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Fitness

Exercising in the AM

April 6, 2019

 

Words by Tim Frey | Image credit Nadia Fairfax

Early morning, or after a long day in the office, we all have those days where the last thing we feel like doing is exercising. The brain, however, is our single greatest asset at work and it’s important to ensure it’s as sharp as possible. And guess what? Physical exercise is your key to optimising your brain’s performance.

In a clinical trial run by The Body-Brain Performance Institute, a clear correlation was made between physical fitness, brain function and reduced stress levels at work. At best, you’re working eight hours a day, and sleeping eight hours every night – you still have eight hours to spare. Make exercise a priority in those free hours. On top of feeling great, boosting your brain functionality by exercising will improve your work hours and sleep hours. It’s integral you find the time.

My advice; become an AM exerciser. By crossing your workout off your to-do list ASAP any extended work hours (or sleep hours) won’t interfere with your health regime.

Five Benefits of Exercising In The AM:

1. Brain boosting power

Increased blood flow to the brain and sharpened awareness. A study by Jim McKenna from the University of Bristol on Exercising at Work and Self-Reported Work Performance, showed that after exercising, work performance was consistently higher as demonstrated by better time management and improved alertness.

2. Enhanced metabolism

Excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (epoc) enables your body to burn more calories after your workout, even when you’re sitting at a desk. (Hello, morning cruffin).

3. Better sleep

Morning exercise not only improves the length of sleep, it also promotes deeper sleep cycles.

4. Increased mental acuity

On average it lasts four to ten hours

after exercising, it makes more sense to make the most of it while you’re awake.

5. Enhanced mood and energy

Morning exercise releases endorphins that improve your mood and energy levels throughout the day. Consistency is key. By putting exercise at the top of your to-do list, the likelihood of you making time for physical activity around your work schedule will increase.

For those who have limited time to exercise, he also recommends aligning your chosen exercise with your fitness goals. For instance, those wanting to lose weight should prioritise cardio exercise (HIT, boxing or running). Looking for muscle gain? Choose resistance training. And if you’re just wanting to improve/maintain your overall health, opt for Barre, Yoga, Pilates or walking.

so the next time you consider eliminating exercise from your daily-to-do, think again! Exercise is exactly what you need to maintain both physical and mental health, boost creativity, productivity and overall work performance.

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