While there's a whole host of reasons for why it's good (both mentally and physically) to be an early bird, one great benefit is the ability to easily wake up early -- and get that exercise in first thing in the morning.
And there's tons of perks to a.m. fitness, whether it's being witness to the beautiful sunrise, or the feeling that you started your day off on a productive note. One study even suggests it could help you better manage cravings.
While some research suggests that the late afternoon is an optimal time to exercise, we'd like to posit that morning workouts have their advantages. And even if you're not a natural to the whole "exertion in the morning" thing, take heart: you can train your body to reach its personal best simply by sticking to exercise at the same time each day, according to research from the University of Texas, Denton (researchers there found that people reported less fatigue and better performance if they worked out at the same time each day)
In other words: force yourself up and eventually it'll be second nature.
In the course of a Brigham Young University study
, 18 normal-weighted and 17 clinically obese women were followed for two full days. On the first day, they exercised for 45 minutes, walking briskly on a treadmill, and then looked at 240 photographs, 120 of which were food (the other 120 were a control: flowers). The researchers then tracked the women's food intake and activity level for the rest of the day. On the second day, one week later, the women were shown the images without the workout. Again their food and exercise choices were tracked. Researchers found that both the obese women and the women at a healthy weight had a lower brain response to the images of food and moved around more following the 45 minute morning workout.
This is an obvious one, but getting your workout in before work means that you'll be up for impromptu happy hour or dinner plans. No more "I can't, I have spinning" for you!
What's more, getting your workout out of the way first means you'll actually do it. "If you work out before your day distracts you, your chances of exercising regularly go way up," Cedric Bryant, Ph.D., chief science officer of the American Council on Exercise told Women's Health
When you exercise, the effort helps to deliver oxygen and nutrients to muscles, organs and other tissues. And that means your whole cardiovascular system will work more efficiently, upping your energy
, according to the Mayo Clinic.