While it might be tempting to crawl back under your duvet for five more minutes of snatched sleep, fitting in a quick workout before you head to the office can have amazing benefits. From boosting your positivity levels to reducing stress – and even making you smarter – here are some of the benefits from working out in the morning.
It’s common knowledge that working out is a dream for your happy hormones. Exercise helps your body to produce serotonin and dopamine, your brain’s feel-good chemicals, along with endorphins, which reduce your perception of pain and make you feel great.
Further, exercise’s mood-boosting effects are so powerful, it’s often recommended as an antidote to depression. A study from Harvard shows that those who are depressed have a smaller hippocampus – the part of the brain which helps to regulate mood. Working out specifically supports the nerve cell growth in this area, improving their connections and therefore boosting your happiness levels. Magic, isn’t it?
If your bad Monday mood stems from the fact that you have a stressful work life, fitting in a quick exercise session before (or after) you head to the office could be really beneficial.
Vigorous exercise increases your body’s level of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which is an inhibitory neurotransmitter. This, essentially, quietens down your ‘stressy’ neurons and decreases your levels of anxiousness – making for a much more relaxed day at your desk. Sounds good to us.
Though most of us feel anything but energetic at the beginning of the week, exercising actually helps to revitalise both – your body and mind (though coffee doesn’t hurt, either). It does so by releasing the chemical norepinephrine, which improves your ability to pay attention to and perceive things, making you more productive. It also improves your body’s blood flow, which means that more oxygen and nutrients get to your brain and help it to perform at its peak.
After munching on delicious treats all weekend, a Monday morning workout is the perfect way to put your body back on track. Exercising kick starts your metabolism and keeps it running at an increased rate for hours (due to a process known as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, or EPOC) long after you’ve finished working out. Therefore, even if you spend your working day sitting at a desk, you’ll be burning more calories than usual.
By working out in the morning, you’ll be setting your day – and your week – off to an excellent start. You’ll feel more confident, more productive, and enjoy a lovely sense of accomplishment that’ll hopefully feed other positive lifestyle decisions (such as making healthier eating choices). How’s that for some Monday motivation?