If I’m totally honest with you, I’m not really a morning person. I mean, I want to be but I really love my bed. However, my brain works so much better in the morning that I have to face myself to get up and at them. And when I do, I couldn’t be more grateful.
After all, the early bird catches the worm right? And some of the most successful people in the world attribute their increased productivity levels at work to starting their day with some form of exercise.
Take Anna Wintour, editor of Vogue for example, she gets up at and hits the tennis courts at 6am every day. Richard Branson kicks off his working day off with a run and likewise with Starbucks President Michelle Gass.
Here are just a few reasons why exercising in the morning can help boost productivity.
It improves mental sharpness. Exercise increases the blood flow to the brain meaning that you become more alert and aware of what’s going on. A study from Bristol University found that after exercising, performance at work was consistently higher as was time management and mental sharpness.
You WILL feel less stressed. Stress is a killer. It doesn’t matter what is causing you the stress, if you don’t get it under control then it will do some serious damage to your health. However, exercise will help the way your body deals with that stress. It will boost your feel good endorphins, help you put aside thinking about work for the duration of your activity and improve your mood.
You’ll get your best ideas. I get some of my best ideas when I’m swimming. Clearing your mind and just thinking about how you move your body will get those creative juices flowing.
It saves you TIME. Time is something that we’re all short of. And who wants to hit a sweaty gym after you’ve sat at your desk for the last 8 hours? Answer: Nobody. But working out in the AM doesn’t just involve the gym. You can take part in the active travel movement, get your bike out of storage, dust off your trainers and cycle or run to work.
You will make better decisions. The endorphins that are released when exercising also improve the prioritising function of the brain. So by exercising you’re activating your ability to prioritise tasks and get things done in an organised manner.
You’ll feel more energetic. If you’re having to reach for a chocolate bar or energy drink to avoid the afternoon slump then something has to change. Exercising will give you a boost that lasts all day and also improve your endurance. Just a quick 15 minute workout per day can make all the difference.
And finally, you will sleep – better. Exercise will help improve sleep patterns, especially if you suffer from insomnia. But as well as helping you get to sleep, it will also help improve the quality of sleep that you get. Poor sleep won’t just make you feel tired and sluggish, it’ll so have some pretty serious knock on effects to your health and productivity. Regular exercise is the key to improving your sleep sessions so make sure that you find a routine that works and stick to it.
The benefits of working out in the morning far exceeds any cons that may crop up. Even if you’re not a morning person, there is always a way of slotting some form of activity in to your morning routine, whether it be taking part in active travel or just a quick 10 minute session before you hop in the shower.