Exercise in the Morning: 4 Motivating Reasons

Want to feel more energetic in the morning? A cup of coffee may be a non-negotiable part of your a.m. routine, but something else you should try is exercise.

If the thought of breaking a sweat when you're barely alert makes you want to crawl back under the covers, consider the following reasons for lacing up your sneakers early in the day:

1. Morning exercise helps you get moving

If you sometimes feel stiff and sore when you get out of bed, you're in good company—especially on chilly days. This is where exercise really does the trick, since it raises your core body temperature fairly quickly and allows your muscles and joints better range of motion. For an extra exercise push, consider laying out your workout clothes the night before. You'll more likely hop out of bed and go for that run.

2. Morning exercise torches calories

Can you say "metabolism boost"? You'll get one no matter what time you exercise, but sunrise workouts bestow a special gift, according to Christine Lo Bue-Estes, assistant professor of exercise science at Mercyhurst College in Erie, Pa. "[You can] take advantage of that boost [as you go] about your day." In other words, you'll probably burn more calories staying busy in the afterglow of your early bird workout than you will hit the sack as soon as you hop off the treadmill at 9:00 p.m.

3. Morning exercise makes you happy

Those endorphins you produce when you run or spin or jump give you a definite mood boost, Lo Bue-Estes claims, fueling your feelings of productivity, accomplishment, and energy. "It's a chemical jump start to your day."

4. Morning exercise is harder to blow off

A 7:00 a.m. aerobics class before work? Probably doable. That 5:15 p.m. spin class? Not so easy. Work deadlines, children's after-school activities, and the desire for family dinners make it too easy to scrap afternoon workout plans.

Does this mean exercise is only valuable if done in the morning? Not at all. "Exercise, no matter when you do it, is good," Lo Bue-Estes says. And feeling energized by exercise is as much about doing something you love as it is about doing it at a particular time. "The best exercise is what gets you excited to be up and moving."

Ben Greenfield reviewed this article.



Interview with Christine Lo Bue-Estes, Mercyhurst College.