The Benefits of a morning workout routine (according to neuroscience)
- Unhappy with your life and the way it’s going?
- Lacking in energy and motivation to even make a start?
- Overwhelmed by what you already have to get done, let alone anything else on top?
How can exercise help you?
If you are really serious about wanting to change your life, one of them, if not the best things you can actually do for yourself is to create a morning exercise routine. Instead of the perceived idea that exercise takes energy and time away from you – it actually gives you the energy and motivation to set goals and achieve targets.
Plus, by doing your exercise in the morning, and creating time for that before you go about your day, you will have already achieved a goal – again very motivating and empowering.
Here’s how it works – the neuroscience bit.
When you do regular exercise, particularly full-on cardio and especially running, which is my thing, it releases three key neurotransmitters into your brain. They are basically chemicals which once released, affect your brain and your whole body.
The first one that exercise release is a neurotransmitter called GABA (or Gamma-Amino Butyric Acid). The great thing about GABA is that it actually calms your whole system down. You can actually feel it working through your brain, through your whole system.
It is a natural tranquillizer, and if like me you suffer from anxiety or if you suffer from stress, you’re particularly going through a stressful period in your life, this immediately affects you and it’s way better than anything else in terms of what you might otherwise use to calm yourself down, like alcohol, food, that kind of stuff. So it literally gives you immediate relief.
The other neurotransmitter that gets released doing exercise is Seratonin. This is the one that people take anti-depressants to release in the brain. So literally by exercising, you are reducing the effects of depression in your brain and your whole body.
It has been scientifically proven to decrease depression rather than taking a pill or if you want to supplement and then gradually come off, if that’s what works for you, or you’re just feeling that you are getting a low mood, then exercise will release that serotonin in your brain and give you that relief.
The third neurotransmitter that is released, the one that we’re all chasing when eating chocolate, sugar, or carbs, is Dopamine. This is the real feel-good hormone that we’re often after when we’re eating all of those kinds of foods.
So how do these hormones help me change aspects of my life?
Because of the combination of these three key neurotransmitters, as well as the other physical effects on the body – you will actually feel differently about yourself, you will feel differently about what you can achieve and what is actually possible…
- Your self-esteem will be improved
- Your stress levels will be reduced
- Anxieties will be claimed
- Confidence is boosted
You are then better able to set targets, stick to them, and achieve your goals – on top of everything else you already have to do.
But how do I get started? I already have so much to do?
- Start small. Don’t go out and expect to do 30 minutes or an hour straight away. Start with five or 10 minutes. Then 15 minutes, whatever it is, and then build up gradually and that way you will sustain the habit. It will be manageable for you.
- Mix it up. If like me, you get bored easily vary what you do – I’m currently combining my running with HIIT (high impact interval training) sessions by Jo Wicks, The Body Coach.
- Find an exercise buddy if you like accountability
- Find a great class you like, or do your exercise at the same time every day if you like routine
Whatever you do, know that by building up to just 30 minutes of cardio every other day, you are consciously, and actively, taking a step to change your life. And it will have knock-on effects.
It does take consistency. And a bit of effort, yes, but it is worth it if you really do want to change your life.
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