So you’re not a morning person and the idea of getting up to workout seems like absolute torture. But guess what, most of those crazy people you know or have heard of that wake up at goodly hours to workout, did not begin that way. Most of them were once just like you, snuggling in their cozy warm bed and snoozing before getting up to go to work. So what makes people make the shift, and what makes getting up to workout in the morning worth it?
1) Fewer Excuses! A lot of people make the shift because they realize that the morning is the only time in the day that they can make time to exercise. Things come up, life happens, you start to feel lazy as the day goes on, you had a stressful day at work and all you want to do is go home….there can be many reasons for not hitting a workout after work.
But besides fitting it into your schedule, there are some serious benefits when it comes to our hormones and our natural rhythm.
2) Increase Energy. Many of us feel slow and lazy in the early morning hours, but it is still very beneficial to move the body, get your heart rate up and get blood pumping to our organs. This produces an amazing amount of energy and sets the tone for the rest of the day. It may take some time to create a new routine, but it could have significant effects on your hormones and ability to lose weight.
3) Listen to your Internal Clock. Based on our circadian rhythm and ayurvedic principles, our body naturally wants and needs activity in the early morning. When the sun rises, our body temperature naturally begins to rise and our metabolism is waking up.
If we consider that our ancestors did not have the luxury of artificial light that we do, they had no choice but to follow the rhythms of nature, which meant making the most of the sunlight hours and naturally winding down as the sun begins to set. We have unfortunately lost touch with our natural rhythm and stay up late, making it unlikely that we want to get up early for a workout.
To get the most out of this time, it is also ideal to eat immediately post workout, to stoke your metabolic fire by adding food and nutrients, to your body.
4) Regulate Cortisol & Prevent Adrenal Fatigue. Cortisol is a steroid hormone that is produced in the cortex of our adrenal glands. It is responsible for a wide range of processes such as immune response and our metabolism. It plays a big role in the way our body responds to stress, so when we produce excess cortisol our adrenals can get burnt out, leaving us feeling depleted, lethargic and derepressed.
Cortisol is naturally higher in the morning hours and begins to drop naturally throughout the day. When we exercise strenuously our body produces cortisol, which means even though our body naturally wants to wind down, we experience a surge of cortisol late in the day. Couple this with a stressful job and other stresses that you may be experiencing in your life and you may be on a rollercoaster of cortisol spikes and dips throughout the day. Being in this constant state of stress can lead to adrenal fatigue and can make it pretty darn hard to lose weight.
The black line represents cortisol, which peaks in the morning and naturally starts to decrease as the day goes on.
5) Sleep Better. Just as our bodies are generally pre-programed to be more active during the hours of sunlight, are we programmed to feel low key and tired as the sun begins to set. At sunset, our cortisol levels begin to drop naturally and our body begins to wind down and get ready for sleep. If we constantly ignore this inner guide, we may have a really hard time winding down and getting a good night’s rest.
Ideally, you want to start winding down about an hour before bedtime, so that you avoid the dreaded tossing and turning when you hit the sack no later than 10 pm.
Should you stop working out in the early evening? Not necessarily. For some, it simply works and that’s fine, as long as you’re not seeing any negative effects from it. Evening workouts a few days a week versus every day will make a big difference too. If you are not having a hard time losing weight, you are sleeping like a baby, you are energetic during the day and continue to be during your workouts, then continue to do so.
If you’re wondering if working out in the morning is for you, it probably is! You just have to create a new habit!
In health and fitness,