Many people like to get in morning workouts. Working out at the start of the day helps to wake them up and leaves them feeling energetic.
But, exercising in the morning can do more than kickstart your physical energy. It can also work wonders on your mental state, leaving you feeling more focused and productive.
“Not everyone is a morning person. But, given that exercise does boost productivity, focus, and energy levels, even night owls should give a.m. workouts a fair chance,” says Aaptiv Trainer Jade Alexis.
If you’re looking to start your day on a clear and energized note, consider doing one of these morning workouts. It will help boost your focus and productivity.
If you’re someone who tends to wake up with a racing mind, incorporating yoga into your morning workouts can be beneficial to your mental health.
Research has found that people performed better—both speed-wise and accuracy-wise—on brain functioning tests after practicing 20 minutes of Hatha yoga.
“Performing yoga in the morning can help alleviate not only the stressors in your body from your daily life, but also any mental blocks you might have,” says Trainer James Shapiro MS, CPT, CES, PES.
Check out the newest yoga classes in the Aaptiv app! We have different trainers so that you can find the one you love.
As far as focus-boosting morning workouts go, you don’t have to opt for anything fancy. Going on a simple run can help you be more productive later on.
“Top CEOs and those with high-stress positions are likely on the street or in your local parks running for miles before they begin their day,” Shapiro says.
“The point of a run is not to just accumulate steps or increase your distance. Running requires a person to regulate their oxygen uptake and output, control heart rate, and build mental clarity.”
If running isn’t for you, you might choose a morning swim to get your body and brain work-day ready. “Just like running, swimming can be productive for the same reasons,” Shapiro says.
“The difference is the lack of ground force that could impact the joints and low back. Swimming is a zero impact activity and requires the entire body to work.”
Regular aerobic exercise boosts the size of the hippocampus, the brain area involved in verbal memory and learning. So if your gym or community has a public pool, switch out your normal cardio machine workout for a few laps.
Your morning workouts don’t have to be intense to get those brain-boosting benefits. Even just a brisk morning walk can get your heart pumping and your mind ready for the remainder of the day.
Multiple studies show that walking can have an immediate impact on the brain, boosting cognitive function and helping participants perform better on decision making and memory tests. Walking can also improve your ability to think creatively. This can be useful if you’re stuck in a work rut.
“If you’re pressed for time and need to feel like you’ve accomplished something in the morning, HIIT is the way to go,” Shapiro says.
“Pairing up bodyweight motions with other modalities like medicine balls and battle ropes is a sure fire way to increase your heart rate, push your muscle fibers to the max, burn fat, and get into the zone for the rest of the day. Focus on performing either small circuit stations for 20 to 30 seconds. Or one exercise for an all-out effort for 30 to 40 seconds.”
Although it’s more of a mental workout than a physical workout, meditating in the morning can help set you up for a day of success. In fact, brain scans show that meditators are better equipped to quiet brain activity related to mind-wandering.
This can be useful when you start to get distracted at your desk. “Even just five minutes to start the day off will help put things into perspective. [It will] clear the mind, lower blood pressure, and alleviate stress and anxiety, clearing the path for one to better focus throughout the day,” Alexis says.
Exercising in the morning can help your body feel good and the Aaptiv workout app can help you. Additionally, it can help you perform better mentally the rest of the day.
Think morning workouts aren’t for you? Think again. Here are seven ways to never miss a morning workout again.