Fitness has been a part of my morning productivity routine for the past nine years. Suffice it to say I’ve never been a morning person. And, please don’t talk to me until after I’ve had my coffee and it’s at least 11:00 am. But, I’m thankful that I developed the habit of working out in the morning. Sticking to this simple act of discipline has truly helped me combat my rough morning demeanor. Additionally, it has helped to boost my productivity and sharpen my focus. So, if you are somewhat like me and find yourself on the struggle bus in the mornings. Here are some compelling reasons why you should give morning workouts a try.
I don’t know about you but when I used to exercise in the evening I ALWAYS found a reason to not work out. My main complaint was that I was too tired. I never felt like I had the energy to commit to a 30-minute fitness routine after working all day. On the other hand, when I switched to morning workouts not only did I get it out the way but I found that it greatly improved my energy. I’m able to wake up faster and hit the ground running.
Also, becoming part of the morning workout gang has increased my discipline and accountability. And, this has helped me to maintain a solid fitness regimen for the past 9 years. Despite the curveballs that life throws my way I can always depend on a fresh new start each morning when I workout.
Focus and concentration are a struggle for me. I always found it a challenge when it came to studying and found college to be so difficult for me that I dropped out. And, at jobs, I would become easily overwhelmed and anxious due to the demands placed on me. It wasn’t until I was diagnosed with adult attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in my late 20’s that I realized why focus and concentration were so difficult for me. My brain was wired differently and I needed to make lifestyle modifications to improve my brain function. Morning workouts were a way for me to accomplish this.
In Psychology Today an article titled Morning Exercise May Improve Decision-Making During the Day. Christopher Bergland explains how a study conducted by Michael Wheeler and researchers at the University of Western Australia (UIW) revealed a positive correlation between moderate-intensity morning exercise and improved cognitive function. It was found that those that participated in 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise in the morning; followed by 3 minute walking breaks for every 30 minutes of sitting experienced improvements in short-term working memory and executive function. This improvement can be attributed to the fact that exercise encourages new cell growth within the brain. Thus, leading to enhanced memory and focus.
I don’t believe anyone likes getting out of a cozy bed in the morning. But, there are those that just have a more positive, peppy attitude after waking up and getting out of bed. I am not one of those people. Usually, I’m sullen, moody, and melancholy until at least 11 a.m. But, working out regularly in the morning has cured me of my “emo” mood. Indeed, it’s my favorite morning ritual. Putting on my headphones and getting focused on my fitness. Whether it’s cardio and I’m working to improve my endurance. Or, it’s a resistance-based workout and I’m challenging my strength. I love every sweaty minute of it.
Additionally, I’ve found that working out in the morning has also helped with improving my depression and anxiety. Blame it on those “feel good” endorphins but I need them to give me the motivation I need to conquer the day.
Making the Switch
So, how does one switch to a morning workout routine? It’s as simple as deciding how often you want to work out and when you can start. Since thinking is foggy in the morning you are going to want to plan ahead. Create an evening routine that supports you getting up early to work out. This could include packing and preparing your gym bag, laying out your workout clothes, and preparing pre and post-workout snacks/meals. If you’re opposed to going to the gym so early in the morning you can create an effective and easy home gym. This makes it even easier to work out and get it over and done with. And for those of you, that struggle with motivation enlisting the help of an accountability partner may prove beneficial. If you need more motivation in regards to building and creating healthy habits check out my Create Healthy Habits course. It’s a super short course designed to walk you step by step through the habit-building process. Remember getting started is the hard part. But, once you’ve created the habit it won’t be long before you see the reward.
(1). Psychology Today: Morning Exercise May Improve Decisions Making During the Day by Christopher Bergland of The Athlete’s Way; posted April 30, 2019