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Four reasons to exercise before the sun comes up


Sheryl Plouffe
Weather Broadcaster, The Weather Network

Friday, May 9, 2014, 11:54 AM - Getting up early is not easiest thing to do especially when you're not a 'morning person.'

But there are some advantages to exercising before the sun rises. I'm going to share four of them with you. Before you hit the snooze button and pull those warm covers up over your head, hear me out.

The Stats Are Alarming

Nearly 70% of North American adults are overweight or obese. It's an epidemic and it's having a major impact on our economy too.

There are many physical, mental, and physiological benefits to regular exercise including:

  • lower blood pressure
  • lower cholesterol levels
  • maintaining a healthy weight
  • less risk of depression, heart disease, stroke, and cancer

Why I Switched My Routine

I've tried pretty much every workout schedule over the last 15 years. At one point back in my 'gym rat' days, I was that girl doing lat pulldowns and hamstring curls just before the stroke of midnight. Sometimes I wouldn't hit the sack until after 2am because I was still too wired. It wasn't ideal, but as a night owl it made sense at the time.

Then came midday workouts which was an improvement from the late night drills. But things were popping up in the afternoon and I was finding myself missing workouts.

Then one of my mentors Chalene Johnson mentioned the advantages of working out before anyone in the house wakes up. I decided to try it for a week to see how it would go.

Sure, it's not easy crawling out of bed at 4:15am, but it beats the alternative of not exercising regularly and contributing to the stats. This might not work for you depending on your schedule, but it's worth considering if you work the 9-5 or a slight variation of it.

It may sound torturous to get up, let alone exercise, at this ungodly hour but let me tell you why it works so well:

1. 100% COMPLETION GUARANTEE

You know as well as I do that if you don't schedule time to exercise, it's likely not going to happen. Don't leave it to chance.

Too many surprises pop up during the day like unscheduled meetings and last-minute errands. Not to mention all the stuff on your to-do list that keeps you running from morning to night. When you schedule your fitness first thing, you can relax knowing that you won't have it hanging over you for the rest of the day.

I often tell people to treat it like you would a doctor's appointment. Treat it like an appointment you booked six months ago that you must keep. No Doctor's office I know opens before the sun rises, but you get the point.

2. ENERGY MACHINE

Yes. Exercise actually gives you more energy. I find it funny when people say they don't have enough energy to be active. All the more reason why you should be moving your body.

Exercise revs up your metabolism and some forms of exercise also release endorphin's that help you feel happy, more energized and less stressed.

Finishing a fitness routine first thing in the morning can also make you more alert and productive for the rest of the day.

3. NO GUILT

Some people feel guilty taking up time to exercise when they could be spending that precious time with their kids or loved ones. If you get it done first thing in the morning, preferably before anyone else is awake, you won't be taking time away from them at all.

A lot of moms in particular find it challenging to get their workouts done when the kids are vying for their attention. Having said that, there are definitely ways to incorporate children into your routine and make the most of a kids-in-tow situation.

My point is that if you find it challenging to get your exercise completed with children around, then early morning is a great solution. As you may have noticed, I don't believe in excuses.

4. LEAD BY EXAMPLE

It's amazing how the habit of exercise can rub off on other people. When your friends start noticing that you're happier, lighter and beaming with pride, they'll want to know what you're doing. They'll want to know how they can achieve the same results.

Your loved ones might also want to get fit when they see how dedicated you are to reaching your goals. If your family is sedentary and doesn't exercise very much at all, you can be the person to break the cycle. Someone's got to. Show your family that exercise is worth it.

What do you think of early morning workouts? Do already do them or is it something you're totally against? Let us know in the comments section below.

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