I sigh as I realise I’ve slept in again – no time to exercise before work, I’ll have to do it after, which sucks, because I feel better when I work out in the morning – but is it better for you?
Scientifically speaking, perhaps. However, don’t write off exercise just because you can’t find the time until later in the day. Exercise at ANY time of the day is better than no exercise at all.
I know I definitely feel a difference in my mood, productivity, anxiety, focus, and energy when I work in the morning. It’s a feeling I just don’t get from an afternoon workout.
With the chronic sleeping in habit I’ve developed of late, it’s a choice some days of working out in the afternoon or not working out at all.
And if I can only fit in an afternoon workout, I don’t beat myself up – I celebrate for still staying committed to my fitness goals.
If you can only workout in the afternoon, because of scheduling commitments, or because you’re too tired or in too much pain to workout in the morning, work out in the afternoon and feel damn proud of yourself for it.
BUUT if you can manage a morning workout, I highly recommend it. Here’s what I’ve noticed from working out in the morning.
I feel happier and calmer
When I work out in the morning, I feel more cheerful, sociable, and calm throughout the day. I’m in a way, way better mood.
That runner’s high feeling is a real thing – and it lasts a lot longer than a cup of coffee, too. It lifts me up and buoys me on a rainbow throughout the rest of my day.
(Well, maybe not that extreme, but you get the idea.)
Science totally backs this. Moderate exercise releases happy chemicals e.g. serotonin and endorphins, into your blood stream, giving you a euphoric high that improves your mood and reduces stress.
I feel most refreshed and ready to move in the morning
I am useless to the world after 3 pm. Honestly, during a 3 pm afternoon slump I would rather pick hair out of my bathroom drain than go workout and get sweaty.
I just have no energy.
After a good night’s sleep, my body feels refreshed, restored and ready to begin the day, so it’s when I have the most energy for a workout.
I’m less likely to get interrupted/distracted in the morning
Working out in the morning helps me be WAY more consistent with my fitness goals.
As soon as the work day starts to happen, the flood gates open and the world pours in. I get pulled in a million directions.
The later it gets in the day, the trickier it gets to find an hour (or the will) to workout.
But in the morning, before other priorities start clamouring for attention, I’ve got a moment’s peace to dedicate to myself and my personal fitness goals, so that’s the time I find it easiest to carve for myself.
Plus ... it’s kind of nice to have the first hour of the morning all to yourself to be in your body, put yourself first, and do something good for yourself and your health.
You get to fill your cup for the day before you start pouring from it.
I just get more done in the day
Okay, I am way more revved up, focused and productive when I’ve exercised first thing.
After a workout and a cool shower followed by a nutritious breakfast, I literally feel ready to tackle anything and so deliciously amped and motivated, because science.
The British Journal of Sports Medicine did a study which found that working out in the morning improves your attention, visual learning and decision making.
I know personally I tend to struggle a LOT with staying focused and paying attention, but when I exercise in the morning, I’m able to stay focused and productive throughout the day.
Studies show it may improve weight loss
Now, my beautiful glam baby, you do you. Not everyone has the goal to lose weight, and if you don’t, that’s wonderful and you don’t need to read this bit.
However, if like me you are working on weight loss goals right now, working out in the morning may help with that.
The International Journal of Obesity did a study which found that people who did their workouts in the morning lost more weight than people who worked out in the afternoon.
Another study found that people who did a 100 minute pre-brekky run burned more fat over the next 24 hours than people who ran for 50 minutes in the morning and 50 minutes in the afternoon.
I personally find that fasted cardio, first thing in the morning, helps me lean down fast.
But I have the privilege of a lifestyle that allows me to do that. You’ll still get great weight loss benefits (if that’s your thing) working out at ANY time of day.
I tend to make healthier food choices AFTER I’ve exercised
Studies have shown that people who train in the morning are more likely to eat healthier. Personally, I can vouch for this.
I find I eat a LOT healthier when I’ve worked out first thing in the morning. It’s like I’ve started the day by doing something good for my body, and I feel like I’ve set a precedent I want to continue.
I just feel ... lighter??? in my body after a good, sweaty workout and seem to crave lighter foods. When I exercise in the morning, I have this feeling throughout breakfast, lunch and dinner, so I’m going to choose things like oatmeal, salad and veggies.
I have energy all day long
Okay, so maybe I don’t feel all that fresh when I first wake up, but listen, after a few minutes of warming up and getting my blood pumping, I get a hit of energy that lasts the entire day.
I mean, it’s better than a cup of coffee.
I feel just way more energetic and dynamic, I move around a lot more and I don’t seem to “putt out” at 3 pm as much.
I sleep way better at night
I sleep way better at night when I’ve worked out in the morning. And I mean the good sleep.
The sleep where you could literally use a chainsaw outside my bedroom door and I just wouldn’t hear it. The sleep where I wake up with crinkle marks on my skin from my sheets because I haven’t so much as rolled over.
It’s good, deep, refreshing sleep.
This is another one where science backs me up. A study in Vascular Health and Risk Management found that adults who worked out at 7 am slept better and deeper at night.
To land this plane, I’m going to let you in on a secret: the best time to work out is the time that works best for YOU. Don’t feel like you “HAVE” to work out at a certain time or it won’t be good for you.
The most important thing is that you find time in your day for at least 30 minutes of moderate activity - whether it's in the morning or in the afternoon. Whatever time of day you feel able to consistently, sustainably stick to each day is the perfect time for YOUR body and your health.
P.S. If you’d like even more healthy habits to build a healthy and fit lifestyle you’re obsessed with, I’ve created a FREE bundle just for you. It’s a series of journal prompts, an .mp3 self love affirmation audio and a eBook designed to help you build healthy habits for life.
Click the button below (or HERE) to get started now. Did I mention it’s completely free?
Breakfast today was a meal prep from yesterday: I made some overnight oats, just with coconut milk, berries, and cinnamon.
Let me tell you, it was so great to just be able to reach into the fridge, grab out my breakfast, and go, no muss, no fuss.
(Well, there was a little bit of fuss, because I still had to make coffee, but you know.)
Morning tea was, of course, my daily essential green smoothie. I feel just OODLES better on the days when I drink this.
So when I announced to Greg that I was making salad jars for the week he raised a sceptical eyebrow and said, “I remember you tried that once and it didn’t work.”
That’s true, because I didn’t make it right last time (turns out if the dressing goes anywhere near your lettuce, you'll just get a gloppy, boogery mess). But this time I’ve learned from my mistakes and made the most delicious salad ever.
It’s a chicken and mango salad (which I will totally post the recipe for) and it was so summery, sweet, crunchy and delicious.
Dinner tonight was Indian shepherd’s pie, which I meal prepped a huge batch of the day before for dinner throughout the week. God, it was so amazing to just open my fridge and pull dinner out, ready to go.
Meal prepping is well worth a few hours once a week – you’ll save SO much time throughout the week and it’s just way more convenient than meal kit delivery (and more cost effective).
I wanted a bit of cronch to my dessert tonight, so I had a bowl of yoghurt with just the slightest sprinkling of sugar free granola. Mmm ... so good.
Today I needed a bit of feel good grooving in my life, so I did a true workout classic: Richard Simmons’ Sweating to the Oldies II.
Listen, this man’s energy is so upbeat, happy and positive, it’s just a joy to workout to. The moves are accessible for everyone, there’s no crazy jumping, but I promise – you will definitely work up a sweat!
Okay, my glam babies, that wraps us up for today.
Let’s huddle in quick for the motivation message.
Who you were does not have to define who you are.
The past does not equal the future.
It's okay to change direction, to pivot, to re-invent yourself, to change a dream or shift your focus.
And if your past was hard, and limiting, you no longer have to be shackled to it unless you choose to be.
Your behaviour comes from a thought and a thought can be changed if you choose it.
How will you choose to define your future?
Until tomorrow, keep shining bright.
- Xo, Rhi