By Cassandra Palacios

Going to the gym at the break of dawn sounds like a great idea – if you’re a morning person. If you’re not, hitting the gym is probably the last thing on your mind when you’re lying in bed struggling with the alarm clock. However, you may be surprised at the benefits you’ll reap if you decide to stop hitting the snooze button and exercise first thing in the morning. Below are four reasons why you should start your day off with a workout.

1. Increased Productivity

Exercising first thing in the morning puts you ahead of schedule. Once your body wakes up and realizes what it’s doing, your workout will be over! If completing your workout before even starting the day doesn’t make you feel productive enough, rest assured knowing that the rest of your day will follow suit.

2. Positive Attitude

Starting the day off right clears your mind and ultimately leads to better choices. You won’t want to spoil your killer workout by eating junk food, so instead of having a burger and fries for lunch, you might go for chicken and veggies.

3. Fewer Distractions

If you wait until after work, other obligations may get in the way of going to the gym. You have to work late, you’re tired, you’re hungry… we’ve all been there. Avoid the excuses by making exercise a priority and working out in the morning before anything can get in the way.

4. Boosted Energy 

If you’re not a morning person, you may feel tired and sluggish when your alarm goes off in the morning. Good news: hitting the gym will give you the energy boost you desire. A morning workout will also get your metabolism going, leading to increased calorie burn throughout the day.

Tips to get you motivated for a morning workout:

Did you know the smell of coffee actually energizes you? Try setting your coffee maker to go off about 10 minutes before you get up.

Having a friend to exercise with will help keep you both motivated and accountable. To help you both get up on time and make it to the gym, take turns calling each other in the morning.

Some fitness studios, like Orangetheory Fitness, already have an accountability program in place. OTF members reserve their workout sessions ahead of time. A scheduled appointment will help keep you motivated and accountable.

Cassandra_PalaciosAbout the Author: Orangetheory Fitness Trainer Cassandra Palacios is an Arizona native and mother of three with over 10 years of experience in fitness and wellness.