I love starting the day off with a workout.

There’s nothing like a morning bike ride, attainments session, or gym workout to set the tempo of your day.  They remind me of a quote that I was turned on to a few years ago:

“Begin each day as if it were on purpose.”

-Mary Anne Radmacher

As an entrepreneur and freelance type, I am not guaranteed the biweekly paycheck and dependable stream of income that it affords.  I cannot just survive “off weeks” in which my productivity and creativity are down, and rest assured that it will blow over in the future.  I need to be on-point, organized, and creating value every single day, or I won’t be generating the income that I need to survive.  It’s a lot to balance and can be overwhelming at times, but I always find that I am more efficient when I have had a good workout in the morning.

I’ve never studied the science behind this phenomenon in the past, but I recently looked into the benefits of working out first thing in the morning.  Needless to say, I found many more than I had originally thought existed, and it has cemented my desire to make morning exercise a part of my schedule for a lifetime.  Here are just a few highlights:

1) Once in a routine, it will help you to sleep better.  Rather than being alert and energized by a late workout, your body is anticipating the exertion of the next morning, and your endocrine system and circadian rhythms pave the way for better rest.

2) Research has demonstrated that exercise increases mental acuity.  This lasts for four to ten hours after the workout.

3) Exercising in the morning boosts your metabolism and keeps it elevated for hours.  You will burn more calories throughout the day simply because you exercised early.

4) For those individuals with a weight loss goal, exercise on a pre-breakfast empty stomach coaxes the body to burn a greater percentage of fat for fuel, rather than relying primarily on carbohydrates.

5) Many people find that it regulates their appetite for the day, and the “healthy mindset” that they started their day out with helps them to make better food choices.

6) 90% of people who exercise consistently do so in the morning.  We are creatures of habit, and morning is a great time to guarantee that you get your workout done in spite of the distractions and challenges that may derail your plans later in the day.

These are just a few of the compelling scientific reasons to work out early, but the most important factor for me is that it makes me a more positive person.  It is much easier to go through the day with a positive attitude when I feel good about the successful completion of another challenging workout.

And what can be better than starting your day off by exploring these mountains that we live in?  We have the opportunity to see the sun rise while on our bikes or in our running shoes exploring the trails, or in a kayak/canoe exploring the river.  There are few things on Earth that can compare to witnessing the dawn of a new day while doing something that we love.

I know that when I sit down at my desk after a morning like that, I am ready for anything.