Exercise is a priority which has become increasingly close to many of our hearts during the Covid-19 pandemic. Whilst we’ve been isolated in our homes, seasoned fitness fanatics have continued to find solace in their exercise regimes, whilst those of us who are new to the world of working out have found unexpected joy in walking, home yoga and more.
Lockdown has notoriously left most of us feeling unhealthier, sluggish and confined; seemingly, fitness is the key to feeling more energised and confident.
For many, exercise is a lifeline; a source of confidence and comfort which promises to strengthen and empower our bodies from the inside out.
As such, we’re becoming increasingly fascinated with the nuances of fitness and what more we can do to reap the physical and mental benefits; from the exact workouts we’re doing to when we should be working out, there are countless questions to consider…
If you’ve discovered a love for exercise during lockdown, or if you’re simply looking to improve your results, then, yes, strategically timing your workouts will make a difference.
‘When’ we should work out is a big question and one rumour circling around the fitness whirlpool is that mornings are an optimal time to enjoy your exercise of choice. Is this the case?
Fortunately, an expert is on hand to give you the answers you’ve been waiting for.
Rees Crawford, lead trainer from the Elite Outdoor Fitness Academy, professionally supports men and women, guiding them through their fitness journeys with carefully designed outdoor group workouts and nutritional advice.
According to Rees, working out in the morning is a great thing to do – it’s not a myth! Here’s why…
- We’re all more alert in the mornings.
‘Cortisol is a hormone that keeps you alert and awake; most of us associate it with stress, however problems only arise when your body has too much, or too little, cortisol. Otherwise, this hormone simply leaves you feeling energised and focused, something which is perfect both before and during a workout.
Typically, cortisol increases in the morning and drops in the evening (peaking at 8am); as a result, your body is better prepared for a strenuous workout in the morning, when you’re most energised and alert (even if you don’t quite feel like it!).
Of course, when you can work out will depend on your schedule; if you’re busy throughout the day, then evenings might simply work better for you – that’s absolutely fine.
What’s most important is that we’re all active. Just remember, your body is awake and ready for a workout earlier than you might think.’
- You’ll have more energy.
‘Exercise is widely recognised to release endorphins, leaving you feeling happier and more accomplished. However, regular exercise also boosts your energy levels, reducing fatigue in turn. How? When we workout, oxygen and nutrients travel to our hearts and lungs, supporting our endurance and stamina.
Working out in the morning subsequently leaves you feeling more energised throughout the day. If you’re someone who often feels tired or distracted mid-afternoon, then a morning workout could give you a fantastic natural boost.’
- Morning workouts support weight loss.
‘As a trainer I of course help my clients to lose weight and healthily meet their goals. However, I would like to emphasise that fitness should be enjoyed because it makes us stronger, healthier and more confident – weight isn’t the most important thing.
If you are looking to lose weight (please source professional nutritional advice and guidance), then morning workouts are a brilliant tool at your disposal. Working out in the morning will boost your metabolism, something which is key to healthy weight loss.’
- It helps to control your appetite.
‘Working out in the morning also has another rather unexpected benefit; it has been said to help control your appetite. If you’re trying to enjoy healthier, more balanced meals, curbing cravings (apart from the odd treat), then this will be invaluable.
Exercise helps to regulate your appetite by reducing ghrelin, the hunger hormone. It also increases satiety hormones like peptide YY and peptide-1. Generally, it leaves us feeling more energised, content and motivated throughout the day.’
- Working out in the morning will stop you falling off the wagon.
‘Exercising in the morning sets the tone for your day; if working out is one of the first things you do, and you enjoy it, then you’ll continue to make healthy choices as your day progresses. It ensures you feel accomplished before your daily tasks even begin.
When it comes to working out in the evening, excuses often creep in… if you’re guilty of feeling less motivated when you finish work, instead feeling a desperate desire to relax with a delicious dinner, then getting fitness checked off your list first thing will mean that you can do this without missing out on the exercise you want to enjoy.
If you’re unable to work out in the morning and struggle with this, I would recommend joining a group class. At the Elite Outdoor Fitness Academy, we host sessions outside for our clients; they’re not pressured by a gym environment, enjoy the comradery and support one another, meaning they’re much more inclined to work out after a busy day than they would be if they were exercising independently.
One of the most valuable tools when it comes to succeeding with fitness is a sense of community and support.
To conclude, working out in the morning accompanies a wide array of benefits; it’ll boost your energy, help you to focus, set your day off to a great, healthy start and more.
Although, it’s not necessary – you can enjoy a fun, effective fitness routine without working out in the morning, it’s simply important that you do what works for you, seek expert advice and enjoy what you’re doing – you don’t want exercise to become a chore!’
For more information about the Elite Outdoor Fitness Academy visit www.elitefitnessacademy.co.uk.