Here’s How A Morning Workout Affects The Rest Of Your Day For The Better, According To Experts

Think of a character in a movie or TV show who seems like she totally has her life together. Chances are, if a scene has ever shown this person starting her morning, you watched her spring out of bed and cheerily head off to an intense workout before she went on to the rest of her astonishingly productive day. I’ve always been a little skeptical about working out in the morning because being that active before I’ve had coffee seems like a waste of my energy, but it seems like I’ve been missing out. Understanding how a morning workout affects the rest of your day for the better is practically a superpower, because the evidence is strong that this is the way to do it, friends. conducted a survey of 1,000 people to study how working out in the morning versus at night impacted their lives. The results showed that women reported feeling amost 20 percent more energetic if they worked out in the morning, and were about 10 percent more productive at work than those who exercised during the evening.

Beginning your day with a workout could really help set the tone for the rest of the day when it comes to your mood, says Melissa Lopez, an ACE certified personal trainer and certified nutritional therapy consultant. "Exercise releases endorphins, also known as ‘feel-good’ hormones, which reduce stress and anxiety levels," she tells Elite Daily. "Starting the day off with a workout can help you better deal with daily stressors at work and beyond."

But wait, there’s more. According to Lauren Seib, an NASM-certified personal trainer and group fitness instructor, in addition to making you feel so accomplished right off the bat, a killer morning workout can do wonders for your focus levels as you deal with whatever the rest of the day has to offer.

If you like to start your mornings off a little slowly, there’s no need to suddenly start doing high-intensity workouts the moment you work out of bed. If you have a workout routine that you already love, then that can be an effective morning workout. "The bottom line is that all exercise is effective," says Sylvia Nasser, certified personal trainer and founder of the #irockthesportsbra body positive movement. "Some people love a nice meaningful yoga practice while others love an outside morning run. Some like to lift weights for strength." As long as you are moving your body, you’ll reap the physical and mental health benefits of exercise, whether you work out for 15 minutes or an hour, says Nasser. "I don’t know a single person who regrets a good workout."

If you haven’t really found a routine that you really like, Cary Williams, fitness expert and CEO of Boxing & Barbells, suggests working it into your schedule by trying out some at-home workouts. "This will give a better chance at getting it completed without having the excuse that you have to go to the gym," she explains. "You can do lunges, squats, pushups and sit-ups along with a cardio station such as jump rope or jogging in place," she suggests. "Set a timer to 45-second intervals with 15-second rest (transition) periods." Whether you have only 15 minutes to spare in your morning routine or want to dedicate an hour of your morning to exercise, you can do as few or as many sets as you’d like.

Getting your sweat on first thing could definitely make a difference in your eating habits if you’re used to exercising later in the day, so make sure you’re giving your body the nourishment it needs. A morning session could temporarily suppress your hunger for breakfast, but it’s crucial not to skip a nutritious post-workout meal because you’ll likely find yourself intensely hungry about an hour later, says Willow Jarosh, a registered dietitian-nutritionist in private practice in NYC. "Working out in the morning can make you hungrier later on in the day, so it’s important to be sure to eat enough consistently — and to tune into and respect your hunger cues," she explains.

If you usually eat breakfast before you work out, opt for something with plenty of carbs and protein, she recommends, "which helps your body to replenish glycogen stores, repair muscle, and keep you feeling satisfied and energized." Oatmeal with nut butter and fruit or avocado toast with an egg are both great options to keep you full and ready to take on the day.

"If you wake up early to fit in a morning workout, then you may find that you’ll need additional snacks in the morning since you’ll have more time awake before lunch," she says, so just make sure you’re stocked up on foods with plenty of protein and carbs like yogurt and fruit or toast with peanut butter to munch on whenever you need a boost.

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