Do you jump up out of bed ready to start your day? If your energy level is high and your body feels ready, working out first thing in the morning might be the best time for you to get moving.
Morning exercise is a great way to start your day. To get the most out of your morning exercise, set your alarm clock one hour earlier than your normal wake-up time. This gives you time to eat, hydrate and warm up.
Working Out After Waking Up
The argument for working out first thing in the morning is two-fold. One, you tackle your daily exercise requirements before the hustle and bustle of the day, which helps eliminate excuses. And two, daily morning exercise kick-starts your metabolism, gets your heart pumping and may help lower your blood pressure.
That said, in order to exercise right, your body needs to be warm, which means it's not such a great idea to jump out of bed and go full force. To help your body get ready for exercise, set your alarm clock at least 10 minutes earlier than normal (this is in addition to the extra time needed for eating and exercising). Use these 10 minutes to get your body warm and ready to perform. Taking a brisk walk and performing dynamic movements both help your muscles and joints prepare for exercise.
Eating and Hydrating Before Daily Morning Exercise
Working out first thing in the morning requires you to pay special attention to fueling your body. While there are some people who say exercising on an empty stomach is a great way to burn fat, the experts at the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommend eating at least a small snack prior to morning exercise. This means you might need to allow an extra hour after waking up to get your workout in. This allows you enough time to eat and let your food settle before working out.
Examples of good pre-workout foods include:
- A slice of peanut butter toast and a banana
- Greek yogurt with berries
- An apple and almond butter
When it comes to fluids before your morning exercise, your goal is to hydrate with water before you start. Drink a glass of water when you first get up in the morning or sip on it while eating your pre-workout meal.
Read more: Good Food to Eat Before Gym in the Morning
Daily Morning Exercise Options
While no exercise is technically off-limits, there are some special considerations to keep in mind when planning your daily morning exercise:
- If the sun is still asleep, you may want to opt for an indoor session. Some of the more popular options for working out after waking up include at-home workouts, circuit training at the gym, a gentle yoga class with stretching or watching the morning news while sweating it out on the treadmill.
- If your plans take you outdoors, make sure to wear the proper safety attire so that people can see you.
- Exercising with a buddy helps keep you safe, especially if you plan on hitting the pavement before sunrise.
- If you have any health concerns or experience any discomfort while working out in the morning, stop what you're doing and talk with your doctor.
- Journal of Vascular Health Risk Management: Effects of Exercise Timing on Sleep Architecture and Nocturnal Blood Pressure in Prehypertensive
- Mayo Clinic: Eating and Exercise: 5 Tips to Maximize Your Workouts
- Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: How to Fuel Your Workout
- American Nutrition and Dietetics: Timing Your Pre-and-Post Workout Nutrition
- American Council on Exercise: Do It Better: Dynamic Warm-Ups
- Mayo Clinic: Aerobic Exercise: How to Warm Up and Cool Down
- American Heart Association: Food as Fuel Before, During and After Workouts