Before we dive into the reasons why working out in the morning is better, let’s not forget that working out at all is an achievement. However you like to move your body (and when) is already an endorphin-boosting win for your body and mind.
But if you’re happy to set an alarm and give it a go, there’s a whole list of benefits an AM workout specifically can provide.
From extra focus to improved sleep, here are all the reasons to skip your lie-in and get up and at ‘em early. You snooze, you lose.
Why working out in the morning is better
#1 Increased fat burning
Did you now that J.Lo swears by working out in the morning? Doing so allows her to exercise on an empty stomach, which is sometimes refered to as ‘fasted cardio’. It’s not for everyone but if you find you’re constantly getting a stitch or feeling sick when exercising after eating, morning exercise could be the answer. Plus, it was proven in a study that those who work out before breakfast burn up to 20 per cent more fat compared to working out in the afternoon or evening.
#2 No time for excuses
“I’ve got to finish that report”, “I need to make dinner”, “I’ve got to ring mum” — it’s easy to get distracted by excuses when you’re working out in the afternoon or evening. By waking up and exercising before you do anything else, you’ll have completed your sweat sesh before your ‘to-do’ list is even formed for the day.
#3 Enhanced focus
It’s hard not to feel awake after a workout. And by getting your blood pumping in the morning, you’ll feel focused from the moment you sit at your desk, start your assignment or begin your day’s activities. Furthermore, research has shown that morning workouts have the ability to maximise your decision-making processes and attention span. Combine this with frequent breaks throughout the day and watch your productivity soar.
#4 Improved sleep
Wondering if there’s a magic time in particular for your morning workout? If you’re after a good night’s sleep, try 7am. A study published in the National Library of Medicine demonstrated that this time in particular helped adults to enjoy a better night’s sleep.
#5 You’ll beat the heat (and sometimes the rain)
Along with other excuses, the weather can often stop us from exercising (especially those of us who like to get our sweat on outside). In summer, exercising in the morning means you’ll experience more comfortable temperatures. Plus, you’ll never be disappointed about missing a sunny morning when a thunderstorm rolls in for the afternoon.
#6 Fewer food cravings
Got a serious case of the snack attacks? A study by Brigham Young University found that working out in the morning (45 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous exercise to be exact) saw participants be less tempted by the food. The people in the study also didn’t eat more to make up for the extra calories they burned while exercising. Ever thought, “if I work out this afternoon, I can have pizza and dessert for dinner?” — less likely to ring true in the mornings.
Main image credit: @joja
Need some help to get started? Here are the best morning workout tips to get you in the habit.
Samantha McMeekin was BEAUTYcrew's Editor from January 2020 to June 2023. She has worked as a journalist in the beauty and lifestyle industry for over 10 years. In 2019, she was nominated for Best Digital Writer at the BSME Awards for her work on GLAMOUR UK. If you ever meet her in person, she'll probably try to guess which fragrance you're wearing (she's got a humble 60% strike rate).