart rate and adrenaline is still elevated even hours after your workout is done — This means that your body is still very much awake, which makes it harder for us to fall asleep right away at night.
When you workout in the morning, you’re able to get started with the winding down process earlier on. You’re able to go home, relax for the rest of the night, and get your heart rate back down sooner.
It also regulates your sleep schedule because being naturally tired in the evening helps you sleep earlier at night which then prompts you to wake up earlier in the mornings with less struggle.
It only took me a month to realize how much of a huge difference it makes to change just one routine in your life.
I’m not sure if it’s because I’m getting older or maybe because I’m getting wiser, or it could be a combination of both, but after a month of working in the morning, I’ve finally come to understand why people do it and why it’s so much more beneficial than exercising at night.
And I can officially say that I’ve now been converted to being a “morning workout person”.
If you enjoyed this article, check out this article I wrote on the topic of waking up early on the weekends: