I am not a morning person.
This confession will come as no surprise to my friends and family, most of whom have spent many glorious
For years I’ve tried to pretend I’m one of "them"—those chirpy, cheerful folks who rise effortlessly at dawn to go after that proverbial worm. I’ve also spent many years suppressing the urge to complain bitterly about a world where night owls like me suffer grievous discrimination at the hands of those ubiquitous "normal" people.
So those who know me best are always startled—no, make that shocked—to find out that I do most of my exercising in the early hours of the day, anywhere from 6 a.m.
And though my morning-exercise regimen started out as a concession to the practical constraints of my life, I have since discovered that there are some very good benefits to learning to love exercise in the morning—and now, I'm here to share them with you.
1. Exercising early in the morning "jump starts" your metabolism, keeping it elevated for hours, sometimes for up to 24 hours! As a result, you’ll be burning more calories all day long—just because you exercised in the morning.
2. Exercising in the morning energizes you for the day—not to mention that gratifying feeling of virtue you have knowing you’ve done something disciplined and good for you.
3. Studies have shown that exercise significantly increases mental acuity—a benefit that lasts four to 10 hours after your workout ends. Exercising in the a.m.
4. Assuming you make exercise a true priority, it shouldn’t be a major problem to get up 30 to 60 minutes earlier—especially since regular exercise generally means a higher quality of sleep, which in turn means you’ll probably require less sleep. If getting up 30 to 60 minutes earlier each day seems too daunting, you can ease into it with 10 to 20 minutes at first.
5. When you exercise at about the same time every morning—especially if you wake up regularly at about the same time—you’re regulating your body's endocrine system and circadian rhythms. Your body learns that you do the same thing just about every day, and it begins to prepare for waking and exercise several hours before you actually open your eyes. That’s beneficial because:
7. People who consistently exercise find, sometimes to their great surprise, that the appointed time every morning evolves into something they look forward to. Besides the satisfaction of taking care of themselves, they find it’s a great time to plan their day, meditate or