We know regular exercise is good for us, but does when we work out matter? Turns out, it can. The added advantages of a morning workout aren’t just beneficial to the body, but are kind to the mind and our overall well-being to boot.

Here’s what morning exercise does for the mind, body, and soul:

1. Starts the Day off Right

Even if you woke up on the wrong side of the bed, you can quickly turn things around by turning up some tracks and pumping out some sweat. If all it took was one look for your kids and spouse to know not to talk to you until you’ve had your morning coffee, some high-intensity interval training (HITT) might help. It can wake the body up faster than caffeine by raising your heart rate and increasing oxygen consumption. Not only that, but it comes with the added bonus of feel-good endorphins, improving your mood and (everyone else’s) morning.

2. Makes for Better Choices

When you decide to do something good for your body at the beginning of the day, chances are you’re going to make better decisions later on. That can mean choosing a salad over a burger at lunch, or selecting a more budget-friendly option at work that can affect your company’s financial health. Whether it involves your waistline or your organization’s bottom line, choosing wisely is essential for success.

3. Improves Self-worth

Making smart meal choices matters when it comes to your physical health, but taking care of yourself extends beyond what you put on your plate. Committing to an exercise regimen is a lot like investing in your own self-esteem savings account; the greater you see yourself, the more interest you earn. In other words, the more you value yourself, the more you tend to take care of yourself and vice versa. A dedicated workout routine reaps rewards far more valuable than anything money can buy—it instills and improves self-worth.

4. Makes You Feel Like a Superhero

Any time you hit a personal best with your fitness, your confidence soars.  When you leave the house in the morning feeling empowered, you take that power with you into any situation you’ll face that day. Whether it’s standing up for yourself or someone else or simply killing it at work, killing it in your workout has a lot to do with keeping your self-confidence alive and well.

Photo by John Arano on Unsplash

5. Improves Energy Levels and Clears the Mental Cobwebs

A morning workout can wake you up, but also helps to maintain sufficient energy levels throughout the day. With most of us sitting at our desks all day long, this energy isn’t needed to move our bodies so much as focus our minds. Everyone knows what it feels like when the occasional ‘brain fog train’ rolls in. Exercising in the morning can zap away any trace of that troublesome haze and also prevent that ‘post-lunch slump’ we are all too familiar with. This frees you up to think clearly and function more efficiently in every aspect of your life.

6. Boosts Confidence

Imagine if you could flex your confidence like a muscle, just like you did at the gym this morning with that dumbbell. Good news—you can! Self-assuredness works much the same way as any muscle in your body. It gets stronger from regular use and prepares you for moments that are outside of your comfort zone. Exercise instills confidence in our abilities so we’re ready to rise to a challenge, whether that means upping our weight in the gym or presenting to a packed boardroom at work.

7. Improves Your Sleep

For some, exercising too close to bedtime can have a negative effect on sleep. That post-workout pump produces energy in the morning that’s vital for taking on the rest of your day, but may leave you lying helplessly awake at night. Sleep is crucial for staying mentally sharp and even a few hours less than the ideal amount can have less than desirable consequences on your performance the next day. Working out in the a.m. will not only avoid the possibility of counting sheep to no avail but can actually enhance feelings of sleepiness, not to mention the quality of your slumber, later on.

If you’ve already made time in your schedule for a regular workout routine, you’re one step ahead of the game. If you normally workout in the afternoon or evening, however, consider a morning time slot instead. You might find it’s just what you need to take your overall fitness to the next level.