Did you know that only 20 percent of Americans are getting enough exercise every week? According to the CDC report, this is true. We know that movement is a very important Habit of Health! It’s vital for each of us to find the time to get moving! If we are physically able and want to get the most out of optimal health, “getting our workout on” for cardiovascular health, mental health and toned muscle, really is in our best interest!
Do you feel like you don’t have time in your already busy holiday schedule? Here are 7 compelling reasons why exercising early in the day can be a great benefit to you!
- Better sleep - If your first argument against working out in the morning is because you need all the sleep you can get, then read this carefully. Exercise in the morning can help you sleep better at night, studies show. And you don’t need a two-hour workout to reap the benefits either — try a brisk walk around your neighborhood or ride a stationary bike while catching up on your DVR queue. Better sleep can also help you lose weight.
- Boosts metabolism - You can boost your metabolism with exercise. So if you hit the gym in the morning, your metabolism is working for the rest of the day. People who exercise in the morning can also burn more calories than people who exercise later in the day.
- Lower BMI - Here’s a good reason to get outside and get moving: A new study found a link between natural light and lower body mass indexes. The study showed that people who went outside in bright, natural light between 8 a.m. and noon had better metabolisms than people who don’t spend any time outside until late afternoon or later. “For every hour later in which an individual got the majority of their light exposure, that translated into 1.22 BMI units,” Dr. Phyllis Zee, a professor of neurology, told NBC News.
- Improve your mood - Exercise releases endorphins and gives you extra energy, studies show. You can take that extra energy and be more productive during the day, with better mental clarity for up to 10 hours. Just 20 minutes of exercise can provide this boost. "Exercise is the single best thing you can do for your brain in terms of mood, memory, and learning," Harvard Medical School psychiatrist John Ratey told US News.
- Easier to schedule - It’s easy to make the decision to just go home and veg on the couch after a tiring workday. Get your exercise done in the morning so you don’t have to worry about last-minute conflicts.
- Better nutrition - Exercise in the morning, decrease your cravings. A study showed that 45 minutes of moderate exercise reduced activity in the part of the brain that associated food with pleasure. If you’re a victim of the See Food Diet (See it, then eat it), your morning workouts can help you stick to your health program goals.
- Better long-term results - Another benefit to exercising in the morning is you’re more likely to be consistent with your workouts. Make it a routine and just get up with your alarm clock every morning. "Think of your morning exercise like a business appointment — one you can't easily cancel," Dr. Gary Foster, clinical director of the weight and eating disorders program at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, told WebMD. "It takes discipline. But if you're overweight, you're at risk for a heart attack, and a host of many other ailments. If you don't do something about your weight, it's indirect self-destructive behavior. It's the same as smoking a pack of cigarettes daily. This has got to be the highest priority because, it's your health."
Reveiw FREE eHealth Challenge Tools for more helpful resources and exercise videos!
eHealth Challenge Tip: Re-think your drink.
Beverages, especially alcoholic choices, can be packed with calories. Opt for zero-calorie beverages such as unsweetened iced tea, coffee, seltzer water, diet soda, and water. If others are indulging in alcoholic drinks, volunteer to be the designated driver—it’s the perfect excuse to graciously decline any alcoholic beverage! For those who choose to indulge, avoid extra calories by limiting your drink selection to one or two light beers, glasses of wine, or cocktails made with spirits and zero calorie mixers (such as rum and diet soda), and, of course, please drink responsibly.