I saw a post today highlighting a common a in the day of people and why they then might feel awful.
It went like this:
Wake up in a rush, unrefreshed and sluggish
Grabs simple carbs for energy- Cereal, bagel, toast or even just a coffee.
They head to work, a job they aren’t happy in.
Get stuck in traffic, get angry because they are tired
Have more coffee and sit in their office, flooded with junk light and stress.
Grab more carbs or processed food for lunch, trying to boost energy.
Countdown till home
Drive home to sit on the sofa, snacking and watching Netflix until late to try get some dopamine fix that doesn’t come.
Goes to bed, wakes up tired…
So whats the purpose of this post:
I have recently taking up morning movement. Sometimes this is a full workout-weights or run, other times its just a stretch.
I am doing it for a couple of reasons. One to create a deficit through movement vs diet and to continue to refuel sufficiently for performance. Two to challenge myself mentally.
So even though movement at anytime of the day has its benefits.
Research has shown that moving in the morning is one of the best ways to start your day. It has show to boost energy, reduce stress, help with food choices and also helps set you up for a productive day!
Boosts your mood: Exercise in the morning not only starts you day with a challenge ticked off and knowing you’ve done something for your health. It also gives you a rush of endorphins, serotonin and dopamine - the feel good chemicals that produced and released in your body, that stick with you throughout the day! These hormones such help control those anger bursts during your morning traffic, work stress. The exercise helps you also make better choices food wise and therefore will help combat declining energy levels across the day.
Better focus: Those that feel they struggle with focus have comment on the benefits of exercising in the morning and their productivity across the day. This can be due to exercise allowing you to feel more present and successful, not to mention a good way to get the blood pumping and oxygen pushed around your body and brain!
More energy: Expend energy to gain it! You might think exercise drains you but it actually does the opposite. Because exercise increase blood circulation, oxygen and nutrient travel quicker to the heart and lungs which improves the cardiovascular system, endurance and overall stamina.
Manage stress: I find this one huge. Once I do movement in the morning, I enter the day a lot more calm and able to achieve more, with less things being able to overwhelm or stress myself out. Exercise is known for a natural stress reducer. It helps lower your bodies cortisol levels (stress hormone), relaxes muscle and helps create a more present mind if you focus on your breathe whilst exercising too.
Better sleep: For more way than one! I find that because I am up early to move, I want to be in bed earlier. I find less phone time and reading a great way to finish the day and aim to get 7 hours of sleep per night (8 if I’m lucky!). Also, morning workouts vs evenings tend to be better for those that struggle to wind down after a workout. Exercising too close to sleep can disrupt the type of sleep you have and can often make it hard to fall asleep.
Workouts in the morning have shown to lead to deeper, longer and higher-quality sleep (subject to factors).
I would definitely recommend some morning movement if you are someone that wants to maximise their day, get a sense of accomplishment and boost mood and mental health. I have found this routine to be hugely rewarding over the past couple of weeks from both a mental and physical viewpoint.
I like to do a 20 min yoga or run or weight sessions. If you're stuck here’s some ideas!
Going for a walk/ run around the block
Doing 10 jumping jacks, 10 push ups, 10 squats, while your shower is heating up
Holding a plank for as long as you can
Doing a quick 10-minute yoga routine