If you’re not a morning person; then the very title of this article probably made you groan out loud. Having to open up the gym every morning at 5am, Hennie and I sometimes also have trouble feeling energized and enthusiastic in the early morning hours of the day! That being said, we understand the importance of starting every day off on the right foot!
There are numerous benefits to exercising in the morning! These include fewer distractions, improved appetite control and increased energy levels but an often overlooked benefit of morning workouts are the effects it has on stress and your brain!
Here are our top 3 reasons to start your day with a workout:
1. Stress Control
Cortisol is a your body’s main stress hormone and is released in your body during stress inducing scenarios. It is best know for regulating the body’s natural fight-or-flight response.
In today’s high paced world, we are inevitably faced with with massive amounts of cortisol in our systems throughout the day.
Exercise introduces physiological stress on your body, and therefore triggers your natural fight-or-flight response. When this happens your brain is flooded with adrenalin and cortisol. Your heart rate shoots up and your digestion stops; but something amazing happens at the end of such a fight-or-flight response.
2. Mood Control
Everyone knows that exercise helps you build muscle and lose fat. Whilst there are countless physical benefits to regular exercise, there are also numerous mental and physiological benefits that often overlooked.
Exercise has been shown to help people learn more efficiently and drastically decrease anxiety levels. Regular physical activity is know to help reduce chronic depression as well as improve focus in patients suffering with ADHD. Like getting out in the sun or socializing with friends and family; exercise should be thought of as a natural anti-depressant.
Additionally, exercise gives you a goal that can be accomplished, which in turn boosts your confidence. After you smash that morning workout, you will feel ready to take on much larger and more difficult task throughout your day!
3. Brain Growth
One of the most under-rated advantages of exercise, and one that we find most important, is that in addition to muscular growth, exercise actually helps your brain grow!
When we exercise, our bodies release a hormone called BDNF (Brain derived neurotrophic factor). BDNF helps the brain to develop new connections, repair failing brain cells, and protect healthy brain cells. In fact, BDNF also effects how we age, and how well we learn and perform mentally. Research has shown that maintaining adequate levels of BDNF can protect our brains from neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s Disease and Parkinson’s Disease.
When your BDNF levels are high, we acquire and retain knowledge more easily, have improved memory and feel more focused.
Regardless of your age or fitness level, we strongly advise regular exercise, even if done solely for the benefits it has to brain growth and development.
So what type of exercise should I do?
The answer. Any type of exercise!
Any physical activity that increases your heart rate and gets your body moving will ultimately yeald the benefits listed above.
We as Biokineticist like to prescribe mobility exercises or foam rolling because it is a fantastic alternative to higher intensity physical exercise and also serves to loosen up the muscles in the body while improving mental clarity and concentration. The combination of breathing and movement meditatively soothes and centers your mind, whilst letting all the hormones do their magic.
In conclusion, exercise regardless in what format should become your favorite morning habit!
Getting some movement in before work will do wonders for your mind, body and spirit; giving you the added energy and mental vitality you need to make the most of everyday!
Contact us TODAY to book a consultation with a Biokineticist and get started on your journey to a happy and healthier you!