Health

Why you should exercise first thing in the morning

My wife is not a morning person. Neither is my daughter. Well, for the first 30 minutes or so, then they’re okay.

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My wife is not a morning person. Neither is my daughter. Well, for the first 30 minutes or so, then they’re okay.

But how are you this morning? Pretty good? If you answered “Yes,” then you’re like much of the rest of the world, because according to an international study of Twitter messages, people are generally in a better mood earlier in the day.

It seems people are a lot more chipper with their tweets early in the day. Interesting, and also another good reason to exercise first thing in the morning.

A column I wrote last spring for the LA Times examined how people who exercise first thing have the highest adherence rates because the day has a tendency to wear you down. After a long day, you’re far more likely to bail out on exercise than if you just got it over with first thing. 

But more than that, being in a good mood while exercising is going to increase the positive reinforcement factor. If you wait until the end of the day to exercise, it’s going to take a stronger act of will to push yourself to go work out. Couple that with possibly not being in as good a mood as you are earlier, and the overall experience may not be as enjoyable.

It stands to reason that if you’re happier while exercising, you’ll not only get a better workout but overall the act of exercising will be appealing. And we seek to repeat what we enjoy. That’s the positive reinforcement part.

So give morning workouts a try — but if you’re a coffee drinker, I recommend doing that part first.

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