Any workout is a good workout but what about morning workouts? The early bird might get… additional benefits for waking up early to exercise, according to research.
Our bodies are designed to move, and any opportunity we take to get our heart rate up or our muscles moving is going to be beneficial for our health.
Workouts are not relegated to hitting the gym either; any sort of physical activity you enjoy, whether it is cycling, walking, swimming, hiking is beneficial. Today, we know of so many ways that we can get the physical exercise our bodies need for good health that there is simply no excuse for not finding an exercise you enjoy, and enjoying it consistently.
The inability to find time to exercise is one of the most common excuses for not working out. However, it is important to remember that we all have the same number of hours in a day, we must all balance our life between family, work, leisure time, and rest, and the only person who can decide what is important enough to spend your time on is you. To that end, any time that you can consistently devote to exercising is bound to give you a return in terms of health benefits.
However, there might be some additional benefit afforded to those who decide to perform morning workouts.
Working out in the morning is a great way to start your day; you get a challenging part of the day out of the way, and you prep your body and mind to be sharp and awake for the coming responsibilities. Getting up early and working out is a great, proactive habit to create, but beyond the mental health boost from taking charge of your day, there are certain scientific reasons why early morning exercises might be beneficial.
First, working out in the morning might have positive effects on blood pressure, especially for those who suffer from hypertension. This is from a 2019 study conducted by the American Heart Association, which noted that for people with high blood pressure in the 55-80 age range, morning workouts had a blood pressure lowering effect.
Second, working out early might help you sleep better. Working out temporarily spikes cortisol levels, which is our body’s stress hormone. This might have some benefit for early morning alertness, but if you are working out right before bed, it could interfere with your sleep to a certain extent. Getting up with the sun also might improve circadian rhythm, so the benefit for your sleep schedule might actually be two-fold.
In the context of overall health benefits that are associated with working out, these might not be the deciding factor for when you decide to exercise. For some, it might be the inspiration to rearrange their day around healthy habits. Good health is often the combination of many small choices we make over the long run––and to that end, that run might as well be as the sun is coming up.
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