(BlackDoctor.org) — “It’s hard enough to get up in the morning early enough to get to work on time. You expect me to get up early enough to exercise?” It may sound like an uncanny suggestion. And 500 calories burned are no different whether they are burned in the morning than in the afternoon, but there are certain benefits of morning exercise that you don’t get when you exercise later in the day. Read on to find out what these benefits are.
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. means you get to harness that brainpower instead of wasting it while you’re snoozing.
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 better 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:
• Your body is not “confused” by wildly changing wake-up times, which means waking up is much less painful. (You may even find that you don’t need an alarm clock most days.)
• Hormones prepare your body for exercise by regulating blood pressure, heart rate, blood flow to muscles, etc.
• Your metabolism, along with all the hormones involved in activity and exercise, begin to elevate while you’re sleeping. As a result, you’ll feel more alert, energized and ready to exercise when you do wake up.