Morning Blues or Morning Barre(ssential)?
In 2021, finding someone willing to call themselves a “Morning person” is a hard ask. Most of us strongly believe that without our morning cup of coffee, hastily consumed before work or driving the kids to school, we simply wouldn’t make it out of bed at all. And even with coffee, chances are you still feel like you’re only functioning at half of your full capacity. Given the lethargy that grips most of us until the sun is fairly high in the sky, it’s admittedly unsurprising that morning workouts are a rarity amongst the Colombo crowd.
But the research is in, and the results are crystal clear- Almost paradoxically, the time that you feel the most lethargic, is also the time when you’ll reap the most benefits from exercise.
Your metabolism gets jumpstarted!
The impact of exercise on our metabolism has long been observed- as we put on muscle mass, and regularly use the aforementioned muscles, we naturally end up consuming more calories. But the benefits of a single session of exercising continue to add on, even after your workout is over. Studies have shown that your body can burn upto an additional 190 calories for 14 hours after your workout- so if you workout at 7am, your metabolism will be functioning on hyperdrive till dinnertime! You take maximum advantage of this phenomenon, known as Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC), by exercising in the morning because even while simply sitting at your desk during work hours, your body will be burning more calories.
2) It’s excellent for your mood!
Our bodies are created to crave exercise- and our brains reward us every time we push our muscles to their maximum. After a workout, the neurochemicals Serotonin and Dopamine are released. These lovely compounds are nicknamed “The Happy Chemicals” for a very good reason- research has shown that their presence has a positive impact on mood, and can help control feelings of anxiety. For this very reason, the group of drugs prescribed to treat clinical depression are specifically targeted at increasing Serotonin levels. The serotonin released after your workout helps prevent mood swings and reduces irritability- effectively allowing you to cope much better with a tough day of work ahead. Your colleagues may be cranky- but a morning workout can help you rise above it and keep your cool throughout a long day at work.
Anxiety and stress are further demons that haunt us, the remaining tendrils of work and politics that we carry with us back home, through meals, and even to bed. It’s hard to shake off stress caused by an upcoming project, when even at home, you aren’t exempt from having to answer work emails and be on call. For some, evening workouts help them release this pent-up frustration that has been accumulated through the day- and we stand behind doing whatever works for you! But an oft forgotten alternative is the morning workout, which will release serotonin to pre-emptively control and clamp down on any seeds of stress that you might be carrying with you. You’ll be better equipped to deal with whatever the world throws at you during the rest of the day, once you’ve reminded your body and brain exactly what you’re capable of in your morning workout. Prevention is better than cure- move now to stop your stress, even before it can rear its head.
3) Your boss will love you all the more
Cognition is a term that broadly covers our conscious thought processes, responsiveness, and memory. Our cognitive reflexes and thought processes are used nonstop, every moment we spend awake- from hitting the brakes as an unsteady tuk veers into our lane, to remembering each of your kid’s unique schedules and what time they need to be picked up from school. Numerous studies have proved the effects of regular exercise on our cognitive reflexes- when a group of individuals took a cognitive test, those who took it just after exercising performed twice as well as those who sat the test after having just a cup of coffee. Pilates and Barre in particular are especially mentally rejuvenating, as the coordination of breath and posture required to correctly execute moves improves your brain’s ability to concentrate and focus. This peak in mental energy hits soon after your workout, so to take full advantage of it, working out while the sun is still rising is your best bet. Watch out, Starbucks- exercise is the new morning drug of choice.
4) Free yourself from fatigue
Exercise, if done right, does (and SHOULD) tire you out. But consider this temporary dip a sacrifice for a more permanent boost. As mentioned earlier, in the aftermath of a workout, your body is performing better both physically and mentally. Research has also showed the impact of regular exercise on sleep cycles, with individuals committed to regular fitness plans reporting better, undisturbed, and more satisfying sleep. This helps your body recuperate from tiring days, and rebuild itself better each time- meaning that each tiring workout in the morning can leave you less worn out overall. Of course, it is crucial to have a good breakfast, either before or after your workout- regardless of what time it is, if your body is not well fed, you’re not going to reap the rejuvenating rewards that exercise has to offer.
By design, humans aren’t nocturnal creatures, though your nighttime free wifi quota may encourage you to think otherwise. We rise with the sun - and we function at our best during the day. Exercise is a crucial part of our lives, and planning when our workouts occur is a move that may require more commitment, but will reward you immeasurably.
Our private sessions start from 530am (or earlier) and can be customised to you and your friend's needs. It can be at the studio or virtual. The world is your oyster. Get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a Barre, Yoga, Mat or Reformer Pilates class with us today!