I’ve read a bunch of studies lately that say that working out in the morning is better than exercising in the evening. I have lots of friends who beg to differ, but I’ve been a fan of the morning workout for years. Here’s why:
- You get your exercise in before the day’s distractions can interfere with your plans. Face it, no one is going to schedule a meeting or a birthday party at 6:30 a.m. If you think of your morning exercise as an appointment you must keep, you won’t let anything change your plans.
- It improves your sleep. (Really — a study proves this too!) People who work out for 4 hours a week in the morning report better sleep than those who exercise the same amount in the evening. And better sleep leads to better overall health and easier weight loss.
- You’ll have a sense of accomplishment that’ll pump you up for the day.
- You’ll build up an appetite for breakfast which will fuel your morning and help you make smart lunch choices.
If you can’t keep your hands away from the snooze button, try these tips:
Gradually go to bed earlier. Figure out how many hours you need to feel like you got a good night’s sleep, then count back from your ideal wake-up time. Go to bed 15 minutes earlier every night until you’ve found the bedtime that works for you.
Forget you even have a snooze button. Force yourself to get up as soon as your alarm goes off. Those 10 minutes of groggy sleep don’t make you feel any more awake, and might actually make you feel sleepier.
Plan your workout. Lay out your exercise clothes and shoes, water bottle, and iPod, and decide what the morning’s workout will be. That way, you’ll be ready to go faster with plenty of time to accomplish your goal.
Ease into it. Starting off slow and steady with gradual increases in speed or time will help you stick to your new morning routine. If you go too hard too fast, you’ll probably end up quitting.