Why you should workout in the morning

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Personal trainer Andrew Cate looks at 3 of advantages of working out in the morning, and offers his tips on how to make the most of it.

1. It's more likely to happen

When you exercise first thing in the morning, it gets done. There's less interruptions, and less chance of other priorities getting in the way that may otherwise lead to a missed workout.

You won't have to worry about a ringing phone, looming deadline, nagging child or invitation for drinks holding you back.

It's harder to find an excuse not to exercise if your day has just begun. It's why morning exercise can be especially beneficial for people who struggle to find the motivation to exercise consistently.

2. It sets a healthy foundation for your day

Getting your blood flowing and oxygen circulating is such a positive, energy boosting start to your day. It may even help to boost your alertness and ability to concentrate.

What's more, morning exercise may help to generate a type of health momentum that lasts for the entire day. That feeling of accomplishment can be very motivating, and encourages you to improve your diet before you start eating for the day, rather than afterwards.

What's more, outdoor exercise exposes you to sunlight first thing in the morning, helping to regulate your body clock, which may in turn boost your mood, and even improve sleep.

READ MORE: 10 exercises to improve your body & mind

3. It may be more effective for fat loss

When it comes to exercise and weight control, there's no doubt that the best time of day to exercise is the time of day when you are most likely to do it.

But there may be some unique fat loss benefits associated with exercising before breakfast.

In theory, your blood sugar levels are low first thing in the morning (because you haven’t eaten for several hours) making it easier for your body to use stored fat to fuel any physical activity.

This theory is supported by research published in The Journal of Physiology, where it was discovered that early morning exercise before breakfast is more effective than an identical amount of exercise after exercise. The areas of benefit included measures of blood sugar control, and significant improvements in skin fold measurements (a good indicator of body fat levels).

Top tips for morning workouts

  • Hydrate - Your body loses fluid overnight; particularly through respiration (moisture leaves your body in every breath). Make sure to drink a little water before, during and after your morning workouts to maintain hydration
  • Go to bed early – You don't want to sacrifice sleep to exercise. Most people who hate getting up early go to bed too late. If you plan to exercise in the morning, eat dinner sooner and go to bed early so you’ll wake up refreshed instead of wearing out the snooze button
  • Use your weekends - Try using your weekend mornings as a starting point for some morning exercise. You won’t have to get up so early, and can then enjoy a workout with fewer commitments hovering over you