It’s been shown that people who work out in the morning are fitter than people who work out in the evening — in small part, perhaps, due to the body’s circadian rhythm. But the larger reason why fitter people are morning exercisers? They’re more dedicated and consistent with their workouts.

Become a morning exerciser, and see results immediately. Starting off your morning on a healthy kick can help you stay motivated for the rest of the day — and keep you motivated to stick to a routine for weeks to come.

Here are five reasons why morning workouts reap results. Read up, and set your alarm clock!

1. It’s a no-excuses workout routine.

Unlike evening workouts — which can easily be cut short or canceled due to a happy hour, dinner party, or a long day at work — morning workouts can typically go on uninterrupted, because nothing’s open and nobody (other than other morning exercisers, of course!) are awake between 5 and 7 a.m. Therefore, there aren’t really any excuses for you not to work out in the morning — other than that you just don’t want to, of course. And that’s a mental battle that will become easier and easier as time goes on!

2. It jump-starts your day.

When I first started running in the morning (almost ten years ago!), the first thing I noticed wasn’t how tired I was from waking up an hour earlier. It was actually how energized I felt in the afternoons! Many morning exercisers claim that working up an early-morning sweat makes them feel accomplished, excited, and ready to embrace the rest of their day. Unlike evening exercisers, who have workout “hanging over their heads” through the morning and afternoon, morning exercisers carry a sense of achievement through the day.

3. It keeps you on a schedule.

When you know you’ve got an early wake-up call, you’re probably more likely to skip that last drink or final episode of late-night TV — and make sure you’re well-rested for your workout, instead. By sticking to a morning workout routine, you can help yourself stick to a more regular sleeping and eating routine throughout the day. A morning workout might revv up your hunger for a filling, healthy breakfast; and make you tired enough to hit the hay at a reasonable hour (avoiding sleepless nights or the evening munchies!)

4. It gives you time to think.

Morning exercisers get to see a quieter time of day that most people sleep right through. Whether it’s a traffic-free drive to the gym or a morning sunrise jog, the peaceful morning hours can help start your day off on a relaxed, stress-free note. Whereas evening exercisers might find release from a stressful workday during their nighttime workout, morning exercisers can mentally prepare themselves for whatever the day may bring through an early workout. Start up a sweat first thing in the morning, and see how relaxed and ready you are for the rest of the day.

5. It will increase your discipline.

A healthy diet and regular exercise routine takes discipline — and what better way to shape it than giving yourself a regularly scheduled daily to-do task? The “challenge” of waking up early will soon wear off, and become a disciplined habit, making it easy for you to see how small healthy changes can reap big results if you work one day at a time. By becoming dedicated to your workout schedule, you could start seeing how you can incorporate more self-discipline into other areas of your life, like your diet, your work, and your relationships. All it takes is practice and a little determination!

Mary Lambkin

Mary Lambkin is a Nashville-based writer, runner, and foodie. She's run seven marathons and ten half marathons, with lots of healthy (and occasionally unhealthy) food along the way. Follow her at her blog, minutes per mile.

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