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The Simple Joys of a Morning Workout

Posted Jun 22 2009 11:52am

Autumn dawn
  James Jordan
My most memorable workouts have always come first thing in the morning. Even when I first started training and didn’t have a clue about diet, nutrition or what I was doing in general. There was something instinctive inside of me that made me want to get up and go for a workout as soon as I got up. Maybe its because the day seems so fresh and beautiful, full of possibilities. Or maybe its just being a morning person always brought out the best in me.

We rely on having a consistent time available to workout each day and my guess is that if the habit was made and we were able to (without time and work constraints) working out first thing in the morning would be the preference for everyone. Some have favorite times of the day for working out others just workout whenever they can. Some exercise to keep fit others use it as a tool to de-stress after a hard day at work. One thing is for sure, no one can deny the therapeutic effect of a good workout.

No Worries - Its as easy and simple as things come, no need to worry about if you will feel full or sluggish during the workout due to that huge lunch you just ate. No need to fit things around a schedule or worry about the impending workout all day. Just get up grab your stuff and go. If your working wake up a bit earlier, it takes dedication but almost anyone can achieve it especially with the long summer days.

Accomplishment - This for me is one the best things, before the day has even really begun you feel like there has been a job well done. You know that if your feeling crushed at the end of a long day at work their is no need to do anything but get home and relax. Each bite of breakfast, lunch and dinner will taste better for your early efforts…..No matter how bad the day went you will know there was one thing you got right!

Feel Good - Exercising is the ultimate feel good tool thanks to its effects on literally evacuating harmful stress hormones from the body. It will generate feel good endorphins plus increase your serotonin levels in the brain. Exercising consistently will shrink chronic stress and boost your confidence. This is no exaggeration, the best thing about the morning workouts are that these effects will stay with you all day boosting your productivity and creativity!

Fat Burning - When you wake up fasted your insulin levels will be at their lowest, luckily for you this means your body will burn pretty much exclusively fat for fuel. This will not only benefit you at the time but allow your insulin sensitivity to be improved all day long. Meaning your body will naturally divert food and nutrients to muscle tissue rather than fat. Remember this only applies if you get up and go, no eating before the workout.

Down Time - The morning is a time of day you can have totally to yourself. The streets are empty, no one else in the house is up, there are no complications or letting anyone else down. The time is yours, if you made that effort to wake up 30 minutes earlier than usual to workout thats time you bought and you can really enjoy. The quiet and peace of the morning make it a perfect time to workout in an almost meditative fashion.

Best Habit - If you get in the habit of working out upon waking a few times a week you will be nurturing what is one of the greatest habits of all time. Once you get to the point that it feels weird not getting up and doing some sort of activity you will know your on the right track. Build the habit of a lifetime!

7 minimalist AM workout ideas

1- Do Body Weight workouts twice a week and run 3-5K twice a week
2- Go for a 20 Minute morning Swim 3 times a week
3- 15 minutes of Kettlebell work
4- Hit your local CrossFit Facility for a WOD
5- Do 200 pushups for time
6- 5-10 Sets of Sprints
7- 30 seconds running as fast as you can 1 minute slow jogging X 5

Its amazing how good it feels to get up, have a cup of coffee look out the window and get going. Especially when the sun shines!

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