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Making an effort to live a healthier lifestyle can be difficult, especially if you try to make too many changes simultaneously. Research suggests that morning exercise may help you accomplish some of your other health goals.

Keep reading to learn the potential benefits of getting in an early workout.

Curb Your Cravings 

While there’s more research to be done, morning exercise could be the cure for cravings. According to a study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, working out in the morning may help snub food hankerings. During the study, researchers asked a small group of women to look at food photos on two different days. 

The group exercised for 45 minutes on the first day before looking at the photos. The next day, the group refrained from exercise. Results showed that their attentional response to the images dropped on the day the participants exercised. What’s more? These participants also showed an increase in total physical activity throughout the rest of the day. 

Burn Fat Faster 

Exercise offers physical and mental benefits. Physical activity, even something as simple as walking, can reduce feelings of depression and anxiety, improving your mood and overall well-being. Many people choose to exercise for one particular reason: weight loss. So, if you’re on a mission to lose weight, morning exercise may help. 

According to a study published in EBioMedicine, burning calories before breakfast helped participants lose fat faster when compared to those who worked out in the afternoon or evening. 

Get a Good Night’s Sleep 

If you prefer exercising in the evening, you may have difficulty sleeping. Aerobic exercise causes the body to release endorphins (hormones), which can keep some people awake. Exercise also raises the body’s core temperature — alerting the body’s clock that it’s time to wake up and get going. If you’re hoping to get a good night’s sleep, an early workout may be the way to do it.  

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Boost Your Mood  

Exercising is nature’s cure for stress. Remember those endorphins we mentioned earlier? Well, those hormones are “feel-good” neurotransmitters — your body releases these hormones during other activities, too, including sex and eating. 

Endorphins help the body respond to physical and mental stress by acting as a natural pain reliever

Encourage Your Brain to Make Healthier Food Choices

Working out in the morning sets the tone for the rest of your day. You are more energized and in a better mood, and exercising could encourage you to make healthier choices too! According to a study published in the International Journal of Obesity, working out may have the power to persuade your brain to make healthier food choices throughout the day. 

During the study, researchers asked more than 2,500 college students to exercise for 30–60 minutes, three times per week, for 15 consecutive weeks. Each participant completed a diet questionnaire before and after the study. The results? The students that stuck with the program made healthier food choices (e.g., fewer fried foods and less red meat). 

Ultimately, when and where you work out (if at all!) is entirely up to you. If you’re interested in starting a new fitness routine, however, you may want to consider giving morning workouts a try.