Exercise is hard to do on a regular basis, but it is recommended that it should be done at least five days a week. With difficult schedules, busy work days, and family engagements, it can be quite a task to make it to the gym that often. This is the reason why many people stop exercising, and is a major reason as to why so many people fall off their exercise program shortly after starting it.

One of the best ways to fit your daily workout into your busy schedule is to exercise early in the day. Now, you’re probably wondering why anyone would like to exercise in the wee hours before going to work, especially when you could stay in bed an extra hour. Let’s take a look at nine reasons why morning workouts are effective:

  1. EPOC, or Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption, is something that occurs after you exercise. It can last for many hours depending on your workout intensity. The harder you work the body, the longer this will last. When you work out in the morning hours, you set your metabolism up for more energy burn, which can be as much as a few hundred calories.
  2. More Energy. When you exercise after a hard day at the office, it can be a struggle because your mind is mentally fatigued and your body is lacking energy. In contrast to this, when you wake up in the morning, you’re likely to feel more refreshed and ready for the day ahead. Exercising before you start your day is like having an extra dose of coffee in the morning; do it regularly and you will benefit from natural energy all day.
  3. Stick to a Schedule. One of the best tips for exercising in the morning hours is that it allows you to put the rest of your day aside for other activities. When you start your day with the gym, you allow yourself to stick to something that you want to continue with. Exercising later in the day can lead to the “I will just do it tomorrow instead” routine, which can be difficult to escape from.
  4. Improved Sleep. If you exercise close to your bedtime, you set yourself up for not getting the sleep you need, which will actually hurt your performance. In contrast, working out in the morning allows you to have the entire day to heal and to re-energize, which means you may sleep better at night.
  5. Helps with Dieting. Exercising in the morning can help you with your diet and nutrition program. Sticking to morning workouts may encourage you to stay away from pastries, sugary snacks, and other poor dietary options, which you may have consumed otherwise.
  6. Improved Mood. If you are not a morning person, the good news for you is that hitting the gym early many be your cure. Studies have shown that regular exercise can help to improve your mood, which means that if you exercise early in the morning, you can even have a better day at the office.
  7. When you sleep at night, your body secretes growth hormones for healing. These hormones give you an early morning boost at the gym, which in turn makes you stronger.
  8. Feel Great About it. Morning workouts have a better success rate in helping you meet your fitness goals, and making you feel great about doing so. Holding off workouts until the end of the day only causes you to dread what you need to do. Therefore, consider sticking to the morning workouts.